Be Happy


Well, turns out Purity didn’t kill herself. I posted on Tuesday, she made me wait until Friday to email me. She started off the email with no salutation. Cut right to that chase like only she would. Also, she thinks it was “cute” that people didn’t want her to die. Strangers. Internetters. A faceless tribe. When I went to do some banking at Housing Finance along Waiyaki Way even the teller, Eric, asked me from the blues, “Has she written?” and I momentarily was like, “Who?” because I thought he was referring to Toni Braxton. [And no, Eric, Toni hasn’t written. But she will.] Purity wrote that initial email in the format of a poem. Quintessentially so.

“But I terminated the pregnancy,” she wrote, “and it’s the single most horrible thing I will do in my life.” She did it in a “small clinic along Ngong Road.” She went alone. The walls of the room where this life was taken were – ironically – white. She bled a lot that night, slept with a sanitary pad on. But she wasn’t perturbed about the bleeding, “…actually I hoped I would bleed to death and join my unborn child.” Despite the grinding guilt that comes with that she still thinks she did something good, “I saved that baby from being forced to love a messed up mother who is learning to love herself.” She makes light of it. “The thing with abortion is that it has taken so much humanity from me that I now feel like it has become easier to kill people I completely dislike. Some of my colleagues, for instance.”

She thinks you readers will be furious, pious and indignant over her act. “They will be furious to learn that I did an abortion even though I’m not a Catholic. I’m a woman.” [Strange, I would have placed her as more of a Catholic than a woman]. She wants you all to know that she isn’t sorry about it. But that she is sorry that “I somehow still live under the favour of God.”

She’s on medication. When I asked her to tell me what depression really is like, apart from the feeling of “walking around with a black paper bag over your head.” She says only she knows she is depressed. The whole world thinks she’s a happy and normal person with a job she should be happy to have. “It’s exhausting,” she wrote, “to keep those two lives separate- to be happy in public and be myself at home. When I go home I’m so tired being someone else I don’t even remove my shoes or switch on electricity or eat anything, I simply take my medication and sleep or cry in my work clothes. A colleague often comes to my desk and asks me, ‘Purity why don’t you ever put on weight, what is your secret?’ I tell her – ‘Try depression once a month, repeat every other month.’ We laugh. By the way, my name is not Purity, but seeing as you have told everybody that it’s my name I’m forced but to adopt it.”

“Most months are good when I take my medication but I hate the drugs. Some months are bad. December was very bad and I never left my house. January was good because while everybody was broke, I had mad cash [plus bonus] because I didn’t spend any money in December because I never left the house. Who said there is no sunny side to depression, Jacko? If you are struggling with saving, try depression.”

Someone, a reader, wrote a very touching email and asked me to forward it to Purity, which I did and she wrote back and said it made her feel so warm inside “I removed my bra.” [Ha-ha. Atta-girl. Freedom to you.] Made we wonder if she removed her bra in the office, unclasped it from underneath and pulled it right through her sleeve, right there on the open-space floor as printers whirred and elevator doors opened and closed.

She thinks I was too “melodramatic and presumptuous” to write a blogpost with an SOS because she went under for a few weeks. She then warned me that she won’t email again for a while until the “bad evil wind has passed” and that I shouldn’t get “itchy pants” and “shoot off another cry-wolf email.” [I read that part with a wolfish grin.] And that if she decides to kill herself she will at least “have the courtesy” to send me an email first. [Like my very own bespoke suicide note? Why, thank you so much, Purity. How gracious and generous of you. Pray, what will be the subject of this email so that I ready myself?]

It’s all hot air. I know she won’t kill herself. I know because she won’t want to break all our hearts here. Because it will make us sad. I know she won’t do it because she said that she had an impulse to hug that lady who wrote her the email, which means there is still a person in her who needs the human touch. I know she won’t do it because she can’t put her poor mother through that gauntlet of torture and misery in her sunset years. Who will take care of her grade cows?

Maybe she will get a dog. I hear dogs have that calming effect especially for people in emotional turmoil. She will be the girl who talks to her dogs at night like they are having a pyjama party. I know she won’t do it because she will keep taking her medication and she will eventually be fine and she will finally be happier than every food blogger on Instagram. Because this is a story with a happy ending and she won’t have it any other way. Neither will we. She will triumph, because the fighter, the playful child in her still wants to live. She will be happy again. Right, Purity? Right?

Talking of happiness. Apparently we, as Kenyans, fall very low on the happiness index. That’s why we ignore the traffic lights and zebra crossings and we are always fighting someone on Twitter or blocking them. Happiness is a strange thing. It’s fickle. Also, Kenyans will never really accept that they are happy. It’s almost like happiness is a sin. You can’t just say you are happy. It’s not humble. It’s not proper. It’s unKenyan. We almost believe that if you say you are happy the gods will think you are gloating and take away your happiness. Besides nobody ever seems to want to hear you are happy, they would rather hear that you aren’t, it’s got more grit. It’s like people in business. They never admit that business is good. You ask them, “How is biashara” and it’s always a grim look, a sombre shaking of head. “Man, we are just trying. Si you know how business is?” [Yes, business was born bad]. For a change it would be nice for someone to say, “This is a great year, I’m killing it. I can’t really complain, things have been looking up for many months now.” It’s taboo to say that in Kenya. Happiness is unpatriotic. You can’t just say, “I’m happy. The children are healthy and going to school. I eat chapos every other day, my sex life is also not too bad. God is good.” Nobody cares. We are unhappy even when we are happy.

My dad always says that happiness isn’t “a destination.” You don’t “arrive” at happiness. You find it in your journey. Have you ever found some money in your pocket, money you didn’t know you had? Maybe you were handed change in a bar and you kept it in your pocket and forgot all about it and months passed and one day you stumble upon it; a loose 2K and you are just dizzy with this discovery and you can’t believe there were days you could have used that 2K had you known it was there. That’s how happiness works, methinks. It’s always there, somewhere on us, but we don’t see it because we are looking elsewhere. We need to reclaim it, like a guy I saw recently, the happiest guy in town.

I was drinking with some chama friends in South C when someone asked if Deep West Club is still operational and someone said, of course, we should go and so at 10pm we went. Now for those of you who only know of Mercury and Brew Bistro, Deep West is around T-Mall area and is frequented by folk who appreciate Rhumba/ Congolese music.

They always feature a band of chaps who look Congolese, sing like Congolese but I doubt if all of them are Congolese. Some come from K’Ochia. (Don’t bother Googling that, Google says it’s a herb – Bassia scoparia). There were four of us, including a poor girl that we dragged along.

The last time I was at Deep West was maybe 12-years back. It has changed. It now looks like an indoor piazza. It has balconies on two floors overlooking the dance floor. The bigwigs, plutocrats, the wheeler-dealers, the tenderpreneurs, surgeons and the political brass sit up there on that throne and equivalent of the high table. I suppose the bigger your ego is the higher you want to sit over the dancefloor. I didn’t go up there but I imagine that perhaps every table there has its own small side table where the patrons place their automobile [because we drive cars, they don’t?) keys and their numerous phones.

We sat near the dancefloor. The band – all wearing white – was already playing. We bought a bottle of whisky, as befits the establishment. [Note that I’m not referring to this place as a bar but as an establishment, for a reason. I’m being respectful.] The lady looked at the drinks menu and asked if they had any wine other than what was on the menu. The waiter dashed off to the store to check but came back, apologetic. That was all the wine they had. The lady said she will pass. Life is too short to drink cheap wine. We were embarrassed on behalf of the establishment. It made us look bad. Because if you gathered all the Masters and PhDs in that place you could use it to build a spaceship and take guys to the moon and yet they didn’t have decent wine. She settled for water. Good for the skin, after all.

The music got louder. The band got more animated. The balconies filledup. The dance floor filled up. An establishment like Deep West is a cliche. The men are flashy. Even if they are wearing a cheap watch (they won’t admit it though. Everybody’s watch comes from Switzerland.) it’s a big shiny cheap watch. You can see it in the darkness. It glows like the southern star. That’s how waiters can trace you in the crowded room, by your watches, they are like a homing device. The women come in two forms; either they have big posteriors or they are light-skinned. If neither, then they are accompanying women with big posteriors or are light-skinned. The rhumba dance is slow. There is no gwara gwara dance there. Everybody moves and sways slowly to the music. One of the chaps with us immediately went to the dancefloor. My brother – who is a terrible dancer by the way – just moved his head. And that’s how I know he’s drunk, when he starts moving his head.

The lady leaned in and shouted in my ear, “DO YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT THEY ARE SAYING?”

“WHAT WHO IS SAYING?” I shouted back.


“NO!” I said.


Oh, for Chrissake. Who talks when Franco is playing?




“I DO.” Puzzled.


She rolled her eyes.


At some point the girl drew our attention to some guy dancing up on a raised area near some tables. He was a short – almost diminutive guy – but dressed to the nines. He had in a charcoal grey three-piece suit that didn’t look expensive because you can always tell an expensive suit, but it was how he was wearing it. He was wearing the hell out of it, filling it with not only his body but his person, a big person. Still, it also made you wonder; who goes to a ba..sorry, establishment in a suit, let alone a three-piece suit? Unless they are from a funeral. But that cat was too happy to have been from a funeral, unless he had just buried his debts.

Even though the place was already crowded, he stood out. He used a very small surface area to dance; twisted and writhed very gently like he was being caressed by the music. A leaf in a slight breeze. He would dance and then slowly dance back to his table an arms-length away, sip his drink and slowly dance back to his spot. He was a great dancer, a sensual dancer even. His dancing drew attention. It seduced onlookers. And sure enough a knot of girls started inching closer to him, wanting to dance with him, but he ignored them. He would slowly but tactfully turn and give them his back, a great back filled with a suit that he wore well. We were fascinated by him. Most people were. I liked him. His chutzpah made me happy. It was like watching an emperor dance. We were all plebeians in his presence. You almost wanted to go over and ask him his name. And where he bought his suit. (He would probably lie: “This is a Brioni Vanquish II, can’t you tell, bwana?”).

He loved his moment. He loved his space. He loved being alive. I could tell that it was a fine moment for him to be there, in his suit, in his shoes -which I couldn’t see – to be bathed in that music that he listened to with all his pores and his heart, and all these girls circling him like predators and how little time or attention he accorded them and how he was completely immersed in that night and in himself.

“I loved that he was so very confident of himself,” the lady told me later when I asked her how she had noticed the man, “ that he was sure the world revolved around him, that he was the world and he was the only man in that place that was worth anything.”

That man was happy. Maybe he wasn’t going to be happy the next morning but at that time he was happy. You could tell from how he closed his eyes while dancing, how he would hold the tune with his mind, embrace it with his movement and rock along with it as if the song was ailing and he was there to heal it. Have you ever looked at someone dance and even though you were seated looking at him you felt like you were dancing with him? His dance was like a neon of happiness lighting everybody who laid their eyes on him. APA Insurance is trying to insure happiness, well, they should insure that gentleman’s dance and suit for starters.

However there are many other things that make me happy. Like Exe. I can’t think of any brand that has made me happy so consistently since childhood. Let’s see, there is Omo, yes, but whoever claims that Omo has made them happy is lying. It has made you clean but sometimes cleanliness doesn’t necessarily make you happy, it just makes you closer to Godliness. Then there is Kimbo. Kimbo is great yes, but can you say it’s made you happy since class four? No. There is also Nacet razor blade. We grew up cutting our nails with Nacet before someone invented nail cutters but surely you can’t say that you are the person you are today because you cut your nails with Nacet.

But Exe? Come on, Exe is our soulmate. Exe was there before anyone else was. Exe never left us. Or changed. We went to secondary and uni and we got jobs and we got wives and we got kids and Exe never left. Exe was the “constant x” we were taught in mathematics, they just didn’t want us to know explicitly. Exe, apart from bringing us happiness also made us obey our parents more. This is because the only time you would go straight to the shop and back without detours when sent by your mom was the day chapos were being cooked. You wouldn’t mess around. You obeyed their command which means we obeyed the fifth commandment. So apart from Exe being nourishment for our body, it helped in the nourishment of our spirituality.

You would run to the shop get the Exe and not leave the house while chapos were being cooked. Oh and the aroma! My God. Is there any aroma better than the aroma of chapos? If Bvlgari produced a cologne that smelled of chapos I’d wear it. On Fridays. That was pure happiness, smelling chapos in the house. You’d not wait to be told to take a shower a hundred times. You’d shower, oil yourself and sit obediently and wonder why time for dinner was dragging. There are strange neighbours who cooked chapos with chicken or with beef, just very strange neighbours with strange parents. Normal households cooked chapos with beans or ndengu. That’s how it is even in the Bible. [I’m sure the verse is there somewhere].

There is a Chinese proverb that I like, “If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap. If you want happiness for a day go fishing [In our case, Olepolos – if it’s still there]. If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. [Or win the sports betting jackpot] If you want happiness for a lifetime, help someone else.”

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    1. Because being happy is subjective. And it can be measured. Like how happy you are, may not mean how happy someone else is.
      Strange feeling.

      1. Happiness is I think first and foremost a choice (sorry, in my view, even in the case of our beloved Purity-whom am happy she is alive). What I choose to see in any situation, how I verbalize that situation affects my perception. Kenya for instance is a great country- even with our Miguna Drama (ok, grand drama), KQ is a great airline and I think UK is a good president (and great is not equal to perfect). And I have a great Wife. Choice…choice. No matter my situation, can I be grateful for something in it?

      2. Did you just write that explanation so that it seemed like you actually read the article before being first to comment.

    2. Even in a pit of darkness, there is always a spot of happiness, it all depends on your angle of view.

  1. Lovely Piece Biko. But I just can’t get over the fact that you are in a Chama (or refer to your friends as Chama)…
    What do you guys in the comment think?

    Check this story out

    1. Ha ha…I think they discuss how they have curfews, naughty corner….all imposed by the Mighty Lady of the Manor. Seriously though, I know young bunch who have started as a Chama and now are in serious investments; it’s not too late to learn from the Girls (ok, the good things).

  2. Thank God Purity is safe and sound. I pray that she finds peace in all aspects of her life. I love Rhumba….might just go this weekend.

    1. I am relieved to hear that Purity is (still) alive. I love her authenticity, her telling it like it is without sugar-coating it, showing no guilt or shame where many of us would. Keep going Purity!

  3. EXE…hehehe. Reminds me of a friend who downed 20 chapos with a jug of juice. Chapos are just the constant x in calculus

  4. Hang in there Purity, the dark cloud will pass! I am still on the hang of this sermon from church last Sunday on 72hrs of Easter and I feel I could preach it all to you because it would be so relevant. Then I’d ask you for offerings 🙂 Probably spend the money on the Ugali Pizza I saw on a Kenyan Youtuber’s video. But seriously, it is all going to pass. And tell Biko then tell him to tell us when it does.
    Art, music and animals – pets – are a thing in therapy. I prefer music and art. In another life I would be painting rich people like those Roman artists. Sit you in the backyard and draw your nakedness away. Or I would be in a Congolese band. This I still think I can do. I want to play in Kidum’s band too although he isn’t much of a congole. It would make me happy to play with him and watch men in three-piece suits dance away. Even if they do gwara gwara I wouldn’t mind.

    1. You find joy in other people’s happiness :). Like if you played in a band, and your audience danced the night away to your music, the amount of joy that would fill your heart won’t be taken away :).

      1. Bumblebee and Wesh should go on a date…I think it would good for world peace and global warming…I just think….(no, do not throw stones, I ‘feel’ – he he…feel- they would make good…what is the right word…ok, friends).

  5. She showed up!!!
    I hope to, someday, share the darkness that has been creeping up from somewhere deep down under, threatening to choke the very life that is in me. Someday.

    I can’t be unfaithful to Exe on the supermarket shelves… the rest have never caught my eye…

  6. …..On Fridays. That was pure happiness, smelling chapos in the house. You’d not wait to be told to take a shower a hundred times. You’d shower, oil yourself and sit obediently and wonder why time for dinner was dragging. There are strange neighbours who cooked chapos with chicken or with beef, just very strange neighbours with strange parents. Normal households cooked chapos with beans or ndengu…..Hahahahahahaha……you have made my day Biko!

  7. I am happy just that nobody asked me when they were doing that survey. Purity, thank god that you are around.
    You know why businessmen always tell you that they are struggling? Self preservation! When they say business is good the next suggestion is let’s get some drinks and you are buying. Therefore, tunajaribu tu.
    We should go ahead and make it legal to have abortions. Hey, hold your stone(s). My reason is: it is being done anyway and some die in the process because after complications arise they are on their own and other medical practitioners do not want to be associated with a failed or an attempted and botched abortion. Just legalise it but do not promote it. I personally wouldn’t advise anyone to procure one but should they prefer to then let it be done legally in a proper clinic. Yes, I know it is warped reasoning, but it makes sense to me.

    1. I am sure your soul would benefit from the Omo even Biko has reminded us or Ariel and Jamaa; your soul is stained even though barakanizetu. Purity hang in there.

      I kinda agree with you. Abortion is happening, let’s find a safer way out. Give options.

    2. I concur. It’s like allowing condoms in schools. Is it morally right? No. But kids are having sex anyway, they might as well be having safe sex.
      Do I think abortion is wrong? Yes. But it’s happening already, we might as well legalize it for the process to be alot safer.

      I pray you find peace within yourself purity. Biko, a direct address we can email her to?

    3. Village jurisprudence…permit me to dissent on abortion….historically, moral decadence went triggered the down of the community that embraced it. I am not persuaded that we should give in just because of prevalence. Village jurisprudence, like I said. No, do not Miguna me…

      1. There are perfectly sensible reasons why abortion should be legalized. Prevalence should not be one of them, i concur. In a country like ours where we still ban explicit movies and songs(even local ones!) I am in contention that it is quite early to kick off the abortion debate. We need to hold on tight to our morals as we fight poverty, ignorance and disease.

    4. I will digress on this one…murder is taking place everyday, people burning others alive, cops killing their partners and kids and a lot more scary stuff but NO! We can’t just legalize MURDER….just because it’s “being done anyway” it shouldn’t be made legal ( Well! Everyone is entitled to his/her own opinion)

  8. My goodness! Thanks heavens our Purity* is around. Annnnd. happiness is relative, we all don’t want the same crap!

      1. Rexona I disliked with a passion, even when you closed your eyes when washing your face it still stung. Not so with Lux.

  9. its good that this madness about happiness is doing the rounds.the Fins and Purity are pursuing comfort though
    there will never be says some folks at UN.So says Wilde.So says I!What says thou?

  10. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help someone else. – there is nothing that is more fulfilling than seeing a smile on someone else’s face and it’s all coz of you. Even by reading this post Biko you have made us smile. We are grateful you were there for Purity….tuendelee na huo huo upendo (English translation – we go on with that that love lol)… Happy Easter people

  11. “…happiness isn’t “a destination.” You don’t “arrive” at happiness. You find it in your journey” Absolutely right! Great read as always

  12. Happiness comes in when you’ve learnt that Purity is fine and you hope that she will continue being fine.
    It’s with that follow up that you become happy that someone else is fine….. Maybe it’s with this post you learn that you ought to Care for others, recipe for happiness.
    Meanwhile… Biko wants someone to invent (for lack of a better word) a cologne that smells of chapos… *sigh.

  13. You’d not wait to be told to take a shower a hundred times. You’d shower, oil yourself and sit obediently and wonder why time for dinner was dragging. That part made me laugh out loud in the office.

  14. Help someone else…this is true. Its my cure-all for down-in the-dumps seasons. I look for something to give away: unused clothes, accessories, the smile on the face of the recipient will brighten my skies like nothing else can. And the sun comes out again, no matter the weather.

  15. The way you described the Man his dance and song…. epic I could see him in your words. ..

    That said depression is real and its rralky hard to know a person is depressed if tgey didn’t tell you…
    What are tge tell tale tale signs.? Maybe some day youll interview an expert. ..
    And educate us all about it.

  16. i remember exe it was an x that who you would never let of your the babies of the family pretended to be sleepy to eat early….how your mother could make you sing till she finished…ooh exe ooh exe

  17. Glad that Purity is alive. Please continue to keep us posted.

    That Chapo story has really made me so happy. I love Chapati’s. Chapati’s are life literally. Growing up, I was that kid who used to bathe early and boycott play when it was the day of cooking chapati’s and ndengu by my mum. I was constantly around the kitchen area waiting to be ‘ onjeshwa’ the first chapo. Life was good. Talking of brands that have stood the taste of time, Where have you forgotten Chapa Mandashi baking powder? I have never seen a single advert of theirs. What type of business arrogance is that? They have never changed their packaging. Same old, same old. Nevertheless, they are still going strong.

  18. This blog feels like going back to shags during the holidays well in our case every Tuesday. Glad to know that Purity is well, she is a fighter. Great writing Biko.

  19. A nice post Biko. Always looking forward to Tuesdays. Be happy. Happiness is not a destination, it is there with us in the journey. I like that

  20. Strange neighbors who cook chapos with beef or chicken so am not the only one who always finds this weird.chapos with dengu is bae anyway thank God purity is alive

  21. Tree Top ilirudi. I used to hear it in my mum’s stories, about how her mum would buy it for her favourite son who was in high school all the way in Masailand. That was the only time my mother and her siblings ever saw Tree Top, when it was en route to Masailand from Eldoret. Maybe sneak a taste when business was going good for shosh, but they were like, 100 kids so it’s literally just a taste. Ma used to praise it to the high heavens, making me wish I lived in the ’80s. Lo and behold when I came to Nairobi and found a similarly named juice packaged in an exquisite glass bottle. I’ve never tasted it. Mostly because I’m broke. But also because I’m afraid that it won’t taste as good as the praises and I’ll have to face the fact that the ’80s might not have been so good.
    This was a PSA. Tree Top is alive and kicking and looks beautiful. So go have a taste and relive your childhood

  22. There are strange neighbours who cooked chapos with chicken or with beef, just very strange neighbours with strange parents. Normal households cooked chapos with beans or ndengu. That’s how it is even in the Bible. [I’m sure the verse is there somewhere]. ,,,,,very wierd people hahaha

  23. Sweet-sour feelings. I’m happy that Purity showed up and reached out and is still around. I pray she completely recovers. Sad that she got rid of the unborn child. I’m weeping inside.
    I don’t really understand depression. Some friends have tried to explain it to me. A friend said he had to remove his fillings because “mercury contributed to his depression.” He was livid when I told him to, “Snap out it it,” and gave me an earful. Of course I apologized profusely for not understanding.
    Winter makes a heck of alot of folks depressed, to the point of ending it all, so when the weather gets better and the sun is peeping a little, folks are all smiles and cheerful. Then they are ‘happy.’
    Workers at the national train company complain that very often people leap onto the path of a speed train, and send themselves to the next world completely smashed and limbs torn apart in the most gruesome of ways. Sadly, the culture here is of pragmatism. So the workers clean the mess, get miffed at the financial losses, and in a few hours the trains run again. Life goes on even though one has ended.
    It’s important to be happy and to be in control of your own happiness. Find your happy so that no matter what happens you are still happy. Kenyan memes make me happy. Matatus make me happy mostly. My crazy family makes me happy. Never a dull moment when every conversation is spiced up with jokes and a tease. Cash in the palms of my hand makes me happy. Most of all, travel to new places makes me happy, especially to places with sun, clean beaches and clear waters.

  24. The best feeling of HAPPINESS is when you are happy because you have made somebody else happy, for a good life is a collection of HAPPY MOMENTS!

  25. Raindrops on roses
    And whiskers on kittens
    Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
    Brown paper packages tied up with strings
    These are a few of my favorite things
    Cream-colored ponies and crisp apple strudels
    Doorbells and sleigh bells
    And schnitzel with noodles
    Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings
    These are a few of my favorite things
    Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
    Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes
    Silver-white winters that melt into springs
    These are a few of my favorite things
    When the dog bites
    When the bee stings
    When I’m feeling sad
    I simply remember my favorite things
    And then I don’t feel so bad

  26. Look mum, I made it!!

    Glad to hear Purity is doing great, let her know she has the gang is on her side..
    Ps. I also know Toni will write one day. And when she writes, it will be the happiest day of my life.

  27. Growing up (I still am), in lower primary I had two competitors. Definitely not in height. Mercy and Purity. My name comes close as it translates to noble but those two gave a run for my money. And those badges we used to get. I was a tiny one. Purity went on ahead to join me on Campus but I haven’t laid my eyes or anything on Mercy since 2004 or something. She was plump and light skinned. She had these cheeks everybody wants to pinch.

    I hope Purity is not Mercy. And I hope it is not Purity as well.

    South C. Rhumba. back in 2016, we went to celebrate the birthday of a colleague’s son. One year birthday. When dusk was settled, we found ourselves in an establishment in South C. An establishment that played rhumba. I can’t stand rhumba. So we incited the others to leave. A highlight of the day though, some dude who was already drunk almost grind his ass against my colleague’s crotch. Another dudes crotch. So we left.

    And we went to another in south B. Not playing rhumba though. I watched people get wasted. I watched my friends dance but I never did. Get wasted or dance. I am like your brother, I only dance in my head.

    And later hitched a ride home. To a warmed bed. Happiness is in the memories.

    Like meeting up with random strangers and having a laugh. A good one.

  28. Dear Purity, I’m glad you’re safe. I do hope that one day you find complete healing. That the darkness will be gone for good.
    And yes, happiness is journey. I will purpose to find happiness in all aspects of my life. Thanks Biko or should I say Jacko for the reminder.

  29. Ahoy Purity,

    When the sun goes down it’s always a matter of time and it rises again. And it has never disappointed.

    During gloomy times, we are always hopeful that beyond the horizon there is sunshine. As long as we are hopeful we will live to see happy times.

    Keep the hope alive tigress.

  30. I read about Purity while leaving work and i bet i saw her form along Waiyaki Way,just after Oracle offices.I bet its her,i knew she was alive

  31. Am so happy Purity is fine, for a moment i thought the worst.
    I really like the response- Try depression once a month, repeat every other month.
    I laughed so much now my colleagues think am a lunatic- So thanks Biko just what i was shooting for, on top of girl who doesn’t speak to now am crazy too.

  32. Thanks for the update on Purity.

    The rest of the article just sounded
    like small talk. I hate small talk. Lol.

  33. Haki you make my day.
    Sometimes you just have to make a decision to be happy no matter what. see, choices have consequences and one such is to be happy or not. what makes one happy is purely personal.

  34. Hehehe… chapoz. I remember while growing up when heading back home from school and as I approached the house I could smell chapoz and I would pray that the smell is coming from our house and not the neighbors. If it was at home that was like the best feeling ever!! Asante Exe! Lol!

  35. The more we want things (at the expense of others) the unhappier/sadder we are deep inside us – whether we get them or not. Those who have learnt to be more generous/ giving are happier.

  36. Hurray!!! Purity showed up and she’s alive, I thank God. I love her honesty too. I hope she finds peace and tranquility and some day soon, she will be happy like that man in a suit who danced so well. And Jacko, I still insist, hook up with Purity for a drink. I think she really trusts in you as a friend and you can help to uplift her spirit.
    I read somewhere that, if you can’t be happy with your current problems/ challenges, then you will never be happy because as long as we are alive, we will somehow face different challenges. Happiness is a personal choice, let’s embrace it gang.

    1. Couldn’t agree more Biko’If you want happiness for a lifetime, help someone else’.
      Purity hang in there… some home yoga…your you time just sit back, breathe in and out and speak positive of every negative thought that comes in mind…

      1. I find this very powerful. A friend’s thoughts ‘The only person I can change or that needs to change is me. It’s always me, everyday all day. Isn’t it beautiful that we have the power to change our minds at any instant? And that changing our minds literally determines whether we are happy or depressed?
        The human mind remains the most powerful tool there will ever be and you have access to it, it’s with you all day. You are sitting on a gold mine, so don’t go looking for scraps out there. Look within and tap into that immense power, use it to change you. ‘

  37. “But that cat was too happy to have been from a funeral, unless he had just buried his debts.”……Biko Yawa!!! Now this is stuck in my head! 😀 Cheers to burying only our debts! *toasts*

    To Purity, it might not feel like it right now, but it does get better…..i’m there, but getting help….here’s to less foggy brains and more hopeful days

  38. Happiness is a strange thing. It’s fickle. Also, Kenyans will never really accept that they are happy. It’s almost like happiness is a sin. You can’t just say you are happy. It’s not humble. It’s not proper. It’s unKenyan. We almost believe that if you say you are happy the gods will think you are gloating and take away your happiness. Besides nobody ever seems to want to hear you are happy, they would rather hear that you aren’t, it’s got more grit.
    Lol. So true. It’s called foreboding joy (borrowed from Brene’ Brown). We fear that if we say we are happy or if we feel happy, things will go wrong. Weird thing though is that when the ‘bad’ thing does happen you will not feel less worse than if you had enjoyed the good. Ponder on that and choose to be happy today. Let tomorrow take care of itself.

  39. you have nailed it this story is hilarious waaah i have lughed my heart out in the office,Biko you have taken me back and talk of deep west i must visit it again,i did it alot while staying in south c

  40. you have nailed it this story is hilarious waaah i have laughed my heart out in the office,Biko you have taken me back and talk of deep west i must visit it again,i did it alot while staying in south c

  41. So much relief that Purity sent that signal. Been thinking about this lady all week. Other than this relief, today’s piece is so many stories mixed up, I don’t get it. Purity. The establishment. Dancing man. Exe. Couldn’t keep up till the end. And yet I love Exe, and chapus.

  42. Lastly Biko on a lighter note it’s the 4th commandment that says obey your mother and Father not 5th commandment
    Always looking forward to reading from you

    1. Dottie,

      Biko is right ……. it is the 5th Commandment that requires us to honour our mother and father and not the 4th.

  43. Chapati kwa maharagwe ni mwisho wa mawazo!
    Just wondering, how much will you ave given to get back a change of 2,000/-

      1. You pay a K from your wallet get 300 bob change and stuff it into your jeans pockets, you pay another K from the wallet get 200 or 500 bob change and stuff it in the pockets. Since jeans are not an everyday wear and can do like two wears before a wash, and assuming you have several for the weekends. Next time you pick on that particular one …… stumble on a K or more in loose change in the pockets!
        Sharing from experience.

  44. Glad Purity didn’t kill herself. So many of us are struggling inside. May she find happiness.
    And only Biko can market APA Insurance and EXE so subliminally.
    Have you tried Dola though? Their brown chapos are to die for. Their white chapos too…we Chapo lovers don’t discriminate. We are not racist. Brown chapos, yellow chapos, white chapos…chapos all over.

  45. But Purity be an interesting one too.I hope she gets well, because she will. I kindof laughed reading the entire article, because i recently passed by a spot where guys were taking their dogs for a play date and a month later, i am still thinking about it, then here is Jacko talking about dogs..

    Okay, also please tell that poor girl that Rhumba is life, it is the spelling of happiness. Now that Exe hasn’t worked for me, Rhumba is my constant, but that’s just me!
    This is such a beautiful read…

  46. So many of us in a rock bottom, in darkness just like Purity. Thanks Biko you certainly made me breath see you may think life has been sapped out of you and voila you realise someone else is fighting to live….

  47. Some say “Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present.”
    It’s good to hear Purity is ok.
    Interesting read. It’s true we take so many things for granted and end up unhappy having so many “Life is a b_tch” and “Sh_t happens” moments. -sigh-
    I just want to be as happy as the 3 piece suit ‘Kanda King’.
    Just say Exe say Exeeeee.

  48. I’m glad Purity is alive!!
    Biko, about ‘x’… It was never constant!! Now we know who wasn’t paying attention in the Math class…

    1. Indeed, that x was a variable (and how I hated it because it was so elusive yet we ALWAYS had to find it!); the constant was always k.

  49. Phew! Thank God Purity is alive and well. I am sad about the abortion though. But God. Like she said, she still lives in His favour which counts for a whole lot! Baraka

  50. The tone of this post expresses perfectly the relief of knowing that Purity is hanging in there and has retained her wicked humour.

  51. Yay! Purity is ok. Keep fighting for yourself girl. You’ll win this battle.

    On happiness…. I read a post on instagram…. “Being happy is a very personal thing and it really has nothing to do with anyone else”. Ain’t that the truth.

  52. don’t know how i feel after reading this.i feel for purity,may the lord hug her every moment she feels low and embrace her through her day and nights.There is hope and sunshine are precious.
    *deliberately ignoring how chapos are awesome

  53. The ‘staunch’ Christian in me knows that God was in that room with Purity, and He’s there waiting just for her; when the darkness and emptiness closes in; He’ll be there; when wracked with sobs and brokenness; He’ll be there to heal and put back all the broken pieces. Hope she can listen to Travis Greene’s Made a way…

  54. Yipee! Good news from Purity at last. Like I said last time, a campaign on depression needs to start like yesterday and let people know that they can get help and where to seek for the same. I would recommend for her to read from people who have suffered depression. My recommendation would be Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson. Here is an excerpt I liked from the book; “It is an amazing gift to be able to recognize that the things that make you happiest are so much easier to grasp than you thought. There is such freedom in being able to celebrate and appreciate the unique moments that recharge you and give you peace and joy. Sure, some people want red carpets and paparazzi. Turns out I just want banana Popsicle dipped in Malibu rum ( or whatever you like). It doesn’t mean I am a failure at appreciating the good things in life. It means I am successful at in recognizing what the good things in life are for me.”

  55. Happiness takes many forms, Somedays happiness for me is just as simple as taking off my bra after a long day.

  56. Glad Purity is still with us. And she will continue to be with us.
    And Purity, none of us deserve the favour or love of God. Never feel sorry for that,
    just appreciate it.
    All human beings need the human touch Biko, and thank you for the human touch in your writings…..

  57. k’ochia……Biko, this made me obligated to throw a line or two.
    That my village..haha
    ….happy purity ..( in my head i see puree- and please its not with the posh accent..just as it is..) is okay…,….

  58. As much as happiness is elusive, we just have to grab it. It’s true, it’s always there, we just feel better when frustrated.

  59. Today morning i thought I was happy cos I was listening to J cole and then a citi hoppa came and scratched my side mirror and I banged on the side of the bus and was actually cursing them out and it shook me for a moment cos I was like whoa ..Where is that anger coming from …
    One thing I am learning is to be present. If you are happy be present in that happiness and be okay.When you are unhappy also be present in that .Embrace your feelings and be present in them.
    Glad Purity is doing better

  60. To cut the long story short, Jacko is a happy man.
    I’m not sure whether is is happy because of the chama or the short guy in a suit in bar after 10pm or even a having had a chance to explain to a ‘poor girl’ how to love rhumba and age slowly.
    I feel a little inclined to thimk that he feels happy that ‘Purity’ replied. You know that kafeeling when a girl finally replies to your mesages?

  61. Few things
    I’m really really really really happy that Purity is alive
    Also I hope she’ll be okay depression is the word thing any person can go through
    Who doesn’t like rhumba or Congolese music I mean they are the best really really the best. Good read for a Tuesday afternoon follow my blog

  62. I’m glad Purity is alive… but how could you mix Purity’s story with Deep West and chapos?
    Happiness, I’m cool with it

  63. Hi, always a good read but I felt like today you were all over the place. Sort of like you were trying to fill the word count.

    Tell Purity the cliche phrase that life is like a rollercoaster. You have got to enjoy ups and downs.

  64. Happy our groomy lady is hale. Deep West Liveth hmm,might give it a glance one of this, Now on this Chapo plug “You wouldn’t mess around. You obeyed their command which means we obeyed the fifth commandment. So apart from Exe being nourishment for our body, it helped in the nourishment of our spirituality. ~ WORD!!

  65. Am glad purity is alive, this too shall pass….. Am from that weird family that takes chapo with chicken or beef, beans for who??!

  66. Still, it also made you wonder; who goes to a ba..sorry, establishment in a suit, let alone a three-piece suit? Unless they are from a funeral. But that cat was too happy to have been from a funeral, unless he had just buried his debts.

    hohohohoho made my Monday

  67. I somehow quit chapos every day and especially when I read the horrors of wheat. Then I go to the supermarket, pretend not to see the shelves carrying our dear X but oh unto you, I stroll back, pick my X, hug him tell him that it’s never that serious and head home to make some scrumptious chapos. yummy! and the song keeps replaying….
    Our dear Purity, it’s never that serious, you will wade through. We love you.

  68. Glad that Purity is well. Sending love light and Comfort your way Purity.

    “If you want happiness for a lifetime, help someone else.” Great read. Biko!

  69. Biko. I worked in Kochia!beautiful place with friendly people…very few musicians to speak of though…

  70. Purity, be strong. We are hooked up to your lucid emails. Keep shooting them. @Biko, ‘X’ is not a constant, it is a variable that never change its value.

  71. I hope you are not a Jakochia because the jolliness that you are wearing today is peculiar…But this must have changed Purity’s mind. Good read.

  72. Cliff the tall why oh why. Why did you change that lovely breath of fresh air that was your profile picture… I loved that picture… sigh… I would look out for your comment just to gaze upon that picture… sigh..

  73. Happy that Purity is alive…I did say a prayer for her…please stay alive Purity

    On another note…how do you pronounce ‘chutzpah’…I want to use it in a sentence…and look learned; you know…lol

  74. *sigh* Purity is safe thank God. By the way Biko, what happened to Lucy your colleague? I miss her escapades

  75. Am I the only one who’s missed Tamms tales?

    Biko how about one for the new month… Yes? Yes? No? Okay, I won’t give up.

  76. The beauty of fiction is that this story would have ended in suspense, without ever knowing any more of Purity. Now it makes me sad that she’s going through struggles, but happy that she’ll make it. God’s speed in her recovery.

    …my mom still calls any of the dilute-to-drink soft drinks as tree top. It’s a constant ‘EXE’. Beautiful memoirs…

  77. happiness… I just lost a job because my boss and seniors couldn’t contain a happy blessed soul at work…now am jobless for being happy

  78. Kudos to Purity.. With a spirit like that..she’ll make it out alive. Her authenticity shines through her words.

    On happiness.. Quite a coincidence that I’ve been thinking about that and even wrote a blog on it. We are used to this advice on how to survive bad times, how to get through grief,loss,low moments etc.
    But no one gives happiness the same intense attention. We are supposedly just supposed to know how to enjoy being happy. Yet we never talk of it. We quote happy times with words for struggle. We downplay it.
    We feel guilty saying it out loud that we are happy. That times are good.
    I’m going to go on and on..So let me just leave this here. I’m happy. Very happy. 2018 is a very good year for me. And as of now..I’m the happiest I’ve ever been.

  79. Thank God Purity is alright i was actually looking forward to her reply. But why did she have to abort? okay, I understand her learning to love herself cause God knows i try to do that every day, anyway she knows best and am not the right person to judge. I do listen to hip hop a lot not the new school ones (Lord knows how annoying they can be) ,just listen Vinnie Paz (one of my favorites) in one of his tracks ” is happiness just a word..”, the song title itself makes one think deeply what happiness really is?

  80. Long live Purity!! Hang in there, we love that you are with us. And no, some of us will not be sanctimonious about your choice, it’s your situation as you saw it best. Please find at least one person you can really talk to – but choose wisely of course. Happiness – spot on Biko. I think in Kenya we are so busy chasing after the next thing, iphone, German car, leafy suburb house, that we don’t feel contented with what we have and let happiness rule.

  81. Purity, you’re in my prayers always; just know that even though i don’t know you personally, i feel you and my arms are open for a warm hug anytime.
    I find happiness in just chatting away, i have very few female friends that i trust (2 to be exact) and when we meet, it has to be a sleepover so we can cry, laugh, men bash and swap beauty tricks; but the unburdening always leaves me lighter and happy.

  82. Somehow, I had a feeling that Purity would be just fine! It is a relief nonetheless to have the confirmation.
    But what is it about the Chinese? They are not just good at building roads, railways, ports and bridges. They have so many sayings too! Like, perhaps the most well-known, …… ‘the journey of a thousand miles…..’
    And they all seem to make……. a lot of sense!
    Although happiness does appear to be dependent on a certain set of circumstances – and Kenya just doesn’t seem to manifest a whole lot of a right set of circumstances right now for most to be perfectly happy – which is perhaps why it ranks abysmally on the happiness index, happiness, like some have said here, is a choice. It is all about how one chooses to respond to an unpleasant set of circumstances to keep happy!
    The Chinese saying you have quoted at the end of the beautiful article seems to provide a formula! I do remember reading somewhere that happiness is like jam – you can’t spread even a little without getting some on yourself!
    Have a great week folks.

  83. There is a Chinese proverb that I like, “If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap. If you want happiness for a day go fishing [In our case, Olepolos – if it’s still there]. If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. [Or win the sports betting jackpot] If you want happiness for a lifetime, help someone else.”
    welll am heeding thy commandment…am going digging into my pants… got to seek out that happiness that i forgot i had….purity should join us in this endeavour too… raha jipe mwenyewe thats what i hear them say

  84. Purity is strong and we’ll continue to pray for her.

    ‘We’re unhappy even when we’re happy’. That’s messed up! No wonder God doesn’t bless us, coz we seem unappreciative.

    My mum’s exe chapos were awesome. I lived for them in high school. When my Dad came to visit he’d carry two items; a newspaper and chapos.

    A blessed week to this superb crew!

  85. “There were four of us, including a poor girl that we dragged along.”

    How banal of Nairobi. There is not a time that I would go for drinks with the boys and we see a group of gents your age sitting around a poor girl and her flock of indigent peers.

    The last part of that Chinese proverb about helping someone else, is a task deemed difficult these days. I have tried it, and sadly still doing it, yet it bore no fruit. Maybe I am doing it wrong. Maybe.

  86. Brioni Vanquish sounds a like a great name for an Italian sports car. So are we allowed to call Biko Jacko and not Jackson?

  87. How true this is!! “Normal households cooked chapos with beans or ndengu. That’s how it is even in the Bible. [I’m sure the verse is there somewhere]”

  88. People think of you often. They think of you fondly. They think the world of you. There are office managers and baristsas that think about you. There are Facebook friends you haven’t seen in 15 years and weirdos in your building that think about you. There are dentists and high school lab partners that think about you. They would be devastated to hear the news of your death. They would mourn you. They are people that would be uncomfortable ever telling you how highly or how often they thought of you and vice versa because we live in a world that eschews intimacy and affection in favor of the allegedly “comfortable” distance we choose to keep that is actually making a large portion of the population feel cripplingly lonely…………………..

  89. Your comment*happiness is within us, most times at our disposal each day one for waking up to breath freshness of the morning and make a choice if it’s going to be business as usual( like yesterday) or business unusual ( reminds of the song joy comes in the morning- my life is in your hands). Our expectations sometimes is what betrays many

  90. Biko, we were asked to find x in class, little did we know that finding exe would be the beginning of our happy zone. Rhumba is also more powerful than cannabis, it creeps into your sinews, joggles the bone marrow and tingles the platellet. Lets just say its aroma is just as strong as that of chapos.
    Ps: I love reading your posts last, it makes me happy to wait for everyone to exit so that I can slowly close the door, not just bang it.

  91. This cracked me up………Normal households cooked chapos with beans or ndengu. That’s how it is even in the Bible. [I’m sure the verse is there somewhere].

  92. Normal households cooked chapos with beans or ndengu. That’s how it is even in the Bible. [I’m sure the verse is there somewhere]… I read it the book of Jackson chapter Biko verse Exe