You Are Allowed To Be Fake… Once

I can see how this movie starts; Wanjiku has a knife on my skinny throat. (We all know skinny people die faster than chubby ones. The damage is so swift.) Record scratch. Freeze frame. Zoom. “You’re probably wondering how I got here…”


Have you ever been in a situation where you know your friend is about to get dumped, but you cannot say a word because it will mean explaining HOW you got to know about it? And between explaining and saving your friendship, one has outstanding value to another. That news can be broken by anyone else, so you wouldn’t want to be the one doing someone else’s job, right? And as she rants to you about how he is “weirdly busy” and “acting funny” (which is relative. Someone may have been pretending all along and now “funny” is the end of pretending), all you can do is listen and make as many shocked and disturbed facial expressions as you can. You even do the “Gossip mode expressions” where you slap your thighs and say something like “Ati what?” to emphasize the “disturbance” you feel and how you are moved by her plight.


I am very petty. Even my own boyfriend knows I am petty. I will get mad that you slept without saying good night, get mad that you didn’t text good morning, even get mad that you slept without saying good night and woke up to give me a hearty good morning. No, boo. Apologize first, then we get on. I am rather spoilt, so I really don’t get it when people get dumped over being petty. Or maybe he just stomachs it because he knows I will auction all his belongings before he can even finish saying, “Qui, it’s over”. But despite all this, I know that Wanjikus are very irritable.

My friend, Wanjiku, or Ciku as we call her, is like all other Cikus. You will want to pan fry them and feed them to dogs. Wanjikus get men very easily. They have these warm smiles and are very seductive. But they are highly irritable. Wanjiku can set your house on fire and take a photo captioned #lit.


“He can’t be thinking of breaking up with me, right?” she asks, slicing up cucumbers.

At this point, I have two options- play along or change my destiny. So instead of saying he actually does want a breakup, I let out such a long sigh, you’d think I relate.

“Men are dogs” Muthoni, my best friend says before pinching me. She has these eyes that scream “innocent”. Even now! Yes, you and I know we will be dead the minute we say we KNOW she’s about to be curved. And like the squad philosopher I am, I chip in,

“Seriously girls, men aren’t dogs. A dog can’t make you cry unless it’s chasing you. A dog won’t leave you wondering if you’re good enough.”

“Yes,” Ciku waving that knife again. “But they are dogs, anyway.”

Muthoni picks up, “What happened, lakini? Why the conflict?” As if she didn’t know.


“Hee. Imagine he said he has a hard time being romantic with me because supposebly, I have long toes and he finds it hard not to notice them. So I told him he has a head that’s bigger that his body. He looks like a lollipop. Yeye akasema he can’t stand all these things. And worse, that I always say sijui supposebly. Like kwani how should someone say it?”

Supposebly. Supposedly. Sigh.

We are out of excuses. How can we let a friend with long toes, who says supposebly and cold slaw instead of supposedly and coleslaw she’s about to get dumped, without telling her HOW we know? And don’t ask how we found out. Priss.

Photos: Courtesy




In this new world of phones mambo yote, SOS messages come in handy. But let’s face it- they’re only useful when you have someone to send them to. Someone who will actually RESPOND to them; not just wonder why you’re sending them an SOS message as they go back to polishing their nails. Remember those stories where people lie to their spouses that they were with their best friends and when called, best friend is like, “When? I haven’t seen him in a week!”

“But he said he was with you?”

“He did? Oh, shoot! Haha. I forgot. We were together. I’m actually looking at him right now.”

“Thank you for lying, Tom. Mark is right here with me,”

Sigh. Tulikosea nani kweli?

About a year ago, I decided to “grab it by the balls” and “jump into the deep end” by doing something I had never thought of doing. I went on a blind date. I need not say it was one of the most stupid decisions I have ever made. And to this day, I get goose-pimples every time I remember that fateful cursed day.



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There I was, rushing to meet this seemingly wonderful man who wrote like his life depended on it. Oh, wait, his life does depend on it. He writes for a living. But, yes, you get the point. Someone whose words can turn your body chakras into flute holes? You know the kind, yes?

Bright and early, like it was some job interview. I am on my way to Rongai. Pause. From Embakasi to Rongai! Can you see the effort I even put to this?! And all along, I’m nervous and smiling. Oh, this is going to be so exciting. Seeing him for the first time, hearing his voice for the first time, oh dear heavens, shame on me! But still I went. Vroom vroom here I was alighting at some petrol station in that forbidden land.

I followed the directions sent to the hotel we would be meeting at, before heading to his writing studio (tuwache kudanganya priss). And as the “cautious” person life taught me to be, I text to ask where he’s seated, all the while standing by the door, ready to bolt if what I saw was not pleasing. Too late! Mr Hawk Eye Journalist had seen me! And was standing beside me like the wonderful gentleman he is.

I froze. Literally.

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First of all, he didn’t look ANYTHING like his photo. (I now understand why men complain), didn’t look like he had taken a shower either. He was shabbily dressed for a person meeting someone for the first time. (I don’t mean cheap clothes, that isn’t a problem. I mean you-was-cleaning-and-ran-out-of-soap-so-you-rushed-to-the-shop clothes). He has these chins that make you remember that rough Subaru vroom. And then he spoke… Saitan is real my friends. And he can play kalungu on your destiny with tins.

I don’t remember ever confessing my sins as I did that day. And as I sat and ordered a Coke soda, all I could say was “Jesus, thank you for the weather. Because I am in stockings and I cannot imagine showing my legs to this man.” I had been played. Ten minutes into a monologue of his past and present and future, I took my phone.

To: Gff J

Message: Save me. Now. Code Red.

To: Sam J

Message: Save Me. Now. Code Red. Date going bad.

I have amazing friends. My Gff, Diana, called! Apparently, our “friend” was in an emergency and “needed our help ASAP”. I even adjusted my phone volume to maximum so my amazing date could listen in. (Let’s just say Sam called too. But instead of “saving me”, he called to laugh. SMH. Men.)


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And with the little dignity I had left, I stood to leave, apologizing for cutting our date short in such an uncouth manner. Life couldn’t even have chosen a different day, bla bla.

And as a matatu came, he turned to me, “I believe I will be seeing you soon.”

Beliefs are sometimes on steroids, my man. Blind date ni gari za wapi tena?