Kids, for the better part of 2014 and the beginning of 2015 I was a kleptomaniac. Nothing fancy like Bonnie and Clyde. I was a shameless petty thief. My sticky fingers were attracted to chargers, earphones, USB cables and any other wire necessary for the 21st Century life. Not that I didn't have any of my own, believe it or not, I was doing it for my friends. When my dad died I felt like I needed to protect the people around me and their belongings. As an impulse I started collecting people's cables subconsciously to protect them from thiefs. I know it sounds really ironic now but I was doing it out of concern. This was until I had millions of earphones on my bed which I never used because the Luhya in me likes music banging loud from a speaker not whispering selfishly into eardrums. I also started realising that people I hang out with were complaining about their property.

I'm not about that life anymore. These days I only 'borrow' UP magazine copies. I stole this month's issue during an art exhibition at Kuona Trust. That's also how I treated myself to the December issue from my sister's stuff. That issue was about how Blankets and Wine is the best place in Nairobi to meet men and Kuona the best place to meet women.I could have given you my copy but if you're reading this it's too late. I already used it to light a jiko. No need letting it hang around my room till my sister finds out about it. Burn the evidence!

It's a habit I'm trying to quit. It's wrong to look at people's things and think you can have them for yourself just because you have the power to do so. That's how land grabbers and thiefs operate. They snatch people's things with the confidence that no one will fight back. I am well aware of this no- fighting-back game. My tiny body cannot allow me to fight back unless I'm tired of life and I decide I want to meet my Maker asap. I'm too small to even show that I'm not happy with a decision that's been made. Someone can just take me by one hand and throw me into a ditch never to be remembered. Therefore I understand the helplessness of not being able to defend yourself.

I'm reading Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt. The first part of this book shows how difficult their childhood was, languishing in poverty and sadness. I have to admit that my first mental picture was of African kids because it's not everyday you hear about hunger in America. It was quite frustrating reading of how Frankie's three siblings died of sicknesses which had cures and his drunk father whose pride could not let him beg or do certain jobs. So the kids are living from hand to mouth waiting for their dad to get some money from the government hoping he won't spend it all on booze.

Offcourse the theme changes when Frankie grows older but it felt like his early years were a series of "serikali nisaidie." They mainly depended on the state, family members or the church.

I don't want to live like that. I don't like seeing people who live like that. It's a hopeless life when someone does nothing else with their existence than take take take.

Be about something, kids. No need,living a life where the only entertainment you can afford is sex. Contribute to the society you live in. Maybe you could discover something new. One needs to live without being a victim of circumstances.


A concentration camp of girls where religious fanatism, heightened dryspells and the usual struggles of teenagehood were a must-find. That was high school for you. I went to Moi Girls School Nairobi also known as Quabbz. We found some crazy traditions and names and we did our best to preserve them although most are now non-existant. I have here a sneak peek of those words.

1. Mapenzi Gardens
Maybe there were teachers or students or a teacher and a student who used to have romantic dates there. I was probably writing wahenga na wahenguzi inshas when the garden was named. I can remember, however, a call booth (payphone? Whatever they were called) with a timetable showing the class that could use the phone on a particular day. Ours was Wednesday afternoon and I'll never forget how Quinter used to run after preps to call home only to find a Form Four student using the phone. Fourth formers never followed any timetable. They'd just walk up, call their boyfriends and hand over to their classmates who would take another three hours talking to God knows who. Miserable Form ones would miss supper waiting for their turn. When the booth was removed, Mapenzi Gardens became a parking space for Mrs. Mwai's cars. A secondary school teacher with a Freelander 2, a Navara,a mini-morris and the rest. Eighth wonder of the world.

2. Agugu lessons
They used to happen at the Shrine (Chemistry lab 6) hosted by Mr. A. A. Not Alcoholics Anonymous but Andrew Agolla, the master. If you're lucky he would tell you about how he was in the CID using a bicycle to chase bad guys who were speeding away in a Mercedes. He believed that every time was Chemistry time. Whether you have just opened school, come from a funkie, come from an English lesson or having an English lesson, everytime is Chemistry time. His life is the true meaning of dedication and although I dozed off during most of his lessons, I was sure I'd pass.

3. Fear Street
It's really annoying that we went through these things and when it was our turn some angel finally realised that the traditions were wrong. Smh. Karma is not a bitch after all. I repeat Karma is not a bitch. It is a government official sleeping on their job.

They named it Fear Street for the slow ones who needed to be reminded that they should not be seen on that side of the school. For the even slower ones there were bumps showing where a Form One could reach. If they ever crossed the bump to a senior class or even breathe the air that belongs to a senior student they would be shouted at and stuff like eggshells, banana peels and other nasty stuff would be thrown at them. It was a pretty embarassing scene. Until offcourse they decided that everyone was equal which is nice but they should have done that when I was a victim not when I was on the other side of Fear Street.

4. Kaudi
The best part of a Saturday evening. Heck, back in the day kaudi would come on public holidays or any night people decided they didn't want to read. It was a jam session where students would dance, scream, do anything to relieve stress. It happened before a movie when Form Ones were still carrying chairs to the hall. Once they're done 'pumping' they'd place their chairs on top of tables because it's difficult to see when you're at the back of the hall and the tables gave them a boost. They would 'pump' chairs back to their respective classes the next morning. As you can see being a Form One was a career.

5. Kurouge na kubomboch
Right now we are all sophisticated BCBG ladies doing exploits in whichever fields we find ourselves in but nothing could separate a Quabberian from her food, not even a fellow Quabberian. Kurouge was basically applying rugby skills to acquire basic commodities like evening tea or coffee, milk, avocadoes and crust -the first and last slices of bread. Offcourse there were civil ways like waiting in line and having a timetable but a hungry Quabberian is an angry Quabberian is a rugby Quabberian.

Kubomboch was enterring or leaving a place illegally using the back door or in most cases the back fence. So you don't have twenty bob for the Saturday movie? You can bomboch into the hall using a window. Did you sleep in and want to avoid a punishment from the matron? Bomboch from the hostels. Want to go for a gig at Carnivore Gardens? Just Bomboch as long as you bomboch back in before anyone notices.

6. Vampsugarlumps
No. No, this one will remain an inside joke. I don't want nightmares.