Cynthia Ng'ang'a

Cyn the Kenyan Wordsmith

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February 2019
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Matatu love

By on February 9, 2019

“Weed is prophesied in the bible,” he said and it took everything I had for me not to laugh out loud and be like you dumb bitch you are just trying to justify your drug habit! Instead I chuckled in that way we girls do, you know that short fake laughter that goes something like, ‘haha uongo’ followed by a batting of the eyelashes so we can make men think we are interested while we’d actually prefer to be in Mrs Piriton’s geography class.”Wallahi its in revelation! Go read it says something about a plant fire and smoke that will cure every pain.”

“That could be any plant. Even the neem tree cures disease”

“But does it use fire or smoke?” He urges. I keep quiet. I have nothing to say  and I’m not about to get into a pointless debate with a marijuana fanatic (that’s the my fake reason for keeping quiet. My real reason is the fact that I’m a sore loser and so I don’t like engaging in fights that I know I’ll lose. For all I know there could be a verse like that in the bible — whatever the interpretation— no trophy in my cabinet is from bible trivia so how can I tell?. Anyway I couldn’t wait to alight the matatu. Yes, I was having this conversation in a matatu with a man I didn’t know who believed by name was Stephanie from a school in Garrisa (long story) but that didn’t stop him from sharing with me his corrupt activities in a hospital where he claimed he worked and his idiosyncrasies about the ‘holy’ herb in the holy bible (see what I did there?)

I just have to ask, Am I the only one who sits next to these weird people in matatus? Yesterday, the guy I sat next to borrowed me my earring.

Really? An earring?

 When someone borrows you the earring you have on, the first thing that goes through your mind is ‘Shit! When did I last wash these earrings?’ Nothing smells worse than an overstayed earring (girls can attest to this) its a sickening stench and the odour clings to your ears and hands when you touch it…trust me its not something you’d want anyone else to smell weird stranger in the jav or not.

Yes, I did give him the earring and no it didn’t smell. So now we are friends and I keep wondering if we’d still be friends if I had removed the earring and all the birds in the area would have died. Guess I’ll never know. Oh but I know I’ll never be friends to the drunk man who couldn’t stop breathing out his alcoholic hot breath in my ear telling me the importance of working hard in school, or the man who was obsessed with fastening and unfastening my seatbelt. Okay I’m just being mean he was only trying to help but its weird!

I wonder how many people have met their soulmates in a public vehicle and how do those stories go? She gets into the matatu at Odeon or Kencom -it must be a fancy name not something like Koja what type of love story has a word like Koja in it? Can you imagine telling the story to your overseas pals and going like we met at Koja and they’ll be like ati Kowhat? And your friends from the other side the opposite of overseas (underseas maybe?)will be like ati mlipatana mkikojoa? So anyway, she will get in shuffling her many bags along because its end month and she has to do shopping for the house. Pausing along the bus’ isle her eyes will slowly survey the unoccupied seats and land on the one next to a middle aged man busy laughing at something obscene on his phone. Her perfume is what will alert him to her presence and he will quickly try to back out from that friend’s status update which will be blaring the then version of the matako song but because smart phones are sometimes controlled by the devil himself, it will hang and as  his now clammy fingers try to press the off button, they will slip and suddenly in the sticky silence,” Matakoooo, Marasaaaa,Matakoo.” Almost everyone looks back at you, several chuckle but she, she gives him this look of pure disdain like she caught you peeing on her roses. And he thinks there’s no recovering from that but somewhere along the road the conductor is standing above her flushed face as she rummages in her bag for that fifty shilling she put in that big bag whose secret contents he’ll never know but like smart phones bags are also controlled by the devil and she won’t find it but because he is, or trys to be, a gentleman he’ll pay for her and the rest like they say, will be history.

Oh and she paid back the fifty shillings because she’s a feminist and that’s the most attractive thing about her


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  1. Reply


    February 11, 2019

    Now this is what we call a blog… So sweet yet funny n its my cliché

    • Reply


      February 11, 2019

      awww… thank you. So Oscar do you pick up girls in matatus?