I still do not do interviews, still don’t do small talk, and still don’t answer fans. But you my Readership are human, I know; you love you some symbols, your anniversaries and your Red Letter days. Let me indulge you. On this special Blog entry I reproduce excerpts from a conversation with my self appointed official biographer- N.M. This conversation was recorded on his cell- phone at a trendy westlands bar over cold TKs and varicoloured drinks with hyphenated names. (When Yuppies get paid, lower life forms get splashed!)
(This might be difficult to read...i notice...need to get this background and things sorted...)
NM: Still don’t do interviews?
Potash: Why, so they can ask me if I have a girlfriend? If that what their readership wants, I am bigger than….
Q: Easy kid, I didn’t mean Sunday Trash…
A: Ah! The Nation maybe, Standard, Time magazine… that kind of rag you mean? Mainstream dailies and all…?
Q: You can Say that…what if they did?
A: Sure woulda, long as they stick to the issues.
Q: What’s Beef?
A: Nah, I mean my Agenda, things that matter to me in the here and now,
Q: (Leering) Your next beer?
A: Kwenda huko… I am talking about my people, my issues. Urban kids trying to get by.
Unemployment, drugs, disillusionment… you jua? What we regular folks are about.
The kid of stuff, you know, stuff that doesn’t sell mainstream papers and glossies.
Q: Like why would I want to read about your apathy? Give me politics. Personal Finance. Damn it, I am Yuppie, I buy newspapers to read success stories not how yet another loser missed his dinner.
A: Strong words there; but you mirror my point exactly. The pertinent question though is:
Why would you want to read about the significant majority? About that demographic
group whose circumstances and their consequences have le you behind a high brick
wall while all you wanted was a picket fence?
Q: Blood hounds and criminals you mean? *@#$ jacked me last week… thank God for (a
certain security/ surveillance firm)…
A: I do not mean criminals, in isolation but the co-relation between social disability and
criminal behaviour, particularly violent crime.!
Q: Oh @*&%... they broke and they think I owe them some ‘coz I am a young,
hardworking… is bilas
A: I am not talking individuals here. I am talking about circumstances. Kibera is more
dangerous than Kileleshwa. The poor are robbing the poor, so quit your me- me-
NM: Victim mentality… Puhliiz.
(Exeunt to empty expensive liquor down a marble rimmed drain.)
NM: So, who is Potash?
A: A regular mid- twenties Kenyan guy trying to afford his next beer.
NM: You have been in your mid- twenties too long.
A: Really? Sitting on the Stone Zone, you only see time/ life pass you by through
glazed eyes. You never age, just fade away.
Q: How long you been sitting there?
A: When did we leave High School…? @#$% it’s been what? Ten years! Dude I need a life. Really, I do. I must buy me one soon as I can afford it.
Q: Same Crowd?
A: Well place is in total flux. You see there is kids sitting there for all manner of reasons, seasons. Some are just passing by: in between jobs/ schools. Others just want adventure. Then there are those like me who came, saw and got conquered. We are the ‘hoods sages doling out street wisdom. We are mendicants, keeping the faith in return for cans of Napshizzle.
Q: What is your underlying philosophy?
A: In Napshizzle I trust
A: Twice weekly. The callused hands prove it.
Q: so much for safe sex….
A: There is no such thing as safe sex. Sex is a spiritual experience. Is there such a thing as a safe soul? A safe mind? Safety is for mechanical processes like the Vaginal Masturbation that is transactional sex.
A: What about it? God is the unknown science, the unmapped gene. That which we do not know is God. God is an elusive quality; an indefinite quantity. An entity that would soon be running to the unemployment bureau if we found it. If God moved within the reaches of our minds, the realm of our comprehension, we would of necessity have to find It a replacement. It is human nature to worship only that which is beyond our understanding.
Q: Il Deuce?
A: God’s Alter ego. A mask God wears when Its E fails to equal MC2 and the tsunamis come rushing in.
Q: Are you an atheist?
A: Define that word.
Q: Okay, are you a skeptic?
A: In relation to skepticism as a Philosophical School of Thought, yes I am. I admire,
particularly Rene Descartes and his arrival, through Skepticism, at the premise Cogito
Ergo Sum- I think therefore I am. You cannot reduce that argument further unless in
In terms of skepticism, applied to the question of God, I say I am an Optimist. I am
optimistic that God’s crowd will be in the goodness of time be proved wrong.
NM: Like hell, Hell ain’t big enough for some egos…
(This last statement appears directed at a picturesque bust. Potash guzzles the blue
drink and shouts at the bartender to pour him the green one… emerald, amethyst…
whatever. It is on the Yuppies tab, silly.)
A: As Milo would say, me I love Nairobi, regardless.
Q: For 1 Metre, would you sell your Kenyan Passport?
A: How can I sell what I do not have?
Q: Let’s say you had it…
A: Of course I would; for one metre I could start a passport selling business…
Q: You are taking this literally…
A: Ah… you meant selling my Nationality? A passport is just paper. But I fly the Kenyan
flag in my heart. Kenya is my country and Justice (whenever the price is right at
Kilimani PD) is still my Shield and Defender.
A: Unlike my grandfather, I chose to speak to the Imperialist in his own language. My
ancestor chose to voice his anger with a homemade gun and machetes while others
were busy shinning Johnnie boots and screaming “ Don’t we all know who time
proved to be what Keguro terms ‘Colonial Inheritors.’
A: No one speaks Swahili in Nairobi apart from Mezungu…”Jembo Bana, Hekuna
Matiti…!” Oh, and maybe Swaleh Mdoe.
A: Mimi ni boi wa mtaa…. Kiasi! Admittedly, I learnt Sheng from those small books
they used to sell on the street in tao. Sheng gives me street credibility.
A: Wasn’t my first language, but I had to learn it or die. Really. I practice everyday. Love
their music... you know John Dematthew, Kamande Kio… it is one of my ways of
learning the language. I speak it at least 80 % of the time. Besides it is an important
language for hustling in Nairobi.
A: I coined the term. Wouldn’t have clueless scholars finally ‘discovering’ it and calling
it Kenglish or such other atrocious epithets. I can conjugate mixie verbs better that a
westie blonde: Walapa, Walapanga, walapalungu! But I still don’t understand why
they pay so much in their British System Schools to end up sounding like illiterate
Negroes in North American ghettos. “…is of how?”
Q: Why do you write?
Q: Are you talented?
A: Talent as an inherent quality? Yes, I have that. But I haven’t nurtured it. Notably,
though, when I get online I feel as though I am a dabbler so I rush to Mutua’s Kiosk
and grab the mainstream pullouts. Such a Travesty of Literature they are they make
me feel a part some Great Literary Canon. Their writings are of what M refers to as:
“I woke up and brushed my teeth...” variety. Stuff written by kids who think Literature
is a High School subject and the last book they read was a set book. If Taban still
thinks East Africa a literary desert, then we know who he has been reading….
Q: Great Irony…
A: If every kid that makes it in Kenya is either doing drugs or a Devil Worshipper, how
comes I am still in the ‘hood?
Me I love KBW, regardless.