I developed a slight stammer when I was seven. It started one evening during drama club auditions. One Mr. Ogada had scripted a skit. Branded it “The Rib Cracker.” It was supposed to be performed during one of parents’ day evenings. I nagged him to let me audition. I really wanted a part. I’ve always wanted to entertain. But I stammered my way out of contention for the part, script in hand. I remember looking at him, and shaking my head, “Tichaaa, I can’t do it.”
Then it got worse. It grew on me like a pimple. It was annoying. Pesky. The worst part about stammering is the air that gets stuck around your vocal chords. You know it’s intended purpose is simply to carry words, to pass a message. You have the word in mind, but your body is too shy to say it, so you just choke. Choke. Choke. Choke. It doesn’t get easier after that, you’ll be forced to hit something (your knee) or slap the surface of a table or desk to kind of jumpstart your brain. I decided to shut up. And believe me, I really can shut it. I joined the Scouts club. Shutting up and taking right-turn and left-turn orders was better than choking on your own words in front of an audience. Then there came a time Ogada was running the wildlife club. I joined for a small fee. I’m not stupid- we have the most beautiful beasts.
“Take your time, the words aren’t going anywhere.” that’s the obvious parent trying to help me be “normal” again. Laughing at stammers was a thing back then. The obvious parent urged me to employ a slow pace while reading, while taking as many slow breathes as possible. And add that my mind was moving too fast every time I read. So I needed to slow down and read with a pace that my body could catch up with. The obvious parent might have been lying, but I believed in the remedy. So every time I’m about to read a sentence out loud, the words , “Slowly.” “Slowly.” echo within me. The movie, the King’s Speech confirms this.
Nowadays it’s hardly even noticeable. Most of you who know me must be shocked. The class clown? He used to stammer? I know, right? I can never seem to shut up sometimes. Surprise!
I’m also very shy. Not rude. I detest small talk. Rather be quiet than ask you how you find the weather today. Until there’s really something to talk or joke about, I will shut it. And wear earphones. Be in my own little world. Most people brand it anti-social, I call it giving myself space from the world. Sometimes the world gets noisy. Too much static. Too many questions… So I will find peace in a song like Imagine Me. There’s harmony in rhyme and rhythm, word play, spiteful chants. Because what’s life without a little melody? That’s why for the longest time, I’ve wanted to learn the guitar. Dad said boxing will ruin my head. The big one because of the many punches I might receive. The small one, because girls. Hehe. Nielewe. Sometimes mi ni akili mboga. #AkiliManagu. Also, the Bible says something about obedience. I’ve also challenged myself to write songs. Maybe a rap song in future. ‘Cause sometimes I want to feel gangsta. Hood. Like I have a tear drop tattoo. But hey, I still eat Weetabix for breakfast. Real thugs eat something else for breakfast. Hehe. I’ll also try to be an Ed Sheeran. He raps better than Drake, I’m told. Something about one of them being Dr…fake. Always needing a ghost writer. But here’s the thing, Drake is a brand. He’s no rap god. He’s a singing nig- 🎶 like Ed. Have you read my poem, The Fur King?
I’m just trying. There’s beauty in any attempt.
“We listen to these people (musicians) more than we do our lecturers.” This is not an opinion, it’s a fact, “bro” Kitur will dictates. It’s a truism. We wear earphones and press play because we find peace in well choreographed lyrics.In beats with the funk. This post is about music. It’s hard to explain how music makes me feel. Music is one word. Peace. Sadly, I don’t have luck with earphones. I once asked Mac Muga where I could get the best (read most durable) earphones. I call him that because he is a really cool guy. Hilarious too. He invented Palm-ela. The biggest inside joke I know. Also the kind of guy who would press pause in the middle of narrating a story and wear a jacket just to explain to you how cold his day was… Okay, back to earphones. You know those earphones with a life span of more than two weeks. Earphones that will take you for you. That will get into a long term relationship with you. E-baes. Ear baes.
“Where do I get those? A very good pair.” I inquire.
(I’ll let you in on this later)
Remember when I said I’ll talk about my playlist? It’s taken time. Because there’s too much to talk about. I’m going to be biased and I won’t even be sorry. See, each week I try to have a new list of songs. I call it “in my zone” music. It’s mostly just fifteen to 20 songs that get me through every week. I sample that stuff, I listen to everything. The list includes a couple of throwbacks. A new release like the Drake and French Montana “No Shopping” video. One song that’s very “offensive”- either dancehall, or Hip Hop, sometimes both. A Christian gospel song to remind me that I’m just but a creation and that I’m alive to serve a living God. A local jam (these ones impress me minimally). Songs of nowadays lack the word play of kina Nyashinski. I’m sure I’m not the only one who shares this opinion.
“ring kwenye belly, na smile ya Halle Berry 🎶”
I’m not asking them to be deep. But we don’t have such word play any more. So I’m picky. I stopped listening.Kind of. Same way I stopped listening to someone like Soulja Boy. Not my fault. But I stumbled upon All We Wanted on YouTube by sijui Sydney, ladies, you will love it. It’s #noMediocre. Fellas, you should YouTube Uneek. Sound Cloud him. I’ve never met Uneek, but my friend Ilya Bryant believes in him-won’t stop sharing. I listened to some kwaito/ Mzansi too. I’m creating an Afro-House playlist for Kitur. Mi ndo msee wake wa African House. It inspired me to want to play with sounds and maybe come up with something Kenyan. Something that will unleash your inner Maasai. We’re all jumpers.
I don’t stay in one genre for too long, so that’s why my playlist is sort of diverse. And there are jams I just don’t want to download. Because once I’ve created my playlist, I know I’ll repeat some stuff then get bored fast. Here are the songs I won’t download because I dont want to end up hating;
Bad Bitch– French Montana, Jeremih. – You tell me you like Future? French Montana always has some fine mummies in all his videos- he stays WINNING.
Inabidi Nimsifu– Kriss eh baba. You’re awesome!
In Common– Alicia Keys- she doesn’t release much nowadays, does she? So I’ll take my time. Her voice is elevating.
Freak of the week– Jeremih . Don’t ask.
21 Questions – 50 Cent. It highlights for you the corny side of us gangstas. Doesn’t it, Curtis? It’s all about having a good girl by your side. I can’t wait!
Ain’t yo mama -J-Lo. This song just makes me laugh. Almost as if Jenny from the block has been reading Chimamanda. This song will give girlfriends that “Mimi si mama ya mtu” attitude. Eh, wacha tu.
Harambe– Rita Marley. You know that one song that fully convinced you to embrace reggae?
Besha Shigana– King Kaka earns my full respect with this one. These are his footprints on the moon, and he’s not done yet I hear. I’ll take my time with this one, just like he did.
[THE LIST WILL GET LONGER, I’LL HAVE TO SADLY TURN THIS INTO A PLAYLIST SOMEDAY]
Notice I’m still consistent though? It still has a throwback, a song about serving God (Kris plays with words). Whether the rest are offensive, that’s up to you. This is my blog.
It’s about to get tricky now. Will I offend anyone if I tell them that I’ve only been a fan of reggae for like a month and a half? Snoop Dogg won’t get to read this about me. I never knew I’d come to love it this much. High school was all about dancehall– Gulley Creeper, Bend Over, Jim Screechy, Gyal Yu ah mad mi, Clarks. Bubble Gum Riddim became my favourite. But now Vybz Kartel chucks a jam like Training Wheels and it appeals to me on a whole new level. My favorite radio station gives me tea-spoonful dozes of Jamaica. I’m like a baby being given reggae “cough syrup”. Cold cap. Well, I admit, sometimes reggae comes with a lot of cough-cough. #JustSaying.
During my unending search for the right earphones, I decided to get back to listening to radio. I got tired of listening to people talk about how their husbands don’t wash their boxers. Eti “Kuna wale wanaume huwa na boxer tano na wanasurvive, wengine wana nyingi na hawazifui.” Classic stories-no doubt, but I’m not at that stage yet. I’m 21. Other stations will kiss your ears in the same old style, play one song for the whole day-again, not my thing, so I just quit radio. I spent time playing with words, shuffling them a bit. Shuffling gives me cheap thrills.
Safi, Shaffie? Salamu tu. 🙋
#ShuffleSafiShaffie. Tongue twister?
Now, for this week’s playlist. I had a little help from my favourite radio station, and YouTube, and my friends and Shaman. These last few weeks have felt like I’ve been collecting Pokemon.
Here’s my playlist.
Don’t Come Back – Tarrus Riley. Remember Kabora? My friend, the photographer. (if this is the first piece of mine you’re reading, sorry) You might get confused, by I’m saying It’s his fault I have this song. Hii utaipenda, Davie. And I do, it’s about moving on. I can relate. There are people we’re better off without. They don’t even deserve another sentence.
Wobble – Lethal Bizzle goes without saying. His verses will sting you. He should have gone by Bee-zle. Verses that form an Arsenal. He’s so good, he says something about being Arsene Wenger and some girl being his new signing. Arsenal also don’t deserve another sentence. Forgive me #DabNation. #DabUniversity
LOOK AT MY DAB, BITCH DAB- Migos. August comes in with a King’s tide. The Dab King’s tide. He’s back. Our number 6. Adds a little oomph to our trophy contention. Zuckerberg, hurry up with that emoji! All that dabbing, I can’t wait! I can’t get enough of Lingard’s goal too. Zlatan was all over Wes Morgan with that half-chance of his. It’s Zlatan O’clock. I won’t shut up-that’d be a sin. Ladies, tolerate me. I relived the goals on 6tag this morning- till Safaricom reminded me to top up. It’s fine, (at) least they call me “Dear”. I like how Eric Bailey kept asking Vardy to step down. Step up?
Leicester, last season’s champions, you say?
I’m here now.
Reliving the victory gave me a peaceful morning.
Purple Lamborghini – Because, Suicide Squad. I liked the video.
Imagine Me- Kirk Franklin. This song too. Have you ever just not wanted anything to do with a song? Because at the time it was released, your demons still controlled you. So you just ignore it. I wish I hadn’t put it on hold for so long, the lyrics here are such a blessing. Ask G-Money.
Bring It Out of Me– there are some girls who look so good, you just have to be a dog about it. Wanaume, sisi ni mbwa. Hapana fisi. Tongue out, tail wagging. Sometimes we’re all just “disgusting”. They bring it out of a man. I’m just a freak and I can’t help it 🎶 , Ty Dolla $ign confesses. This is a gudu one.
1 of 1 – Tyga. I’m just as surprised. I hated Tyga. As a musician. Respect him as a man. His girl is fly. But his career is like art. You will like part of it. Same way you might like my blog. The beats are no different from the likes of Controlla, I want to say that Tyga sings in this one, and that I kind of like it. It’s relatable.
Odd Ras/ Capture Land – I blame my “bro” Collins Mutiso for this. I want to say he sort of forced me to love it. But force isn’t the right word. He enticed. He told me, Chronnixx huongea na soul yangu. And trust me, we become who we listen to. And Mutiso is a much better guy. Doesn’t stop there. Chronnixx hufanya nisome Bible. Shit! Reggae? Then I tried it. Reggae is cold. It’s ice cream. I have coughed my way through many of these songs too- Stop that train by Clint Eastwood and some guy. Sorry. I’ll ask Bing. I’ve perused through Israel Vibrations, crammed who the vultures are, written short notes about that subject. I’ve re-visited the riddim chapter, Vybz Kartel’s philosophies are like Training Wheels. I’m listening to reggae like I’m doing last minute revision. I should hold up, slow down, step down 🎶 . As Beyoncé insists, while making Lemonade. Reggae is LIT.
I’ll try catch up.
Purple Lamborghini- Skrillex & Rick Ross…[and Jared Leto.] I liked the video. (Suicide Squad a.k.a a whole new level of “fact” up.) I don’t have high expectations about this movie. I just want to go watch my role models, my stars, shine. A vision of ecstasy 🎶 ,right Rihanna?
Of course I wont talk about all my songs. NO ONE LIKES READING.
Champions– Kanye West & Gucci Mane & Big Sean. Cc: Manchester United.
Duro by this guy Tekno
Shabba-Chris Brown feat. Wizkid
Azonto – Wizkid
Stressed Out– 21 Pilots – what was done ndio hio plane ya yule MP WAMALW… iland haraka? He pulled it off. Maybe it’s a lai. Funny huh?
What a lot of love. – Alaine just gives me peace.
DJ Ganyani– Flying high
Sorry, I couldn’t get a good better ending, I haven’t hit crescendo as a writer yet. Which is why I’m applying for the full time job at my favourite radio station. That’s my table. And that’s my chair. The Apple is mine too. #PICKMEHBR That place feels like home. It gives me peace. The video is coming.
[My next post will involve two presidents. A potential third. The Power puff girls. And a loo. A pissing train. And I’ll tell you about more about my favourite radio station.]