Limbo

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Picture from Google

Picture from Google

*

It’s still

It’s quiet

There’s many things happening

But none of them to me

 *

It’s dark

It’s cloudy

There are many people here

But I’m all alone

 *

They step forward

They stretch their hands

They are trying to reach out

But they can’t reach my heart

 *

Their mouths move

I think they’re talking

They are trying

But they can’t speak to me

 *

I can’t be dead

I think I’m in limbo

I guess it will end

When my heart is healed

***

Mugethi Gitau

8th June 2013

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#DearLord (Holy Monologues Pt. 2)

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image from Google

image from Google

#DearLord How are you? I hope the task of managing all of us is not driving you crazy.

#DearLord I keep asking you for a sign. I suspect you keep sending me signs but I keep ignoring them.

#DearLord I hear Your voice. *whispers* Is my voice louder than yours? Why am I so conflicted?

#DearLord How about a really clear sign? Like a note, signed by you? Or even a tweet?

#DearLord  Am all for listening to my Spirit. But what if my Spirit says one thing today and another tomorrow? In that case did my Spirit change it’s mind? Why?

#DearLord I’m all for growth and stuff, but would you ensure that I DON’T lose my mind in the process?

#DearLord I hate being wrong. It’s not my fault, You made me like this.

#DearLord If you move me past one thing, you are taking me towards something better, right? Even if I can’t see it?

#DearLord Thank you. I love you. You rock! :-*

“The Lord moves, the earth is shaken”

Mugethi Gitau

5/06/2013

Maria Pt. 3: The Birth

Picture from Google

Picture from Google

“Joe are you kidding me right now? Really? Do you NOT see how pregnant I am? Talking about I walk to the City of David to be counted? Are you gonna hire us a camel? Just tell them to add “+1” and “Coming Soon” next to your name!”

“Maria…”

“For crying out loud Joseph. Is it because I’m having a boy and you wanted a girl?”

“Maria, you know we don’t have a choice in this matter. Please. Don’t make me feel worse than I already do.”

***

“Joe!” Maria breathed heavily as a severe contraction hit her. She had been getting them 2 hours now but this latest one was on a whole other level. Luckily, they had just been “counted” and were free to seek accommodation at the Bethlehem inn.

“My woman and I need a room, pronto!” an agitated Joseph said to the inn attendant.

The attendant took one look at Maria who had her hands on the counter and panicked.

“For tonight?” he asked, wide eyed.

“No, for next week. We are just practising room booking…. Yes tonight! You ignoramus!”

“Am sorry sir, but there is no room at the inn tonight”

Within a split second, Joseph who is tall and well built had reached over the counter and had the attendant’s feet dangling a good two feet off the ground.

“My. wife” he said through clenched teeth

“is. about. to. have. this. baby. get. us. a. room. ”

“Joe the poor man is terrified. Put him down.”

“Let’s go, Joe. Let’s find an alternative.”

“Where the hell are my relatives when I need them?” Joseph mumbled as he worriedly walked Maria out of the inn. At the door, another contraction hit Maria. “I have to have this baby NOW, Joe!”

Joseph commandeered her towards a barn he spotted that has a relatively soft spreading of hay and helped her lie down.

“Unpack that bag” Maria said in-between contractions that were now 1 minute apart. “Take out the lessos (wraps)  and cover me with one of them. Find the razor. Fill this bucket with water and come back with a clean bowl. ”

“Are you sure you’re in labor? You sound awfully normal.” Joseph asked as he unpacked.

“Joe,”

“Huh?”

“Come closer” Maria whispered.

Joseph moved closer to Maria, his head just above her big tummy.

“Cloooooser”, she whispered, gesticulating.

Joseph unsuspectingly moved his face above Maria’s face.

Within a split second Maria grabbed Joseph’s collar and pulled his face to within half an inch of hers.

“Joseph. Son. of. Jacob. don’t. ever. ask. a. woman. in. labor. if. she. is. sure. sheisinlabour!”

“I’m sorry honey.” Joseph the tender giant said, touching her face. “Foolish of me. It’s just that you’re being such a champ about it”

“Water!” she said through gritted teeth.

Joseph handed her a bowl of water.

“no. drinking. water.”

“Sorry. Am sorry.” He put a tumbler next to her mouth so she could sip.

The next contraction came and she clutched his wrist so hard he thought she was gonna dislocate it.

“You son of a gun! You did this to me!” She shouted at the crown of the contraction.

Joseph looked around the barn helplessly. His eyes connected with one of the two cows at the corner of the barn. He didn’t dare say what was on the tip of his tongue. He cast a quick accusatory glance heavenward.

“OK Joe, it is time.”

“Time to do what?” His eyes widened.

“Time to have this baby.”

“I thought that’s what we have been doing?”

She narrowed her eyes at him.

“I want you to go down there and catch the baby’s head when I push. Then run your finger around his neck to make sure the cord is not around it. OK? And be careful, there might be more than one.”

Joseph fainted.

“Joe? Joe? Oh for Chrissake!”

***

Joseph woke up to the enthusiastic cry of the boy child.

“What happened? Is he here?”

Maria cut her eyes at him “We shall deal with the fainting issue later.”

“In the meantime,” she broke into a huge smile. “Congratulations! You are the proud father of a bouncing baby boy!”

“Oh Maria! I have never loved you more, or been prouder of you”

“Come and hold your son” she extended the child towards him.

“Now hand me my toilet bag. For some reason, I suspect people may be coming to visit the baby. I don’t want to be looking all raggedy when they do!”

Joseph looked at her incredulously and said nothing. He wasn’t about to ask her who on earth would know where they were and that they had had the baby after the fainting episode!

“Honey?” Joseph called to Maria as he played with his son’s little fingers. He was sooo cute and perfect.

“Are you gonna tell your cousin Lizzy about the fainting thing? I feel it’s unnecessary”

Maria lifted up her head and looked at Joseph “First thing when I see her”, she said without batting an eyelid, then lay her head back down.

-T.H.E. E.N.D-

©Mugethi Gitau 13/03/03

Footnote

I have been praying for inspiration to finish this story for months. Then finally on this beautiful 13th Day of March 2013, it came! This is a major breakthrough for me as a writer. I praise my Lord that inspires me to write. And the original Maria, whose character I was able to dorn as I embarked on this mission. Salute, Mother of God! I am richly blessed! 

Maria Pt. 1: The Announcement

Maria Pt. 2: Visit to Cousin Lizzy

Don’t Hurt Me

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image

-image from Google-

You say you want my heart,
and I panic.

You say relax,
let go of your fears,

let’s go with the flow,
let’s see how it goes.

I wonder if you know
about dreams I fear will be crushed
about hopes I fear could be shattered

about my fragile heart,
that my Lord and I recently picked up from an abyss of despair.

I wonder if you know
that I doubt I could take it
If you ever broke my heart.

Mugethi Gitau
11/03/2013

Book Review – Alek Wek: The extraordinary life of a Sudanese Refugee.

I’m not a huge (auto)biography fan (no offence to anyone) but I loved Alek Wek. This woman makes me fiercely proud for proving (loudly) that black African is not only beautiful, it’s haute couture. It’s a Vogue cover.

As I read her story, written in that simple, warm, funny way, one word kept coming to mind. Poignant.

She changed forever the way I looked at refugees I see on TV, fleeing wars with their belongings tied up in a sheet on their head. They are not to be pitied. They are to be admired. It confirmed what I always thought of the SPLM.

I am moving next door to a Sudanese family. They don’t know it yet, but they are soo going to teach me how to make kissra bread and dried okra stew. I fell in love with her parents. So that’s why people get married! And with the girl Alek* Wek (how the heck did someone confuse her for Somali model Waris Dirie? I look like Waris Dirie J)

She is a beautiful, inspirational soul. I hope to meet her one day.

 

*If I ever have a daughter, I might name her Alek.

 

©Mugethi Gitau

14/2/2013

MoG (Man of God)

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A short story by Mugs Gitau

african woman_MoG

Picture from Google

Hebzeebah, or Zeeba as everyone called her, kept walking back to take a peek at her charging Smartphone. It was her first Smartphone ever! She had just got it and couldn’t wait to use it. But the customer care lady where she had bought it in Nairobi, Kenya, had told how she must charge it for 6 hours straight without using it. She sighed.
The first thing she did when she could finally switch on her phone what download WhatsApp. And start WhatsApping her friends! So cool! She could talk to her family and friends back home in Addis at virtually no cost!

*excitos* (a term she had noticed people using online)

So as she excitedly sent texts to let people know she was finally connected (oh! The number of times she’s been asked, “You don’t have WhatsApp?”), her old college friend, Christian, was among the first to get back to her With “You finally upgraded from that old ass Kabambe 3G phone?” Kenyans, she thought, they are so weird but you gotta love them.

Christian was different from all the other boys she’d ever give the time of day. He was so ‘straight’. Didn’t drink. Took himself seriously. He belonged to what she and her ‘happening’ friends categorized as ‘psycho’. Granted, they were very young, immature and couldn’t for the life of them comprehend how you could date a guy who didn’t drink and party. What on earth would you do together?

But all the same, Zeeba liked him. I mean his kisses didn’t make her toes curl or anything. And none of her friends understood why she even entertained the guy, but he was so sweet!

Eventually, when she sensed he was getting attached to her, she decided to come clean with him about her boyfriend, Haile, back home. After that, Christian withdrew from her life and they didn’t talk for 10 years.

Zeeba completed college, went back home to Addis and after some years married her long time sweetheart, Haile. One year after they were married, they mutually agreed to come to Nairobi, Kenya, and look for better opportunities.

While there they were blessed with a wonderful little girl, Tirunesh, whom everyone called Tiru.

Unfortunately, Haile kept travelling back to Addis and would sometimes stay away for weeks. Tiru and Zeeba found themselves left to their own devices most of the times. When Tiru was one year old, they separated. A hard time for Zeeba.

The separation was harder on Haile. He went through a period of emotional instability. And when Zeeba suggested divorce, he attempted suicide, twice. She didn’t feel responsible but she felt that to continue to pursue the divorce at a time when he was likely to fight it was bound to defeat the purpose.

2 years down the line, Christian and her bumped into each other and a steady friendship started to grow again between them. When she got her WhatsApp installed, she couldn’t wait to stop his annoying “you don’t have WhatsApp?” questions. She was enjoying the conversation, especially since she was mercilessly teasing him.

Chat_MOG

That weekend, he invited her over for dinner. She instantly liked his place. She could picture herself spending many hours there, sitting on the large sectional sofa and gazing at the eclectic mix décor with a contemporary African feel to it.

This time his kisses did curl her toes. This time she was not holding back for someone else/. She could really give it a chance, once he defined their relationship.

She thought often about his spiritual side. It appealed to her. But she hoped he wouldn’t turn out to be some psycho religious fanatic. Not that she wasn’t spiritual herself. This was the girl who would cross herself and say a short prayer before taking a sip of her red wine at the club! But she had never dated anyone quite as spiritual as herself. She was however, pleasantly surprised. He was actually fun!

“Lord,” she said on a light note during one of her prayer sessions. “I’m sorry I have been trying to help you do your job in finding me a mate. I was kinda scared you were gonna find me a man who’s unattractive and boring as hell! Who knew you had some fine ‘pastors’ out there?”

She liked who she was when she was with him. He made her want to be a better woman. She began to like him.

6 weeks later when he still hadn’t defined their relationship, doubts set in. On asking what they were doing together, the answer would be a pragmatic, “I like you a lot, and I find you very attractive. But right now am going through a ton of stuff”. Well, until she got some direction from him she was not gonna wear her heart on her sleeve.

No.

She was going to regard him as a friend. A friend who would kiss her and make her heart beat faster, but just a friend nonetheless.

***

One day they were cozying up on his couch watching TV. It was their 3rd time meeting. She’d missed him and all, but his invite earlier to come and see him has sounded rather halfhearted. So she thought she’d see a couple of people then go see him for a couple of hours in the evening.

She still couldn’t believe he had invited her over again after what had happened the last time.

She sat on the other couch because she did not want him to get all preachy on her like he had the last time when things had got all physical between them. He had said he was saved and he shouldn’t have kissed her or touched her like that. Dude! Did you just realize you’re saved? Her mind had asked. But she had held her tongue and observed him. After all, he hadn’t defined the relationship, yet.

She was surprised when he asked her next to him to share his blanket when she complained she was cold. But she was not surprised when he started to kiss her. He was after all, a hot blooded African male. And he made her blood hot too.

***

“You watch this show?” He asked turning to the wedding show on one of the popular local stations.

“I hate that freaking show. You watch it?”

“Yeah if I catch it.”

“I am not to be let around brides.” She half-joked. “Give me a few minutes with one, she will go home and break off the engagement.”

“Why, what do you have against weddings?”

Zeeba sat up and faced him with a serious look. “A lot of our college buddies know this coz it was on facebook and all. But what do you know about me and Tiru’s father?”

“Eerr, I don’t know. You guys lived together, maybe you were married?” he ventured.

“Yes, we were married. In church. We are separated 2 years now. But we are still not divorced.”

A slightly surprised look on his face, “Uhhh that’s a useful piece of information that would have been useful to have”

“I am telling you now. He has the marriage certificate. He will not give it to me. I need it to file divorce.”

“But there should be a copy of that somewhere”

“Yes, in Addis at the registrar’s office. I could fly there and get it. But with the law there it could take years if he fights the divorce. That’s why am taking the advice of my shrink and negotiating with him for it.”

He was silent.

“I was worried what you’d think….” She started to say.

“It’s your life. You don’t have to worry what people think.”

“Not people, you.” She came back at him. But her heart sank. He didn’t think it was important enough. He really didn’t like her that way.

***

The next day as she was talking to Christian he sounded like his normal chatty self. Until she invited him to lunch at their place and he replied with, “we’ll see”

“Huh?” she asked wondering if there was more coming.

“Yes, we’ll see. Thanks for the invite, though”

“What exactly does that mean?” she asked.

She had not specified when the lunch would be. It was basically an open invite, whenever would work for both of them. So we’ll logically translated to “we’ll see if I’ll come over to your house, ever.” And they were both African. “We’ll see means “never” in Africa.

Ouch! After I’ve been to his house twice? After bi extend the opportunity to meet my daughter? Really?

These thoughts played out in her head over and over, and from him, resounding silence.

***

Finally, 4 days later, she could not take his silence anymore. Of guessing why he was not speaking to her.

“I remember us having a conversation about you going quiet or MIA when you were dealing with issues.” She wrote to him on chat.

“I remember you expressing fear that you would hurt me. I don’t know what’s going on here, but I expect you to do the honorable thing and get back to me. I am waiting for you to do that.”

He got back immediately on chat.

“I don’t think I can do this with you, mainly because you left out key information about your marital status.”

Do what? Zeeba thought. You have been very non-committal. Focus, Zeeba, focus.

“Just to be clear,” she typed. “Are you upset that am not divorced or that I didn’t tell you? I told you. On our third date. Remember? You didn’t find it out from anyone else. I couldn’t tell you on chat. And you gotta understand that I was bit scared of how you’d react?”

“Tiru’s father and I separated 2 years ago. We are not getting back together. The law will take time. We are talking about Ethiopia, Africa.”

“That being said, you should have said something.”

“When?”

“From the very beginning. And no matter the circumstance, you are out of bounds. I wouldn’t date a married woman.”

“I’m not married, am separated.”

“Whatever.”

She paused and waited for comforting words that never came. Finally she typed,

“Thanks for getting back to me. The not knowing was brutal. Take care of yourself, Christian. Goodbye.”

“Goodbye”

She shed tears. Not as many as she thought she might shed. She listened to her heart to see if it felt broken. It wasn’t. But she was overwhelmed with outrage over how he had treated her. He had the right to choose whom he did not want to date. There was never commitment anyway. That was fine.

But on freaking WhatsApp? Really? He had shown not the slightest regard for how she might feel. Confused. She thought he was her friend.

That Bible verse on love kept going through her mind.

Love is patient

Love is kind

Love does not act rudely

Love always trusts…..

Is this what she was gonna get from the man of God? (MoG as she and her friend Diana would jokingly refer to him)?

***

3 weeks later, she walked into a popular coffee shop in the Nairobi CBD and looked around for Diana. Nowhere in sight. Am early for once! She chuckled quietly to herself as she walked towards an empty seat at the corner.

Then she saw him, Christian, sitting at a table in the middle. Obviously waiting for someone from the way he kept looking at the entrance then at his watch.

Following her first instinct she walked right past him, then stopped mid-step, turned back, pulled a chair opposite him and sat.

He was flustered to see her, knocking down his teaspoon and almost spilling his cappuccino. “Hi,” he said.

“You didn’t think I deserved a face to face meeting, not even a call, breaking up on chat?”

“Err”

“Fortunately, here I am. You said your piece. Now it’s my turn.”

Did you ever ask me about my relationship with Tiru’s father? And how it ended?

About my heartbreak on realizing that this 12 year relationship I had fought for with my all, was not going to work out?

About my fears of raising a child alone? Of being alone after 12 years?

As you sit there on your moral high horse and look down on me for being a separated, not yet divorced woman, did you ask me if I had gone to my father and asked him to call the elders and ask them to return the cattle he had received for my hand?

Did you ask me if I had gone to my church’s Judicial Vicar and asked for a separation?

And just out of curiosity, when exactly in your opinion, should I have informed you of my ‘status’?

Is it when I first met you for a drink 10 years after I had last seen you? “Hi! Long time! By the way am separated but not yet divorced?”

Is it when you escorted me to the bus stop and planted an unexpected kiss on my lips just as I was about to board my bus? “Stop! Am still married!”

Maybe I should just wear a big ol’ label that says —–> This subject is not divorced! Proceed with caution.

I remember joking about the stigma of divorce that people always talked about. About how I’d looked around but had never seen it. But for the first time since being separated, I actually felt stigmatized. By you! I thought you were my friend, Christian. I thought you would dignify me even though we couldn’t be lovers.

I wish you well. I wish you very well. I hope that when you do get married to the perfect, untainted girl, you will be happy. That your marriage will never fail. That you will never seek divorce. And that years after your separation, before your divorce is final, you will not need love, in your tainted state”

Christian opened his mouth to speak. At that very moment, a highly recognizable figure walked up to the table.

“Pastor!” She greeted him pleasantly, rising.

“How are you?”He asked, although he probably had no clue who she was.

“Am good. Am Zeeba” she offered him her hand.

“And am Pastor Q, as you might know.” He said with a warm smile.

“Don’t worry, I kept him engaged meanwhile”

“Thanks for that.”

“Goodbye”, she said casually to the both of them and walked towards Diana who had been sitting, observing the exchange from the corner of her eye.

“Girl, let’s get out of here”

©Mugethi Gitau

15/12/2012

#HolyMonologues (#DearGod)

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So I finally went ahead and decided to tweet God these questions that I’ve been longing to ask. – at the risk of not being considered a good Christian 😉

As per the suggestion of one my followers, let’s call these the

#HolyMonologues (#DearGod)

#DearGod how are you?

#DearGod Allow me 1/365 1/4 days to go “Why Lord Why?”

#DearGod Had you made me a good liar, my life would be way easier. #WhyLordwhy, am I so sincere? I thought I was abnormal till the other day!

#DearGod Why do I still trust people? Haven’t all the events showing me NOT to, been to make me learn that? Lord, I don’t think age will cure this condition.

#DearGod some people I know just keep doing nasty things to people Day in and Day out. They never seem to get punished, but people who try to do good (this includes me Lord) they seem to get hurt alot #WhyLordWhy?

#DearGod and why is it every time I try to do something bad I get busted? Others been doing it forever, not a single bust! #WhyLordWhy?

#DearGod why did you make me so impatient? Was that not supposed to correct itself automatically when I went to church or read the bible?

#DearGod now that we’re talking, am really hoping you’re OK with short prayers. Some people say “I went deep into prayer” that confuses me. I mean I have never woken up at 3 and prayed till dawn. Some people swear by that formula. Should I be doing that?

#DearGod would you do me a favor and mark out the nasty men with a pair of horns and a tail? Maybe make them carry a pitchfork for good measure?

#DearGod sometimes I say curse words – when it seems like no other word could express what I feel. Do you mind? What if I do it in church?

#DearGod kicking, pinching, hitting and punching is allowed once in a while, right? How often?

🙂 #DearGod thanks for this great convo we just had. You’re the only one who can hear me when I don’t actually say anything. #Love

#DearGod am really sorry for the times I didn’t hear you when you were speaking to me. Am sorry too for all the times when I’ve tried to assist you in doing your job. I’m I’ll try my best not to assist you again. Lol!

#DearGod Thanks for listening to me. Shall we do this again in a year’s time? During which time I’ll try not to ask #WhyLordWhy?

#DearGod Do have a wonderful night.

Love always, your beloved Miss Mugethi. xoxo

Tell me who my people are

art from conceptart.org

My dad is Luo. That makes me Luo, right? Notwithstanding that my mom is Kamba? So I guess am Luo. Though my dad’s grandma is Maasai. She was originally Kikuyu .But when they raided their village, the Morans took her as part of the spoils. So she became Maasai and was married by a Moran. My dad’s mom then married a Luo man. That’s how Dad ended up Luo.

Though am a lot like my mom. Who is considered Kamba. Am I Kamba? Her dad’s Kamba but her mom was a Chonyi lady from the coast.

My best friend’s mom is a single mom. She’s a “pointee”. Half white/half black. Her mom’s dad’s the Black. He’s Maasai. Her mom’s mom is from England.

So is my friend Maasai or English? Her dad disappeared immediately he found out her mom was pregnant. She’s not sure what his tribe is. Because her mom raised her alone that means she belongs to her mom’s side, right?

So I’m in love with this boy. He’s Kipsigis because his dad is Kipsigis. Well, his dad’s mom is Pokot, but that does not matter, right? His mom is of Indian origin. Needless to say it roused up a storm when they married.

But am so confused. Since our tribal chieftains do not agree, is it right to love him?

I know I must be loyal to “my people”. If only someone could show me who they are.

©Mugethi Gitau

25/7/2012

My vote is for my tribe

My vote is for my tribe

By Mugs Gitau

How can I love you

if you’re not from my tribe?

how can I respect you?

how can I vote for you

and betray my very own?

how can I trust you

to lead me?

***

All I can trust you with

is the smaller things

to drive my child to school each day

to give him an education

to protect me while I sleep at night

to treat me when am sick

to guide my soul to heaven

to cook my food for me

***

I can trust you with all these minor things

but never with my vote.

***

©Mugethi Gitau

25/7/2012