I missed my parents’ wedding – I was late, months late. I seem to be compensating ever since.
………………..It has been a while since I wrote anything past a text message. My creativity, if any, may be rusty now. Over the past months, I have been trying to excel in the sheets – I mean, at spreadsheets. As expected, it hasn’t been an easy ride. On some days I worked 12 hours straight and, on every weekday, I dozed off within seconds of closing my eyes. The twist. I do love the 12+n daily working hours where ‘0 < n > 4’. Did I lose you?
I joined Facebook a while back. My first profile picture was of my then favourite football player. The third read “I was born intelligent, but education ruined me”. I was then in the last term of high school with little time to re-read and understand Radioactivity in Physics and the Gospel by Luke in Christian Religious Education (CRE). I choose not to use the word hate. I disliked those two subjects. And a couple of others too. Why did we have to study isimu jamii?
Around the age of 8, maybe 9 too, I was an artist – I could draw. I had drawing books. I probably drew all the characters of the football-themed comic Supa Strikas. Anyone remembers Shakes, Dancing Rasta? They were my favourite. My claim to fame – no-one drew better than me in our class. Well, this too was short-lived. I had to understand why some Bantus settled in Taita while others settled near the mountains – Kirinyaga and Elgon. I had to remember the colour of chlorophyll; because being the son of my Dad, I had to take exemplary academic results home and I excelled at that.
I was an actor. Yes! I was at the height of my acting career at a very young age – 10. I was the lead actor for a church play. At parish level, among 3 churches, we were the best. At presbytery level, it was a different story. My acting career was short-lived; but, at parish level, some adjudicators had considered us the best. And that counts.
For a fact in my childhood, I acted; and I drew. Now, I can barely act to save my life. If my handwriting is anything to go by, I can draw. I mean my handwriting when I’m in a relaxed mode after a healthy meal. But probably most of that art is rusty because all we do now is press buttons and print out a PDF or PowerPoint. While personally I could not figure a career out of it, I have fond memories of acting – in church – and drawing comic footballers. I might just get back to acting; no, maybe drawing. Maybe none. More recently, I have fond memories of catching – or maybe trying to – the bride’s bouquet of flowers at numerous weddings. Let’s get one thing out of the way: I am of the male gender. One more thing: I have a liking for the other gender. While society has too many norms and I abide by most; I chose to challenge this one. “Let not society define what you can or can’t do. I almost* caught the bouquet” was the caption for one of the photos on the streets of social media. Well, I’m not defiant; I’m just not one to miss some moments.
Should I miss the flowers, then I might have over danced as we received the newlyweds at the reception. Do ask around, I have near zero dancing skills. In fact, on a scale of 0 to 10, I rank outside the scale – on the negative side. All the same, at every other wedding, I have the audacity to dance at the risk of ruining the quality of the dances recorded by the videographers. You see, this reception dance happens right after partaking a healthy meal which had been served from end-to-end. Food at a wedding only ranks second to my Mum’s – prepared thoughtfully, with love and – if there are guests – with a piece of watermelon. It’s only right one sheds some of these calories.
While one may aim to enjoy one’s career of choice, build businesses, contribute impactfully to one’s community and most importantly find a soulmate and raise twin daughters, I propose that you consider acting and drawing, or that which brings back your younger self. Be unconventional – that’s me chasing flowers at weddings and languishing, used lightly, in singlehood while at it. Dance shamelessly and at every opportunity, eat to your satisfaction.
I missed my parents’ wedding because I wasn’t born, yet. Did you read the whole article looking for that story? There was no story there.
My second profile picture on Facebook was of two actors: Nicolás Bravo and Aymar Lazcano. Google!
The writer is Samuel Karanja whose weakness is soft layered chapatis.
The editors are Steve Maina who loves rumour-mongering and Prisca Wangui who serves perfect tea.
SK, Steve and Prisca are members of the Rotaract Club of Nairobi Central.