See me as you wish, and I’ll see myself for what I really am

A slender, dark-skinned, seemingly exhausted policemen stops our car somewhere along the Mombasa – Nairobi highway. He asks to see my driving license. I reach for my handbag, pull out my wallet, extract the document and hand it over to him. He flips it open, gives it a cursory glance and says, “I want you to give me your own licence.” Continue reading

Does running rhyme with writing?

The great outdoors isn’t what it’s cracked up to be. It’s chilly. It’s windy. It’s dark. I’ve been round a sharp bend, across the railway tracks, down one lonely road and up another. I’m fed up.

I remember the evenings I spent running in Kisumu, with the view of the sprawling hills of Kanyakwar in the distance and the warm evening breeze caressing my face. It used to be fun. Not anymore.

Today my lungs are aflame, my heart in overdrive. I stop in my tracks, retrace my steps and decide that writing is  a better use of my time.

Our family portrait is worth a thousand words

The grass always seems  greener on the other side of the septic tank. I envied the family that lived across the street; I believe the name was Jenkins. Their house was built in a strange style; it wasn’t like any we’d ever seen. They had brought the plans with them to Africa. My sister said the wife was English, but I could never tell just by looking. They were the first white people I’d seen in my life. Father went over once, to welcome them into our neighborhood. All we wanted to know when he came back was what their house looked like on the inside. He said they hadn’t invited him in and Mr. Jenkins was not a big talker anyway. Continue reading