My father Cheche was an interesting human when sober but mean and condescending when he has had a little too much to drink. It was a norm for him to talk down on everyone in our homestead. My young siblings and I, feared our drank dad. Each time we could hear his staggering noisy self-making his way home, we could scamper quickly to our rooms in fear. My mother would however brave his wrath by soothing his ego with a submission that should be considered illegal this side of the savanna. We could occasionally wake up to our mother’s sore eye, sometimes a broken hand and on bad days, cuts all over the face. We were a small family united in sadness. On many occasions, we were a perfect reference to a bad family. Cheche my father never made any effort to change his ways. As a matter of fact, he found a way to take up new and uglier vices. If he was not drinking, he was busy gambling away our meagre earning.
If you had a father like mine, you will grow up with the fear of the unknown. Is gambling, violence against women and alcoholism hereditary? Thanks to Cheche’s broad reputation, I never had a chance to make friends or go sliding with my crush. I spent my early years not to be like my father. I dreaded the idea of being the spitting image of the man who bore me but failed miserably in his responsibilities. But society has a way of continuously nudging you about your past. Anytime I thought I had outgrown my roots successfully; someone would quickly point out that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. With time, I made a decision to avoid being in a relationship should my father’s habits trail me. That was until I met my enchantingly beautiful Umi.
We met in a rundown Swahili eatery years ago when I was still trying to put my life on a preferable perspective. As a naïve, innocent and green young man, I was out to explore what the city had in store for a village boy from Kachaga. I was keen on getting to know the city’s hidden treasures and maybe stumble across a fortune like our neighbor Mayani. Mayani is the richest man in our village. A decade ago, he made history when he landed in a brand new, sporty four by four that turned our village into a frenzy with its powerful engine. One time while at the village square, I heard a rumor that Mayani came to Nairobi, smiled facing the Ronald Ngala sculpture, and got handpicked for a government position without having a tall relative. I’m still looking for him to get the secrets of how he hacked a highly corruptible system. We will leave Mayani for another day, for now I will talk about the girl that stole my heart.
For most people, Sundays are a spiritual day. Folks would flock churches in twofold with their hopes and plans at hand. For me, Sunday was a perfect opportunity to gaze at the city’s towering scrapers, watch a movie and enjoy a laid-back day getting interrupted by my neighbor’s quarrelsome habits. This particular day, I was running an errand for my blooming hustle, ‘dial a drink’. After traversing Thika Road’s expanse delivering drinks to clients, I was deliciously fatigued and hungry. I went down to biashara street to take a quick bite before I head back to my humble abode. I quickly slid into a Swahili eatery and ordered a plate of biryani and Tamarind juice. Swahili cuisine has a way of calming your heart especially after a long day.
I was busy scanning my environment when my eyes settled on a blond-haired beauty seated at the left corner of the eatery. She had an allure of a goddess. Her Jet-black hair was curled into long silky waves that shaped her oval shaped face. On her neck settled a delicate gold pendant that flew down to enhance the round shape of her bosom. In that moment, I knew I wanted to get to know her. I was already toying with the idea of all the exotic things I wanted to do to her. All my senses were on alert as I walked towards her table. Truly she was a beauty to behold. She looked up to me and gave me a hearty smile. I was completely smitten.
It was like the universe wanted us to be together. Our energies rhymed in ways I have never known. 10 years down the line, we are blessed with two baby girls who are the hallmark of our love story. Even with a woman-beater for a dad, I rose past the limitations of a broken family to testify that you too can have anything you want. Are you completely tied down with the fear of the unknown? Admittingly, life is for the bold. Your past experiences and ineptness should not define the person you are today. Chase your dreams, pitch your prospective business idea, apply for a new job and call that girl/man for a coffee because memories are made of today!