Fleur Rebelle

By Anthony Nabiliki                                                                  December     2012

When you meet someone whose eyes seemingly pierce through your vitals, you get this sort of unwitting urge to brace yourself; while at the same time be at your best. Then they go ahead and surprise you with rare warmth that they throw at your face unsparingly. Those are the Hudda Monroes; the type of people that are seldom understood, the ones that take delivery of the same measure of love as they do hatred, the type that don’t cower at telling it as it is, the type that are in every sense of the word… Fierce.

Hudda tames controversy with the same doggedness that Joy Adamson had when she was taming Elsa. The hottie just sparked out of the blue right into the celebrated social circles and now she seems to roll easy out of everyone’s tongue. Hudda this! Hudda that! Some think of her as the new hottest body on the block, some think she’s overrated only thanks to lust driven minds, some love to think of her as the present-day “Sweet Connie Hamzy. But that’s them… because Hudda thinks of herself as Sexy, Bold, Bossy and Classy. She asserts this with a smile that sits somewhere between blunt bitch and pretty-girl-next-door.

For someone who harbors ambition to one day own a clothing and shoeline, Hudda’s style is explicitly refined. In a simple trance she can swing from wild and sassy to flamingly sexy to whatever else category. I guess that’s one of the things that make her special. During this chat she rocks a pair of orange wedge-heeled shoes nicely complimented by the luminous green colorblock nail polish that covers her peeping toes. Her hair is folded in a neat round pile at the back of her head, almost holy. Tatted just below her collar bone in neat Edwardian Script are the words Fleur Rebelle; two French words that are a precise description of Hudda’s element. Also inked on her arm are flowing stars, maybe a mystical representation of her navigating flawlessly through life, or maybe not. A tight enough, short black dress does well to accentuate her arcs and curls. She wears a tasteful timepiece that I am almost tempted to yank off her wrist and scrub for authenticity.

So what’s the fascination with this model, socialite, video vixen, and entrepreneur? Well for starters, she dares serve eye-candy every so often, and with reckless abandon. So naturally, our first question to The Boss Lady goes something like this.

Whats up with those photos?

“What photos?” she, again, throws those prickly eyes at TKB and quickly shifts them to her BB probably to sneak in a quick tweet.

“Naked twitpics of you, making rounds in the social media,” TKB persists.

“Well, what about them?” Hudda responds, not fretting for a second.

“Impressive,” I think to myself.

“Did you put up those photos?” TKB asks.

“Well you’ll be surprised that some of the stuff put up on my page isn’t even done by me.” She tries to steer away from the line of conversation.

“So did someone go behind your back? And post the photos?” TKB persists.

“Okay, I posed for those photos, and they are now in the public eye. So whatever reaction from that doesn’t really bother me… in any case publicity either good or bad is still publicity, and I thrive in bad publicity,” the Boss Lady retorts.

In the virtual and ‘fast-paced’ world of twitter, Hudda is your typical Spammer Hammer. Her twits vary widely from downright notorious, to sexy, to eerie, to soft, and once in a while to a scathing attack or reaction to someone or something. Hudda’s recent tweef with Marya over her song ‘Sishiki Simu went something like this.

@HUDDAHMONROE @maryaogopadjs truth is I didn’t abuse u. I just wondered aloud why you’d sit down and write a song like ‘Sishiki Simu.’ My thoughts.”

@HUDDAHMONROE When I dissed Maryas song, I was all alone. Why is the whole of Ogopa Deejays on my d**k?”

@HUDDAHMONROE I’m tired of shooting the s**t, my opinion still remains. Marya has no musical talent. #HakunaKituUtafanya”

@HUDDAHMONROE If I dissed Wahu, STL, Amani and many others with talent, I’d be committing twitter suicide but a fat brown skin woman with no talent. C’MON!”

And naturally, she got back an equal measure of venom.

@WorldStarBosset @maryaogopadjs Hun, you have fans all the way in Australia so don’t let this chik who sucks d**k to get a meal bring you down”

@shiladiva At least I know what @maryaogopadjs does and I respect that!!!….what does @huddahmonroe do? And why doesn’t she respect Marya’s art?”

Not so long back, Hudda had the local gossip platforms thrown in a melee of sorts with word that she banged Senegalese/American R&B and hip hop sensation Akon. Well, did she jump his bones? According to Hudda, that whole tale was fabricated by the media for whatever reason. She admits having had dinner with the star and his entourage but says the rest of the story was a blatant hoax.

Hudda does not readily let us into her past. She is of Somali origin, but has been to the war-torn country only once and that was way back before the guns started talking. She is a trained computer programmer and claims not to recall the specific names and locations of his primary and high schools hmmm.

Hudda dates women. She loves getting paid and hustles hard for hers’. She prefers that your perception of her or feelings towards her, either loathe or love, remain as is. Did we mention that Hudda dates women…? Yes Hudda dates women. She insists that she is not and has never been a professional groupie. As she puts it, she hangs out with myriad local and international stars because she is a boss like that. She shops anywhere from upscale stores such as Angelos, Mr Price and Alcott Kenya to Toy Market or the exhibition stalls along Moi Avenue.

Hudda’s vision is to build a business empire sooner rather than later. She looks at herself as a future real estate mogul and also own her own shoe-line. She looks driven enough to trample upon anyone who dares stand on her way. So steer clear.

Hudda is fierce and a boss. The one and only Rebel Flower.

Hate!

By Anthony Nabiliki

Is it even an emotion? this thing hate? Is it a feeling? Or is it an obsessive state where the heart becomes a dark silent place, where nothing else can survive because hate showed up unannounced one morning and nibbled them up one by one. Hate in an ugly ski mask just raided the damn place and now occupies the little pockets where joy, happiness and the other cute little emotions used to call home. Hate is a horrible thing, but I must admit it’s also inimitably delicious.

Have you ever felt hate? Not the type you feel for poorly done pork chops or Monday mornings. The type of hate you feel for someone; that everytime you look at them your heart sneers and looks the other way. Because every part of you knows they are not worth a glance. The type of hate that would make you feel extremely happy feeding someone to an alligator; patting the reptile’s head while whispering in satanic glee “good boy, eat up… good boy.” I am talking about the type of hate that is tangible, the one that speaks with a bloodcurdling gruff. The type of hate that made Adam’s kid from the Bible become a pioneer of sorts.

I felt that hate in gigantic portions. It ate my insides and made me a drunk. But I loved that feeling, so I fed the hate with dangerous rations of disgust and fake smiles. Hate being the unjust fuck that it was, enjoyed a cosmic presence in my heart and toyed with me industriously.

That was then. I realized that nobody had the power to make me feel that way. Then after a while, maybe out of luck or just too much ennui, a speck of normalcy winked at me saucily from a distance. I saw that as a cue, that maybe hate and I might part ways. Instinctively I loosened grip on the symbiotic relationship we’d come to create; hate and I. Once in a while hate and I would conjure raw incurable anger when the mood took us. Albeit the soreness this had given me, I still relished the battered outcomes.

I decided to take hate head-on; so I said fuck it and went cold turkey. Maybe tomorrow I just might be as happy as I was today. Today a calming song took residence in my heart, and I adored the pear-sweet taste in the air. I am happy, so I will keep smiling. Fuck you hate, I hate you. I’d rather love love, she smiles more often.

My People are Drunkards

By Anthony Nabiliki

He does his best to smile at me, but his burst upper lip and puffy eyes make it look like a creepy scene from World War Z. He is a gentleman, so he struggles up, stretches his arm forth, and takes a third attempt at the smile. “I greet you Tony… our main man from the city.” The English is impeccable; but the same cannot be said about his blotchy skin and almost muddy palms. I disregard these and allow our hands to clasp. “I am well Uncle, how have you been?” He nods his head, slowly and cautiously, trying to pick out the cleanest words to express his elation.

“Everything is great Tony,” he says. “But I am not your Uncle, I am your cousin Baraza.” He states with a subtle hint of displeasure; the kind you would get from an MCA when you introduce them without the proper ‘Honorable’ salutation. Still holding my hand while his left arm shifted gestures like how a Hindu guru would do, he proceeds in raw Kibukusu to give the short version of our clan’s family tree. He hopes to make me understand how we are related. I nod in agreement and the handshake notches up to vice tight; and now I am just scared of catching Psoriasis or something.

“Ewe Bakoki wasee.” Bakoki is the Bukusu word you’d call your age-mates or the lads who got circumcised the same year as you. “Bakoki Oriena, Oriena, Olimlamu, Swa, Swa Mno, Mno Swa, Olimulamu” he emphasizes with a firm juddering only a MuLuhya can pull; that had long replaced the formal humble handshake. I think he’s trying hard to convince me of our brotherly bond. We exchange laughter. He is a high spirited fellow, full of life. But it felt uncomfortable speaking to him because a cow got drunk and died inside his mouth. His breath was putrid.

“Bro… give me twenty, so I can go sit down somewhere and thank the sun for this beautiful day.” He finally tells me. See, with twenty bob, Baraza will get a whole glass of purely double-distilled chang’aa. If he is lucky, and is at the right place at the right time, he might get the chang’aa hot and steaming. Thing is, I didn’t know this guy. I had never seen his ass before. I just thought it polite to call him Uncle since… well; he seemed old enough to be my uncle. If he’s my cousin then either mine or his mirror needed fixing. Baraza was fashionable though, in a bizarre way. He wore a cap on his head that had a very interesting color. Even the ‘fruitiest’ fashion stylist from Hollywood would have a problem describing this color in a single word. It was a mish-mash of hues. Maybe the Earth Rainbow and the Uranus Rainbow had one-too-many and both puked on his head. He wore a long sleeved shirt that was about five sizes bigger. Only one sleeve still stood in place, leaving a bear left arm that oddly enough… was well ripped.

Our conversation takes place outside his house. A tiny rondavel structure that sat right next to the main path. This was home for him, his two wives and nine kids. Yes nine kids. The eldest had just stridden in back from school with a scruffy, but clean blue cotton shirt and khaki shorts that had half of his buttocks bare. He was fourteen years old, in Standard Six.

“Nataka kuwa askari,” he whispers with a coy smile after I teasingly probe him about his future aspirations.

Baraza was the perfect example of what alcohol had done to the people in this village of ours called Butunde. Butunde and the lands beyond were a sight to behold. The scenic land in majestic greenery stretched a couple of kilometers from Mt Elgon and the Ugandan border on one side and the optimistic hints of civilization on the other. From Nairobi it will take you about seven hours on a shuttle to Bungoma, then about an hour and a half on another shuttle to this awesome village. Twilight is gorgeous in Butunde. The sunsets here would effortlessly put to shame the famed sundowners of the Mara.

My mind shifts back to where my eyes are and I catch myself staring at Baraza’s legs. He wore a pair of NorthStar runners. Do you remember those shoes from back in the day? The brown ones that were hardy enough, that a car would roll over your feet and you wouldn’t feel jack? Those ones. His pair was all sorts of bent, but not torn anywhere. He had a real bukusu nose too, that came with real bukusu nostrils. The ferocious ones that were made to suck-in oxygen. Have you ever wondered why the air was so crisp and fresh in Bungoma. Well there are quite a number of such noses that vaccum clean the air. “Although it would be a bad gamble to get stuck with this guy in an elevator.”

“Now that I am here, why don’t we go and enjoy a glass or two,” I tell Baraza. Immediately, he yells at the kids to bring him his walking cane and coat. I laugh… hard. Not at his quick reaction to my suggestion, but to how he shouts it out … dramatically with some sort of veiled conviction. Like the two of us were just about to embark on a mission. He reminded me of how some colonel shouted “LONG LIVE SACRED GERMANY” in the Nazi flick Valkyrie just before he got shot. (Go watch)

Butunde was home to liquor dens that would pass for Nollywood movie shrines… the ugly ones that had skulls and porcupine quills hanging precariously and manned by face painted guys with ugly red underwear. We walk about a kilometer from Baraza’s shack to his preferred chang’aa den. He points his walking stick and I see our destination ahead. A tiny hut stained by indelible marks of poverty. It was ironic that people came here to have a good time. Every so often a man, or woman, would emerge from the hut and saunter down the craggy road; hauling his, or her, drunken body the best way possible on a torturous journey home. Inside the little hut, about nine men sat in shocking decorum. I understood that there was an unwritten code of conduct while enjoying your drink. Some weird order was evident, while wise words and funny stories rent the air. I’m impressed. In no time, Baraza and I are part of the revelry.

The room was a bit too dark for comfort, and a tad eerie. With a little persuasion you would be convinced that the devil came here for smoking breaks. One large table took up 98% of the room. The rest of us shared the remaining 2% sitted on wooden stools while others sat on the dung smeared floor. Several chicken and 2 ducks also wrestled for part of the 2%. A paraffin lantern lit the room, that and the carefree smiles of my drunken kinsmen.

The plus side of this chang’aa dens is that these cats were mad hilarious; funnier than all the Def Jam Comedians put together. That is if you understood kibukusu. Otherwise the humor would just get lost in translation. One of the stories involved some guy called malikopo. Malikopo, I come to learn, is actually a bukusu word for gumboots. Since this guy wore gumboots every single day, every season from morning till evening, he was rightfully christened, Malikopo. So it happened that one day after a long afternoon of chang’aa, malikopo went home, ate and slept. In the dead of night this guy, slips off his bed and falls on the floor. He doesn’t wake up but rolls under the bed, still dead asleep. His wife doesn’t even flinch, and lets him continue with his sleep under the bed. A few hours later, the guy is startled by a cat, under the bed. He immediately reaches to his pocket, chucks his phone and calls his wife. He has no clue where he is; so with a soft voice, he implores the wife to come and pick him from a ditch about a kilometer from their house. He describes the place vividly and proceeds to say how unsafe it was, insisting on the urgency. The wife bursts out laughing.

Then there was a small scuffle between one guy called Pius and an older gentleman called Petro. After a little bit of argument, old Petro sat quietly in deep thought for about 5 minutes. He then stood up, picked up his walking stick, pointed it at Pius and said the most profound thing I’ve ever heard in my life.  “The mosquito that perches on the scrotum must be chased away with caution.” One or two others hummed in agreement as the old man made his exit.

I drunk the Butunde chang’aa with Baraza and company and honestly, I enjoyed every bit of it. The good news was that this shit was pure, not the embalming mortuary fluids people drunk in Nairobi. But still, the level of drinking was worrying. Very worrying. Drunkenness was so widespread here, teetotalers were frowned upon. At this place, even the leaves on trees get wasted; you could easily tell by the way they would sway defiantly in the midst of zero wind and an unforgiving sun.

MONA’S PAYBACK

By Anthony Nabiliki

On her feet, she wore a staid pair of ‘four storey buildings’. Red pointed ones with arched soles and a loud annoying click-cluck that announced her every step. All eyes in that boardroom were pasted on her, it was almost scary. Disdainful ones, lustful ones, loving ones, those beaming with revenge, my own pair that was stuck on her 2.5cm long skirt, and of course those of lawyer Michel Van Gödel, the only white lawyer in the country who still held enviable relevance in the bar. She gave no single attention to those eyes or the varying thoughts behind them. She just pulled a chair and sunk in it with the grace of the Queen Mother.  Friends called her Mona, foes knew her as the black widow.

The tension in the room was a dangling cloud; so dense that a real bukusu rainmaker would have had an easy day in office. Fifteen people, plus the good-old white lawyer were gathered here. It was exactly a week after the cremation of Dr Juma, the billionaire, 70-year-old philanthropist. His will was just about to be read.

About nine months before this day, Mona sat next to the late doctor during the Samaritarian annual awards gala dinner. He was the man of the moment. His charity work at the hospice was being feted. All the speakers during the event had heaps of saintly words to say about Juma.

“Our nation is blessed to have such a noble man as one of her heroes, and leading lights in the medical sector,” said the Prime Minister in his closing remarks.

“Dr Juma, you are not only a brilliant mind, but indeed the embodiment of integrity and good heartedness,” the Tanzanian speaker of the EAC assembly said.

They went on and on, you would think the doctor was one of those guys in heaven with white glistening gowns, halos and wings; and that later on in the evening  he would join his gang in humming melodious tunes and plucking on white harps. ‘Angel Juma’ was getting his rightfully earned accolade, Samaritarian Society Man of the Year Award. So when time came for the old man to receive his award, everybody rose to their feet in ovation and hearty clapping. On stage by his side was Mona. I found it beautiful and disturbing at the same time. Like a touching scene from beauty and the beast.

“I would like to thank you all for this honor. I must say… I’m humbled beyond words,” his acceptance speech commenced while the little dove statuette sat pretty on the podium.

He wasn’t much of a public speaker. A stark contrast to the larger than life personality he had single handedly built for himself. So in four minutes flat he had thanked everyone from God, his peers, his late mom, late wife, to the beautiful companion who stood next to him. Nobody seemed to care that the lady the old man referred to as life companion was 40 years his junior. They looked at it like he deserved her.

“He deserved every joyous moment life had the mercies to throw at him,” that seemed to be the common notion. What most people didn’t know, what everybody didn’t know…, was that their most revered doctor was the devil himself; Lucifer in a black bow-tie and a William Fioravanti suit. Immediately he was done with his speech, he fell on that stage with a dull thud. The following months had him sprawled on a hospital bed in vegetative state, with so many pipes on him you’d think the Kennedy Space Center was built on his face.

Juma had the libido of all the 300 angry Spartan soldiers put together. And to match, he was a heartless fuck. He had mildew and fungi in stink comfort where his heart used to be. Mona was the trophy wife. Her job was to always spread a smile across her face to make him look good. And always spread her legs whenever he wanted to make his Viagra ridden self feel good.

When Mrs Juma was found lying lifeless in their 5 bed-roomed palatial home in Runda, everybody would feel pity for the old man. Two heads-of-state would be among the elite who came flooding to condole with the family. As a matter of fact, the whole country would sympathize with Juma, praying that the Lord give him strength during this trying period. There was no need for an autopsy; the general conclusion was that her frail heart had gotten the best of her.

See that was total BS. She was sleeping peacefully when he came in, drunk like a boiled owl, and smothered her to death. With his wife lying dead on the bed, all Juma could do, was curve an ugly grin on his face and admire how fluffy the pillow was. He didn’t care. The wife had become a burden, and he personally dealt with his problems. Besides, she was gonna tell on him. That was about a decade back.

That wasn’t all. Word had it that when Dr Juma’s daughter overdosed on Heroine and Gin, she was carrying his baby. Juma told the whole world that she had succumbed to pneumonia and even went ahead to start a Pneumonia Foundation in her honor. But those who knew her knew the poor girl was so depressed that her heart must have shrunk at some point. Her name was Sera. When Sera turned twelve, her father would crawl into her room and touch her. He touched her a lot. He squeezed her tiny pointed boobs while promising her the world and asking her to be quiet. He would slowly slide his hands up her skirt and play with her. One day he asked her to put his thing in her mouth. She was scared at first, but as years went by, she started loving it. So much so that she looked forward to her father’s soft knock on her door every night. She then grew and realized how sickening it was, it then disgusted her… but Dr Juma wouldn’t stop.

So he raped her. Not once, not twice but repeatedly. When Sera told her mum what was going on, her mum slapped her across the face and prayed fervently trying to exorcise that demon tempting her to make her father look bad. Mrs Juma knew the truth though, but the doctor’s reputation was too huge to mess with. So she just hoped the situation would remedy itself naturally.

When Sera went off to college, it was somewhat of a huge reprieve for her. She got to stay away from her father. In that college, sitting on the outskirts of Kampala is where she met Mona. Mona and Sera became very close. She told Mona all the evil things her dad had done to her. Mona would hold her all night and Sera would cry on her chest as they smoked weed together. They developed a romantic relationship so deep and genuine Shakespeare would kill for a piece of it. They didn’t give a shit when people called them dikes. What mattered to them was that they had each other.

When Sera’s mum died, she became devastated. She turned to chocolates, the Bible and Mona for comfort. She still went further. She discovered nose candy… that’s Cocaine for those of you who don’t Google much. Her sweetheart Mona had relocated to Nairobi and had started working at the A&G Travel Group. Everywhere she went, Mona was easily the sexiest thing on heels.  Mona also had those lips… you know, the ones that Jason Kintz talks about in his book that had no title. The strawberry lips? She had long legs that white people go crazy about, but still had a real Ugandan ass where those legs hit stop. She had a unique mocca skin tone that made her look like a refined blend of Janet Jackson and Jlo. Her dad was an original Seychellois, so she had a sinfully beautiful exotic look. She also grew a vengeful heart when her best friend and lover messed herself to death. She knew who was responsible, and wanted them to suffer.

“Hallo Daktari…?” how are you today? Mona had said to Dr Juma when she first spoke to him; that was during Sera’s requiem mass.

“Hallo young lady, have we met before?” he adjusted his spectacles as his sexual instincts started to get purple.

“I am fine sir, I was Sera’s best friend while at Uni in Uganda; we were actually roommates for 3 years.”

“Is that so, it is my pleasure meeting you… aah?”

“Mona, my name is Mona,” she said stretching out her arm for the good doctor to shake.

“Mona, it is a pleasure meeting you. My little angel Sera didn’t have very many friends. It is so thoughtful of you to have come,” and instead of shaking Mona’s hand like a good old man would do, he kissed the back of her hand and winked at her.

Mona knew what she was looking for, so she wasted no time and dug in, “I have always admired you sir, and I not only respect you but regard you as an idol … you are a real man,” she said. “Here is my card, please contact me for anything, anything you need.” It didn’t take long before Dr Juma thought he had scored a ten with Mona. It also wasn’t long before he had made her his wife and was totally under her spell.

Those two got married for exactly two years, four months, six days and four hours before that day at the Samaritarian Awards. The day when Mona slipped some shit that was just as lethal as polonium-210 into the old man’s double shot of Jack Daniels. When he fainted at the gala awards dinner, that was it. He slipped into a weird comma where he was cognizant of everything going on around him, but had no strength to as much as blink. So Mona took that chance to remind him everyday of what he had done to Sera, and everyday that old man shed tears in his vegetative state.

So on this day inside Mr Michel Van Gödel’s boardroom, Mona sat calmly with grief and satisfaction having taken residence in her eyes. Others in the room were Juma’s four sisters, his three brothers, his aunt and her husband, two women that were laying claim on some stake because they were his ‘wives’, two children born out of wedlock, some KRA guy, Juma’s long  serving housegirl and of course yours truly. I was here because Mona and I had our own secret that would best remain underwraps… so she called me her brother

“I am not going to waste any time on this, because personally I would like to get over and done with this account once and for all ” says Michel. “The whole estate of Dr Juma has been accounted for in his will. There is no possibility of intestacy here,” he asserts as he stands up to show everybody present that the seal is still intact then proceeds to open it.

“90% of Dr Juma Mutilono Kano’s estate goes to Mrs Mona Mutilono and the remaining 10% goes to Ms Eva Kilewa,” that was Dr Juma’s long serving servant.

And just the same way she walked in, Mona rises and click clucks annoyingly out of the room. An hour later, Mona and I are relaxed at the Thorn Tree Restaurant.

“To my sweetheart Sera,” she says as she raises up her glass. “Keep smiling hun.”

RIDE OF MY LIFE

By Anthony Nabiliki

The Masai Mara 5am breeze pierces mercilessly in needle-like sensations, but the excitement that swims in us does its best to serve a few pockets of warmth. Before we hurdle into the waiting 4X4 Landcruisers, I quickly grab another cup of hot black coffee.

“Fifth cup Tony?” Jacquie whispers, not in caution but in a cleverly veiled tease. She too was in fruitless attempt trying to hide the fact that the cold had also gotten to her. She held her cup in a vice tight hold, with her eyes rolling around like pebbles in a jar. Jacquie and I together with about 15 other lifestyle and travel writers were in the Mara on a Fam Trip courtesy of a few exclusive luxury lodges that had recently set up shop on this magical and picturesque expanse.

This was our second morning here, and one that already bore the characteristics of an unforgettable day. As norm, the Masai Mara morning symphony played out in an eclectic mix of everything nature. Birds chirping, an occasional lion’s roar, thudding sounds from enthusiastic grazers, hyena’s blurting out their annoying hoot laughs, hippo grunting and trumpeting, wild dogs and jackals noising up squeaky barks… it is an interminable melodious touch that is offered free of charge. The most exciting part of this morning is the fact that in a few minutes, we will be soaring over the picturesque plains of the Mara, in a Hot Air Balloon. So together with the other lads and lasses in the group, we jump into the 4X4’s, brave the cold and tear through the plains.

The drive to the Balloon launch area is short and not as dramatic, but still as fascinating as what you would see on a sun-drenched day or still night in the Mara. What stood out was a ‘friendly’ brush with a lone elephant bull. He had strolled across the road in front of us like he was heading for a leisurely morning swim. He then turned his head towards us and settled his rather small, squinted brown eyes on us like he was trying to study our souls. The seasoned driver/guide knows better than sitting around to pick up the jumbo’s brain, so he speeds off, just in time. Other encounters include awkward stares from a gazillion wildebeest, a nuclear family of leopards, an endless list of birds, a seemingly clueless buffalo who stood for a cool ten minutes smuck in the middle of our path, and unforgettably, a pride of lioness with around 6 cubs, restful and enjoying the amazing topography of the Mara.

About half an hour later, we arrive at the ‘lift-off’ point and find the larger than life balloons (they call it envelope at this stage) stretched out on vast land, being inflated. It looks like a daunting task but the lads doing it don’t as much as break a sweat; they make the whole exercise look like some random cooking demo. Slowly the balloons take shape and in no time we stand like gnomes under their shadows. The captain gives up instructions on safety and then one by one, we ease into the attached baskets.

Nerves are quickly replaced by gallant spirit as the burner fires up a ferocious flame, leading to an ironically-calming yet surreal glide into the air. For a moment my breath comes too fast for me to use it. I can’t believe that we are silently, weightlessly, floating through the Masai Mara sky. The views are spectacular and unbelievable. The topography from this newly acquired bird’s eye view is awe-inspiring. What makes it more captivating is the fact that this is the season when the wildebeest in their countless numbers are here in search of pasture… it is simply indescribable how they flow-past below. We also float over the Mara River as it snakes through land giving life to this humongous wildlife habitat. For an hour and a half, we share laughter and chat while being one with the sky. The balloon glides to wherever the wind wishes, while being steered by pilot. Forests, hills, more and more wildlife, ‘rainbowed’ plains… all these and more swim underneath. The sun has since snuck into the scene and now shone through the hills in a beautiful orange glow. Our hot air balloon now cast a stark ‘moving’ shadow on the plains.

Landing is a bit of a bumpy affair, as the humongous vessel is slowly brought to a stop by the expert pilot. One by one, we step out of the basket and head straight to an elegantly laid table. We pop champagne and munch on other delicacies while watching the envelope being deflated. A happy smile dances on my lips as Jacquie and I toast to life… one item is canceled on my bucket-list.

THE THIRD PORTIA – CHRONICLES OF A GIGOLO 2

By Anthony Nabiliki

In Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice, she’s the one who gave weird casket options to a bunch of would be suitors. Another one with a similar name is the dike; the sexy blond one with brown eyes, the one who settled-on Ellen DeGeneres as the only lady that was man enough to jump her bones. Those were the only Portia’s I knew of. Until I met her; the Portia who made me cry and beg like a horse about to hit a glue factory.

All that sexual calisthenics Ms Njuki and I had put our bodies through had left me with an awful case of wear and tear. So when I arrived at my apartment some minutes after one in the morning, I took a very long shower, poured myself a triple of Richot Brandy, put some rocks in it and collapsed in a pile on the L-shaped leather settee that I often thought made my apartment look a bit too gay for comfort. I was extremely tired, so when sleep and brandy concurrently slunk into my system, my defenses had long set sail. I don’t know for how long I had been dead-to-the-world before my phone gave me one of those seemingly calculated rude awakenings. It must have rung for a while because it stopped just as I reached out to receive the call.

I looked at the number. It was a strange number. I looked at the time. It was exactly five minutes past four. “What kind of horny thing calls human beings at five in the morning?” I cursed. That was before the cute sound of coins rattled in my brain.

“What do I know, customer comes first,” I reassure my greed. So I call back. And the ‘horny thing’ picks up.

“Hallo,” dead silence from the other side.

“Hallo…” I almost shout. I am about to hang up when…

“Hallo am I speaking to Tony,” the voice is soft, almost saintly.

“Yes ma’am, this is Tony, and who are you, and why did you choose demon time to call me?” I was trying as hard as possible not to sound rude.

“Sorry, sounds like I woke you up.”

“No its fine you didn’t, I am actually the interim chairman of Nairobi insomniacs. It is my sworn duty not to go to sleep before daybreak,” she catches the hapless sarcasm in my tone and chooses to cut to the chase.

“Anyway… Mr. Chairman, I’ve heard a lot about you and I would like to partake of your services.”

“What services?”

“The services you offer women.”

“Sorry, I don’t know what you’re talking about. I repair machinery, but I don’t do house calls,” I am being wary at this point. Mickey, a colleague, recently got a similar call that nearly landed him in Kamiti. I wasn’t about to let a lady with an angelic voice drag me and my hardworking penis into jail.

“Janice told me about you, she said you are the best,” she insists, and actually manages to catch my attention.

I knew Janice well. She was a wealthy lady who was beautiful and frighteningly smart. She owned an AD agency that she had built up from nothingness. She regarded men as necessary tools in life just like a good carpenter would regard a claw hammer. She was a good client of mine.

“So what did Janice tell you about me?” I ask.

“She said you were a good therapist, and your methods were as pleasurable as they were gratifying,” that made me smile; I’d never viewed myself as a shrink with a good dick. “Let’s meet later in the day at Rosiles Ristorante; you know where that is, don’t you?”

“Sure I do,” I had no idea where or what Rosiles Ristorante was. “Let’s do an early evening.”

“See you then… Mr. Chairman, I’ll be in purple.”

Later in the day at around five in the evening, Keisha (my BMW) and I burrow through traffic along Waiyaki way. I had gone into town earlier to run a small errand that had not only ploughed in some three thousand bob, but had also left a saucy CEO a tad happier. I then take some inroads through Riverside Drive before reaching a gate that read in bold red, “Rosiles Ristorante – Nairobi’s Sicily”. I had googled the directions.

I walk into the restaurant. The décor is elaborate; the type that takes you right into the heart of Italy. A mix of white and black folk have taken up the dining area. An old white couple on one corner digging into pasta and some weird looking seafood delicacy; a young and sinfully-hot young lady snuggles against a white guy old enough to be her granddaddy’s daddy. Nothing poor here, the restaurant is every inch upmarket. But I don’t see anything in purple… I don’t see the ‘Horny Thing’. I order some mango juice and wait patiently.

And then… out of the blue, I see a young lady seated three tables away from me. There’s an outline of flawlessness on her, lady looks like a white feather about to give into the breeze, she is beautiful and she is in purple. But she looks sad… a bit too serious that you’d think she was here for a stately visit.

I walk over, stretch out my hand and introduce myself. “Hi, I am Tony, you must be…?”

“My name is Portia, and we need to be heading out,” she says as she shares a quick averse handshake.

“I wasn’t looking forward to dinner, but that was coarse at the very least; especially from a lady with so much elegance.” I thought.

We get into Keisha and Skedaddle southwards. Her apartment sits in the leafy Westlands’ Riverside area. A location just a stone’s throw from Rosiles, the Italian culinary melting pot. Not a single word is uttered in the car, just a daintily manicured finger pointing out directions.

A measly four minutes later we step into Portia’s apartment. Everything is exquisitely in place, especially the humongous plasma TV that sits imposingly off the wall. The only other place I’d seen a similar piece of gadgetry was at Nakumatt… and the price tag read 1.2 mil Kenyan Shillings. A massive aquarium that was a few inches from being a shark tank sits on one side. I stood in awe.

“I am very sorry we had to hurry out of the restaurant. But I was really uncomfortable sitting there, you wouldn’t understand,” as she said this, her hands were all over me like she was moulding me anew. In no time my hands were on her yoni… creating a circuit of passion with all the sensual precision I could master. We kiss passionately and at some point her heart throbs so hard it gives the subwoofer a run for its money.

We are both stark naked, the living room is littered with opulence and pieces of clothing… a tattered mess on the meticulously done furnishings. I pick her up and toss her on a bed in one of the rooms. We go at each other like we’ve had rehearsals for a whole year. I love the silence… the only interjections are sighs and OMG’s. I also love Portia’s rack, Pamela Anderson would too. I hold her tight as her back arches to meet me. I slowly slide myself into her warmth and our hips commence forceful thrusts against each other. We claw and bite, whisper and moan… “All in a day’s work,” I think to myself. The intensity builds and she lets out a howl of pleasure from deep down her bowels…

“Portia!!!” A man shouts from the living room. “Where the hell are you!?”

“Oh my God, oh My God… quick, hide, hide for goodness sake, hide,” a shaken Portia pleads. “When he finds you here we are both dead!”

“Deary, I don’t do closets, what, who is that?” I ask.

“Don’t f****g ask, just bloody hide!!” She shouts a whisper.

“Portia you whore!! Where are you? Come out here,” and with that two gunshots join the conversation, and I scuttle my naked self into the nearest closet.

I peep through some tiny crevice from the closet. The bedroom door is flung open. An older gentleman with a revolver steps in. With him are two men, both the size of adult buffaloes. Portia is kneeling on the floor, tears streaming down her cheeks as she struggles to cover her nudity with pure white linen.

“The whole house reeks of sex, who have you been humping you good for nothing whore,” the older guy shouts. He looks awfully familiar but I am unable to place his face. He slaps Portia across her face and proceeds to point the revolver on her head. I am seconds away from peeing on myself. One of the ‘man buffaloes’ approaches the closet as the other flips over the bed like it weighed 20 grams. I am shaken; I’ve never been this petrified in my life. I was about to die, I could feel it.

The ‘man buffalo’ reaps open the closet door and meets my face with the ugliest most cynical smile I have ever seen. “Here Sir, we have a lizard in the closet,” he yanks my naked ass out.

“Ah… so you are the one who’s being plucking my apples.., jump on the bed!” says the old dude.

“I’m so sorry sir I was actually here on strict business, I haven’t even been well acquainted to the madam here, I beg you please do not kill me,” as I beg for my life, I realize two things; I have actually let out a couple drops of urine, and that this old honcho is one of the faces littering the whole town on election posters. It’s him alright. The last time I checked he had a wife and five kids. I remember when he’d paraded his perfect family on TV so voters would recognize him as the ideal family man.

“Shut up… and you! (Pointing at Portia) jump into bed with him,” the two man buffaloes seem amused.

“Can you do what you were doing, before we came in,” I couldn’t believe this old perverted prick. “Quickly, we don’t have all night,” he brandishes the revolver on mine and Portia’s face.

And yes, driven by fear, my member rises up right in-front of my eyes. I proceed to lie over Portia’s spread legs. With my back facing three murderous men as I took one slow stroke after another, Portia was weeping hysterically while a prayer danced in my head.

The three continue taunting us for about an hour. Then the old guy shouts at me to get up and leave. “Don’t look back, run for your life, go, run,” I gather my scared self and bolt out of the door. I don’t care to pick up my clothes. I don’t give a second thought about Keisha as I sprint by her onto the dark road ahead. It must be around midnight; I don’t really care as I sprint earnestly along the road, butt naked. I don’t care what’s happening to the third Portia.

“I am not voting for that guy,” a monologue slips to mind. I manage a little chuckle; I am not dead after all. With no warning whatsoever, cats and dogs and flashes of light start falling from the sky. I run on, never looking back.

MS NJUKI – CHRONICLES OF A GIGOLO 1

By Anthony Nabiliki

A sardonic smile dances on her lips as she lets out a shriek of sorts, at the same time mumbling some of the nasty jibe she’d picked up from haughty.com. She was satisfied; I could always tell by the way she would coil into a heap next to me. Seconds into her huffing, she will pull out a Marlboro stick and light away. That would be the only thing illuminating the inky stillness in the room. Not her flowing white gown that lay ghostly on the floor, and not the imposing antique painting of the Virgin Mary that stared down from the wall.

“I have to go Sister June,” I would softly implore. “That will be 10k as usual.”

“You muff! Don’t call me Sister June, Call me Sandy.” She would retort as she reached for a clutch-bag that had the most eerie crimson shade I had ever seen.

I grab my cash and burst out of St Anthony’s convent like the past hour and a half never even happened. I hated Tuesdays.

There was nothing amorphous about my life; I am a gigolo, have been since ’02. My upbringing wasn’t saintly, but neither was it as callous. After high school, it dawned on me that God had thrown-in a couple more inches my way, enough to make my member vastly whispered about. And as word went round, glances and advances were hot in tow. Initially it was all for fun and ego-pampering, until the day Ms Njuki saw it fit to generously reward our frequent discreet rendezvous. I doubt if she had the slightest inkling, but the petite celebrated MILF had just freed Willy. A day or two later I remember typing out my resignation letter and literally inserting sixteen smileys after a plainly vulgar and boisterous prose. Who needed a drab marketer’s job when I could have clientele on speed dial eager to have me devour them?

Some young, some old, some slim, some fat, some with pretty faces that would shake the oval out of Barrack’s office and some who looked like weathered creeks; my ‘portfolio’ had become a global frat house of women who desired sexual fulfillment. Word of mouth was a beautiful platform.

At 30, I reckon I am doing extremely well for myself. My apartment sat neatly in the middle of Lavingtons’ silky environs. A neighborhood where Japanese-Spitz and Chihuahuas take evening strolls with their snooty owners. Where cabro-paved walkways stretch parallel to well tendered flowers and greenery. A neighborhood where the flowers would peep through picket fences and uncannily wave you hallo, while at the same time stare scornfully at those who didn’t belong. I had gotten accustomed to the scornful stares. I didn’t feel like I belonged here. I almost hated this place.

I miss Ofafa Maringo; a relatively ‘downtrodden’ side of town where everyone knew the next guy’s mother, father and kin. A place where mongrels take all-day strolls and gunshots will often bother the otherwise peaceful nights. This is the place where my mind glides to when nostalgia strikes. This is where I grew up, in the midst of simplistic happiness. But I had to escape from all that and try as hard as I could to create my own luck. Run away from the place I loved.

Once in while it dawns on me that as much as that lady Njuki ignited a new thing in me, I had followed that up to the fullest; to almost touch the epitome of my new-found career. I still remember a paragraph from an “instruction manual” of sorts that I’d read at the very beginning. Words I took to heart and use to inform my everyday activities.

“Allow these women to come to you. Do not chase them or give them any hint that you’re looking for them, or a woman of their type. Do not initiate a conversation. Make yourself available — play hard-to-get. Let the woman exercise her independence and feelings of making her own selection. This means that unless she’s really “turned on by the radiance of your personality,” or else quite desperate, she will not “pick you up” on this first meeting. But don’t despair — have patience and continue your display of intelligence, good manners and charm.”

It is not often that I look inside me trying to find emotion. The last time when hysterical moans nearly awoke my conscience was the very day Ms Njuki had involuntarily inducted me into this world of sex and money. So now as I ride Keisha (my sleek grey BMW) to Ms Njuki’s house, I try hard to muffle any traces of emotion. The only emotion I have grown to love is greed. Greed served me in tons of awesome ways; it is the catalyst that fanned my libido.

I park Keisha two blocks away from Ms Njuki’s house; she had a reputation she had to guard. The gate is open as usual, so I close it behind me and slink in, under the shade of the 9pm darkness. The man of the house and their twins are halfway across the world, swimming with dolphins in Hawaii.

In her red silk negligee, you could swear Njuki was 18. Nothing could betray her 47 years, nothing at all. She wears the room like a mean queen as she ‘seemingly glides’ upstairs, beckoning me to follow. She doesn’t speak a word. She lets her raw sex appeal speak for her, the intonations are fluent. She still has the same petite frame she had nine years back. Everything still exactly where it was, albeit enhanced to dazzle just a tad more. Her body toned and flexible. Her lips pouty and thick. This was going to be literally worth every penny. Moments later as her lithe body took me in whole, only the intense pleasure mattered. Pleasure that surged through her from head to toe. But all I could think about was the crisp clean touch of legal tender.

It had been a great ending to a great day. So I allowed myself to smile a little longer, right out to the street headed for home.