The Nairobi Toastmasters Club

A member of the club

The toastmasters club is basically a place to improve your spoken language. You learn to give speeches, and there are levels of speeches you will give throughout your membership. You will be evaluated and promoted to the next level after every speech you give so you have to prepare well.

Of course I did not know all these when I was invited by StartupKenya on twitter. He told me he’d love to have me as a guest in one of the meetings. He told me about Nairobi Toastmasters club which meets twice a month at lunch time. The meetings usually take place at the United Kenya Club on Mondays.

I agreed to attend even before I knew what it was about. He told me the theme of the meeting was ‘My Technology’ and I’d be the topics master for the day. There are many roles one can have during the meeting, one of the toastmaster, who’s the emcee in simpler terms. Startupkenya was the toastmaster and I the topics master.

What was my role about? Well, I was to prepare topics about technology which I’d ask the members to give a 2 minute speech on. Like I ask you to speak briefly on how the computer has changed your life, what you think of the mobile phone, and members can be picked randomly to answer the questions.

Thus I sat down Sunday night, on the eve of the meeting, googling and trying to adapt the questions to something we can all relate to. I sent these to Startupkenya and he approved, said they were good questions. Anyway, Monday lunchtime found me at the United Kenya Club, participating in a most interesting session.

The meeting started with the chairman opening the meeting and conducting some club business, after which the toastmaster was invited to take over the meeting. Some members who were being evaluated gave their speeches, one gave their first ever speech called The Ice Braker. I must admit, the grammar and punctuation, and construction of sentences and use of metaphors and description was on top.

After which I was invited to ask members questions, and these are some of them:

“You have found the love of your life on an internet dating site. Tell your mother how the first date went.”

“You are the love who’s been found. Tell us how it went down.”

“you have landed in a village where you they have never seen a mobile phone. Describe it to them.”

You get the gist of the questions.

Of course I had to introduce myself and explain a little about twitter, and it was encouraging to see that about a third of them were tweeps.
Though they may not have heard of me 🙂

I’d love to be a member of the Toastmasters Nairobi. Will definitely help with those CEO speeches I’ll be making in the future. Plus it’s a great opportunity to network.

More information can be found here: (toastmasters website) and here.

Also, follow startupkenya and nairobitm on twitter.

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The evolution of the campus dating game

The innocent age

This is mostly in the first year of campus. The girls are at their most naïve, of course, in spite of themselves thinking very wise. They have all kinds of set values and high standards. He must be smart, well dressed, kind, polite, a Christian (and preferably of the same denomination), hard worker, non-drinker, non-smoker, this list could go on and on.

hopeful Freshman

The older guys know this, and they will be at their most charming, polite and well-behaved, and before you know it, the fresher ‘ameingia box’, loosely translated to ‘entrapped.’ So she will believe his stories of evangelistic weekends (hence why he can’t be with her over the weekends), but will religiously (literally) attend the mid-week C.U services with her.

She will agree to visit his room for movies, and he will not make his move that first time if he’s any good. He will buy Alvaro for her, or perhaps offer a cup of coffee. Sooner or later, the little touches will begin, and before you know it, thoughts of the Bible are thrown out of the window. The next thing she knows, he is not picking her calls, and his creepy roommate is the only one she’ll find when she goes to his room. So much for the prince charming she had imagined graduating from campus with.

The Awakening

In the second year, it’s hard to pin a girl down because she just wants to have fun. She has been through the disappointment of seeing her heart torn into pieces and her favourite song will be Avril’s Happy Ending.
She will not be contented with a cheap Alvaro in the room, but wants to be taken out for the rave. If I was a guy, I’d avoid the second year, unless you also just want to have fun and your pockets are deep enough. Campus girls have a phobia for paying their entertainment bills.

sophisticated sophomore

The Maturity

Third year is when relationships mature, if they were ever there in the first place. There are some guys who have been couples since first year, and by this time they almost do everything together, worse if they are classmates. They are just short of dressing in matching outfits. In fact, they do wear similar colours sometimes, and they begin to look alike. Like brother and sister. Or distant cousins.

the sassy junior

The single girls in third year begin to ‘import’. Meaning they start relationships with guys in other campuses, but preferably, working class guys in shiny cars. The third year guys realize they cannot compete and well, they start hunting freshas.

Third year may date any guy with a car

The Conclusion

In the final years of campus (fourth, fifth, even sixth), it’s easy to tell who may marry whom, because they introduce each other to their respective families during graduation. Some go ahead and get pregnant, leaving campus with a degree, husband and kid.

Graduating couple: she's probably pregnant

The single guys will be desperate, wondering how time flew by and if you get into a relationship with someone in these years, they would like something serious.

The single girls may turn to dating younger guys for the sake of it, or maybe to boost their ego. They will also be desperately looking for older, working and financially stable guys. Okay, scratch that. They be looking for financially stable guys of any description, especially if they have no prospect of jobs when they graduate.

Senior chick with freshman

Why Kenyan Women Went to KICC

Crashing the High Metal Fence of A Fungible Reality

by Eric Ng’eno on Wednesday, 08 September 2010 at 11:17

One of the best people I have had the good fortune of counting as a friend is a woman. A woman in full. And she has been my friend since fresher year, back in the day. Intelligent. Sensitive. Strong. Feminine. And a stark raving mathematician.I suppose the latter attribute led me to be plentifully wary of her.By the way, under the constitution – yes, you idiot, there is no old and new when it comes to constitutions, because that would imply that you are governed under two sets of laws, which is impossible, meaning that you are generally an idiot, QED, thank you very much – you are obliged to report any mathematician you spot to the authorities ASAP, otherwise you become guilty of ‘harbouring a mathematician’. If you have ever scored 6% in Mathematics, in High school, and someone known to you scores the Full Red in the same paper, then you know that the law is excellent and all mathematicians ought to be computing their iterations inside Kamiti.

Anyway, this best friend was full of very unsettling insights. For example, she once made known to me that the term ‘out of body experience’ is a male construct, because for women, it is everyday life. In fact, so is ‘multiple personality’.We were discusssing designer wear, actually, and the fact that an utterly shapeless person will cram her entire self – body, mind and soul, i.e. the hips and butt – into an ill-fitting, expensive jeans that will not flatter her at all, and walk about in arrogant majesty, as though she has never seen herself before a mirror. This puzzled me, but did not puzzle her in the least. Why?

Apparently, a vast category of women make their choice of attire, accessories, make-up, name it, not based on their physique, complexion, personality and other personal attributes, but, rather, on the firm conviction that they are virtually the twin of whichever model advertised the product, and that once she is geared up in the item, the ineluctable result will be a gigantic chorus of oohs and aahs all round. This means that there are two women wearing the jeans. One is the one physically cramming her entire life into skin tight trousers and the other, the one who inspects the result and decides that there has never been a more perfect booty this side of creation.

A wise man is necessarily a democratic man. This means that he quietly succumbs to the will of the majority – the woman.The numbers do not matter one whit; the gender does. Each woman therefore constitutes an overwhelming majority, whereas all men combined cannot even raise a decent minority – look at the census results. So when several women, who clearly get the cue, see the quivering, semi-liquid mass of utter shapelessness trapped in denim and borne on heels, they recognise at once an insuperable ass, the one that Beyonce and J-Lo light candles for at St Paul’s. And they let this be known to the wearer of the jeans and bearer of the youghurt-in-12-micrometer-paperbag-butt:”Wow Georgie! you look fabulous!” Whereas we in the stark minority see an unprecedented disaster-on-two-feet. As a rule, all women get this. As a sub-rule, all men live in eternal perplexity and horror and ask, Why?

Because I am, naturally, ahead of the pack, I accept my mathematician’s verdict as read, and bow to democratic reality. You do know, of course, that all reality is democratic, right? That is why the man was beheaded despite the fact that the emperor was actually naked.If he wasn’t, he should be.

I was at the National Bureau of Statistics a few days past. I learnt many incredible things. However, the statistics on potential for unreality were really eye opening. Let us summarise it this way: more women are likely to wear ridiculous-but-fashionable outfits, affect an accent, date and marry a foreigner whose only going thing is his foreignness, and depart this country for the West for no particular reason. There are men who do that, naturally, but we can’t be hating on professional beach boys here in this new dispensation, can we?

The reason girls will do this without batting a fake eyelash is simple: the female reality is completely fungible. In their mind, the pre-Cambrian, huffy-puffy,limping, apoplectic, overweight octogenarian is a dead ringer for Mr Brad Pitt, Esq. The clearly illiterate, awkward, redneck truck driver wallowing in the grossest tattoos is, in reality none other than Master Theo Walcott in the flesh. And the fact that this nobleman of Europe and America has finally rewarded her over-made-up, slutty-dressed, blatantly whoring gyrations with a brandy, then Viagra-assisted, unremarkable sex, and has not yet sent her off with 50$ , is all the evidence, if any was required, that on her part, our girl is Halle Berry, Rihanna and so on. Hence the accent. Hence the fact that our girl is keeping poodles in a bedsit in Uthiru. Hence the frank, adoring gazes, holding of the pink, wrinkly hand, and PDA with the octogenarian.

Her lover

You think, because of you limited education, that the girl had big-time daddy issues and is compensating in Freudian form. Bure kabisa. You are the minority, the ones not yet admitted to the fungible reality of the elect, and, obviously, you can’t see that the Agweng-Octogenarian couple before you is actually Alejandro and Paloma moments before they go into the golden sunset.

Once in a while, the blinkers somehow fall off, and she calls me up for coffee and goes, “Gosh, Kip. He turns really pink when aroused, and his nakedness made me want to puke, so lights off for the Deed.” But that is only before Joe the Plumber arrives to sweep her off her fake leather boots. Before you know it, she has children with a Nigerian, Swede, Iranian and Frenchman, and all nationalities signatory to the Declaration of Human and Peoples’ Rights. So when the fathers’ visitation day comes, she is to be heard calling out,”Ricky, your dad’s here, Joanne, present, Gilbert, apologies, love, Ruth, present, Jack, absent.”

Anyway, this ability to substitute reality – replace a drab existence with a soap opera and reality television episode occupies girls throughout their 20s and most of their 30s. This explains the attire, the accent, the mannerisms and gestures, the cocktail sipping brokeasses dissing Kenyan men and gazing hungrily at a Hosni Mubarak look-alike on his fifth by-pass and third kidney transplant. It explains the bedsits in Gigiri, which have caused matatus to plague the leafy suburbs,and the bashes, gigs and do’s in places no one has ever heard of, but where all white-dating Kenyans are considered life members.

The ones who get the passport will be heard of, eight dead husbands later, in connection with some Pension fraud racket, facing 380 years in prison, or dead of an overdose, S&M strangulation or a simple knock in some dockside hovel in Belgium, or in a documentary, cleaning melons at an organic farm. Very few of them ever put their KCSE, BAs, etc to any good use apart from fellatio.

The ones who do not get the passport continue to litter the lobbies of the Stanley, InterCon, Tribe, Serena, swigging cointreau, doing the salsa like a dervish, singing the men-bashing girl-anthems on the Karaoke and looking wistfully at portraits of the Aga Khan, whom they confuse with George Clooney, and it does not matter one bit. Oh, and they continue to hate Kenyan men, who are neither romantic nor sensitive nor deep nor gallant, until, without a sound, they sneak off to become mistresses of politicians and unhygienic millionaires, bearing children named Mau and raising dairy cattle in Kiserian.

Others hold out longer until, one morning, they fill in 35 in the ‘age’ section of their income tax returns and then the penny drops. Reality shatters into a million shards to reveal a pot-bellied, jelly-assed, double-chinned harridan in designer jeans, dreadlocks, a slight bald patch, and a huge handbag – in other words, a Halle Berry still waiting for Denzel. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the girl who wanted to take down the fence at KICC, having fully convinced herself, in her wash-and-wear reality, that a Nigerian fraudster has crammed his suitcases chock-full with handsome husbands. She was resorting to her right to self-help, in order to rescue her David Beckham out of a Louis Vuitton travelling bag for her eternal delectation, amen. She was Being a Better Me,exercising The Seven Habits, finding who Moved Her Cheese and appealing to Her God and Her Man, and actualising all the toxic ‘motivational’ nonsense she has been reading on her way to work every morning of her life.

Yet the beauty of a fungible reality surely must lie in the vast array of possibilities in every combination, including overt acts of abject desperation before national television, right there in your capital city.

I almost got arrested

I almost got arrested.

Maybe it wasn’t as dramatic as am making it sound, but considering I’ve been arrested once (here is the story, but you won’t find an official record, that’s for sure) and as the cop explained to me, there are procedures to be followed at such times. See, I’d been caught handling fake money. I’d just ordered for a drink with a fake two-hundred shilling note.

Kenyan currency

The cop who was also at the counter, explained to me that the first thing he should do is arrest me, take me in for a thorough questioning so I can give clues to the source of the fake money or to find out if am possibly involved so I can lead him to my fellow criminals.

Okay, am beginning my story in the middle. Back to the beginning.

In Nairobi, Thursday is the new Friday. People go out on Thursday, whether they have the work the following day or not. There are students who don’t mind skipping Friday classes, and there are plenty of those with neither school nor work. The scene: Westlands. Any club in Westie is packed to capacity at midnight on a Thursday night, with constant lines of people streaming in and out. Uptown Thursday it is, or more appropriately, bendover Thursday because every club worth its name plays the song several times in the night.

This past Thursday was election day for our university student union officials. Which means a free day for us. After doing a CAT (continuous assessment test) in the morning, we headed to a hotel nearby to swim. At around 4 p.m., we took a break to have lunch and a drink and after that, it was swimming and drinks. There are a lot of generous people by the poolside and drinks just kept coming and we swam and made merry. Around 7p.m. it was time to leave so we changed and said bye to the drink buyers, among whom I came to learn later was an MP from some constituency whose name evades me.

The Senate Swimming Pool

Back in campus, we psyched each other up for Uptown Thursday. One thing we kept reminding ourselves is the fact that this was our last semester and we have to make the most of it. That means taking every opportunity we have to go out. So we got into a matatu, and I paid my fare with a five-hundred shilling note. One of my friends paid with the same amount too. The conductor was very quick to give us back our change, and whoever checks to see if notes are fake? Unless it’s 500 or 1000 note. But a 200 shilling note? I just made sure my change was correct and put it in my pocket and that was the end of that. I don’t remember the conductor’s face, what he was wearing, the driver, not even the colour of the matatu. The conductor gave us a total of Kshs. 800 in fake 200-shlling notes. Of course at this time, we didn’t know it.

We got to town and immediately headed to Westlands, first checked into Rezorus. We ordered our first drinks with this money, and made ourselves comfortable. We had arrived a little early, it wasn’t even 11p.m. yet but the place was filling up. The DJ at that time was boring though, DJ GMoney (or something like that) hadn’t arrived for his famous reggae/ragga uptown tunes so we decided to club hop a little and come back later when the place would be on fire. We decided to pass by Qs? Qz? Definitely a Q somewhere which is mainly a pool center, say hi to some friends over there, possibly play a game or two, then Changez, then Red Tape, possibly Black Diamond before heading back to Rezorus. These clubs are all next to each other.

It was at Qz where I almost got arrested. So we were both remaining with a fake Kshs. 200 note each. We hang out a little, played some pool, lost badly and then my friends wanted to leave but I wasn’t ready to go yet. I told them to go ahead, I’d meet them at Changez later. I wasn’t alone though, I was with the other friends whom we had met at Qz. (notice I decided to go with the z. though I think it’s Q’s).

I went to the counter to order a drink, rather a shot and I was to pay the lady 120 bob. I gave her the 200-shilling note, she gave me my poison and I was waiting for the change when instead she returned my note and was like, “Pesa yako ni fake.” Of course the first question you ask is:

“What do you mean pesa yangu ni fake?” I asked, disbelieving. She held up the note to the light. OMG, you
should have seen the lion. It was a sleepy as hell! Have you ever seen that lion picture in real notes? It’s wide awake and staring at you, possibly very scary. This one had droopy eyes and was sleeping at a most awkward corner of the note. She also showed me the UV light thingie, and this note was the fakest I’d ever seen, it’s like they used normal A4 paper, and even the texture could tell you that ladies and gentlemen, we have a bootleg.

By this time, a small crowd had gathered to look at the note, and the cop was among them. He started asking me questions: “who gave you this note? Are you sure he’s the one? What was the colour of the matatu? Number plate? Conductor’s name?” and I was losing patience trying to explain to him that no one ever takes note (no pun there) of these details when they are taking public transport. I wanted to tell him if I ever got involved in a fake money scandal, I wouldn’t print such fake-looking money and certainly not 200-bob notes, I’d go for the thousand ones and I wouldn’t be stupid enough to be an actual user of the said notes. But I didn’t because my special friend was there and he calmed me down. The cop let me go because he said he was off duty anyway, but it would have been better to launch investigations so they could get the source of this fake money.

My uptowny mood was ruined by this time, and I decided to leave Qz and join my friends at Changez. It was only when leaving I managed to see the humour of the situation. The fake note was very funny. The bartender kept it, I told her to punch holes in it and display it or something. I could’ve taken a pic, but it wouldn’t show anything fake so there was no point.

At Changez, I asked my other pal whom we had been given change with to show me any money she had left. So we checked out her note and it turns out it was fake too! We advised her not to use it, because if she was caught with it, things might turn out ugly. Anyway, some more drinks and good music later, my good mood resumed and it was almost 4a.m. when we headed back to Rezorus. By this time, the music was awesome though the crowd had lessened a bit, and we danced a little, had final drinks and it was six in the morning when we finally arrived at our rooms.

Harambee Stars Vs Ugandan Cranes

Do you remember this post? I had no choice but to be in church on Saturday morning. I prepared and was in church by 10 a.m., which was a little late because the lecture theater where the services where being held was full. You know how lecture theaters are? Entrance is at the front and if you have to make a quick exit, that’s the place to sit. I was hoping that my fashionably late entrance would be noted by whoever was watching and nobody would ask me later why I hadn’t been to church.


Lecture theater looks almost like this one



I sneaked out just before the main preaching started, because once the speaker of the day is given time, he takes as much time as he wants. He could preach for 3 hours if he wanted and that would mean missing the Harambee Stars match. I’d bet heavily on the game: I was going to change my twitter name from Savvy Kenya to Savvy Uganda, and possibly my nationality too if the stars lost to the Cranes.

Having left church around noon, and changed from my dress to jeans and carried a borrowed vuvuzela, I got into a matatu around 1p.m. to town. Now, my small brother who’s blowing the vuvuzela below was in possession of the tickets and had been at the stadium since noon. He was giving us (my other bro and I) one hour to get to the stadium or he’d sell our tickets. I kept telling him am almost in town even when I was stuck in traffic because the Chinese constructors (contractors?)had decided Saturday was the best time to divert traffic to roadside paths.
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My small bro

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By the time I finally got to the stadium, it was 3.30pm and my brothers were already inside. Somehow, we managed to communicate and they wrapped my ticket around a small flag they’d bought and threw it over the wall of the stadium. Of course, there were few spiderman wannabes who scaled the wall but since I had my ticket no need to resort to desperate measures. The queues were long and so winding, but hey, am a chick so I just smiled at some guy and he let me cut the queue. He later told me he’ll be my husband and I said yeah, we’ll get married for sure.

I finally got into the packed stadium. Somehow, I found my brothers and abandoned ‘my husband’ because chicks were getting preferential treatment getting in. You just stand next to a cop and he ushers you in.

The packed stadium



I don’t want to get into details of the match, I tweeted so much during the match keeping guys updated because the match wasn’t being shown live. Thanks to greed KFL/FKL/KFF or whatever the match organizers are called who were asking for so much money even the state corporation KBC could not afford it. Needless to say, Kenya’s Harambee Stars were dominant and we had very many scoring chances. The energy of the fans was awesome even if the Ugandan fans refused to participate in the Mexican wave. They did later though. And they were very many. They came in like 20 or so buses, I hear.

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Ugandan Fans at the other end of the field in yellow

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The match ended in a nil-nil draw which means Kenya is at the bottom of the group. The other countries include Uganda, which leads the group with 4 points, followed by Guinea Bissau which has 3 points, then Angola which has 3 points too but an inferior goal difference, and there we are at the bottom with 1 point.

I eagerly await the return match, which is sadly not until next year October (7th I think). I wonder if I can make it to Kampala, I don’t even know where I’ll be at that time.

Meanwhile, you can read about the other matches I have previously attended here (AFC Leopards vs Gor Mahia), here (Harambee Stars Vs Cameroon’s Indomitable Lions), here (A disappointed Harambee Stars fan), here (Kenya Vs Mozambique, a 2-1 victory) or here (Harambee Stars Vs Tunisia, a loss!).

P.S. Doing a post you may want to read tomorrow. Let’s meet right here.

Creekside Princess Webisode 10 – Decisions

A strong sense of identity gives a person the idea she can do no wrong; too little accomplishes the same.

A few months ago, Gabrielle Akinyi Wanjohi came to Nairobi. And then she realised that the above was true. In the strong sense of being Gaby, Tomboy, Creekside Princess, CB’s ex… she soon was lost, completely without any idea how to pull herself out of the endless maze of life, change, mystery and madness.

She will have to decide, now, before it is too late.

Decisions

I

t’s almost as if I launched myself out into the ocean of life hoping, without any idea how to swim, to dive safely or sail a boat, with no knowledge about the ocean tides and currents and no navigation skills either. To make matters worse, I dove off the cliff, ignoring the hint of a cold that scratched at the back of my nose. And I got hit so hard by the bends, and the pain is back, so bad I can’t breath.

That’s why I am here.

Here: Sitting on a bench, right outside the Hilton Hotel, alongside other lost, tired and maybe demented souls, trying to see the safety of the shoreline, trying to take a breath…

Read Decisions

This week, we gave you a review of the High School Favorite The River and The Source by Margaret Ogola: Most books on gender debate revolve around the axle of imbalance in the way men and women relate to one another, in their division of labour, including sharing the products of that labour, such as property, and these books further declare that whereas women are part of division of labour, there’s discrimination in distributing the fruits. This is what Margaret Ogola tackles in her works, and especially in the novel The River and the Source. Gideon Chumo

We also gave you a compilation of the best poetry from September: The reason the poet of the month of September wasn’t featured yesterday was because I was confused. It felt like I was back at the punks’ twilight zone. I frequented that place a lot this September. True story. Anyway, I had poems that had the same tally of votes and I didn’t know what to do. But I had a mini eureka moment and figured that it would be prudent to post the top three poems of the month. Linda Musita

Last but definitely not in the least, we republished Osas’ kind letter to a little girl who is now growing into the Queen of her life. To K, with love.

You will notice quite a bit of reorganisation on the blog. We have rearranged the articles and stories so that you can easily access archives. Just hover over the tabs to see the variety of articles.

Please note that under Girl Royal, you will find articles on life skills advice, legal advice, business and internet tips, creative writing tips, and beauty and fitness tips.

Before we go, please allow us to remind you that you can register for the Life Skills Coaching Conference on October 16, 2010 at aNDEKENYA.

We hope that you will enjoy reading both the Creekside Princess stories and articles from our resident writers. You can be a guest writer, too! Just write to us at theprincessprojectafrica@gmail.com with your idea.

Weird Monday

I have had a weird day. I haven’t been in control of it, everything I had planned to do, I haven’t. it all started on Friday, really. I got this weird call:

“Hi Savvy. Are in campus?” It was a lecture-ish voice so I switched to my official voice and wondered aloud that we had no class.

“Can I talk to you in person?” I wondered aloud again if I could give him the assistant class representative’s number because I wasn’t in campus.

“No, I want to see you in person.” So I agreed to look for him on Monday when I’d be back.

I forgot about it until today afternoon on my way to the hospital. I’m having one bad cold, the kind that gives me nosebleed, just in case you are wondering. Which you are. Anyway, I decide to give him a call and he says he’s in the staff quarters; he’s on leave so we can’t meet in his office.

That’s very very weird. I tell him I can’t come to his house but am on my way to the hospital. He says fine, let’s meet there.

He does look like a lecturer, but he’s not. He’s an accountant and he’s with a fellow accountant and they both work at the university. So we all introduce ourselves and begin small talk and am like, could you all please get to the point!!!!! I need to make it the hospital before queues get much longer. Other campus workers are passing by and saying hi, hello, etc and we are still there talking about our counties and districts.

The other accountant excuses himself and leaves to go back to work. He tells me he wishes he’d met me earlier because he knows am a bright girl, he did ask my high school and my grade during small talk. So am left with Lecturer 2. That’s how I have saved his number in my phone because I already have a Lecturer in my phone whose name I don’t know. Lecturer 2 asks me to accompany me to his house so he can tell me why he called me in the first place. You can imagine I have never met him before, never heard of him, and just like that am to go to his house.

So I ask him to tell me what he has to tell me there and then and look into his eyes and ask, “What are your intentions?” and he says he has no bad intentions and he’ll explain it all in his house. I have to make a quick decision, and I decide this guy is probably married with kids and university workers seem to know him and I had told my friend @boosywoosy I was going to meet this lecturer and I know some karate and ‘mtu hakatai wito, hukataa aitiwalo’ and told him, “lead the way.”

And that is how I met the Patron of our SDA group! He must think am a very suspicious girl. Imagine me asking him what are his intentions. He tells me his name is David Samson (not his real name) and asks me if I’ve heard of him before. I haven’t been to church at all this year. And about twice last year. Things are bad, I tell you. My faith went with the wind at some point in my campus life.

We reach his house; all the while am looking around and seeing lots of people and kids playing around and I knew I had been mistaken if I had thought he had ill intentions. Now my thoughts shifted to his good intentions, what does he want?

The smell of fish hangs heavy in the air and he apologizes as I make myself comfortable in the dining/sitting room. His sister and another lady I assume is the house help are up and about, like shadows in the wall.

David Samson aka Lecturer 1 takes his sweet time getting to the point. Come to think of it, I still don’t know his point. He talks about his family, asks me about mine, talks about how the SDA group of students is mostly disciplined (at this point I wondered if I had a disciplinary case that had been forwarded to him, but I know I don’t and he doesn’t mention it.) He talks about the alumni, all the while am nodding and uh-huh-ing and coughing in the right places. He talks about opportunities to study abroad and scholarships and sponsors he could hook students up with. He says of course, this is in no way tied with whether you come to church or not, but I don’t believe him. Is he ‘blackmailing’ me back to church with the promise of a scholarship for my graduate studies? I wonder.

He asks me why I stopped coming to church and I say it’s because I go home during weekends and that is where I go to church and he wonders which church is more interesting, the one mixed with kids, the youth and the old, or the one made of just youth?

I drift in and out the monologue and think about how I will write this post. Finally, things seem to be coming to an end when he stands up to get cups. There are thermoses and flasks and jugs on the table and he picks one and pours me cold uji. It was either that or tea and I didn’t want soya tea; SDA’s are advised not to take tea or coffee, the caffeine you see. I sip as we talk some more and I wonder why me? I still don’t get it. His kids come home from school and it’s a beautiful family picture, they clearly love their dad. His wife also works here and she has the family car and will come later. Meanwhile, he asks me what I can do for the SDA group, since am leaving in December.

He says he knows I can prepare a good topic and deliver it well to the rest of the students. Inspire them, sort of. He asks me to choose a day, midweek service on Wednesday, Friday night vespers or Saturday, during the Sabbath. The Sabbath is a lot of responsibility so I pick Friday October the 29th to give my talk. Read to preach. He says he’ll be there and jots the date down in his notebook.

What’s this all about? I still don’t get it. He makes me promise to come for vespers every Friday night and to be attending church in campus on Saturdays, and if I must go home, then I could go after the Sabbath.
Finally, his wife walks in and she’s all genuine smiles and I evade a supper invitation but just for tonight. This Saturday after church, I’ll be their dinner guest. Seems like my weekend plans will have to change: go out on Friday evening, go home Saturday and back to campus on Sunday. Damn, the Harambee Stars vs Ugandan Cranes game is this Saturday. What to do, what to do?

I hate to disappoint the patron. At the end of the evening, he had given the cough remedy: garlic and lemons and ginger and all that concoction. He then drove me back to right outside my hostel with his kids accompanying us and said I’m welcome on Saturday.

I just don’t know how to deal with this. Religious fanatics are easy to dismiss, but a genuine Christian who acts like one?

Oh, and on the way back, the other accountant I had met told me to see him in his office tomorrow. I wonder what that is about.