Highlights 2015

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Last week I’m standing at that CFC Stanbic Bank ATM at Upper Hill Medical Center, right? It’s early morning and I have 30mins to kill before a meeting at The Chancery. I want to grab a hot lemon and ginger – to go – from the Java next door, a slight but steady drizzle falls from a sky as grey as an empty promise. My ears are cold. I’m waiting behind this chap who is spending the last half of his life at the ATM. From the back of his head I can tell he is elderly; the base of his hair is sprinkled with white, like the frothiness as a tide crashes ashore. He has on this quirky checked coat. You could play a game of chess on his back.

This guy is one one of those people who spend three days in a goddamn ATM because they can’t simply read the instructions and get their money out in one attempt like the rest of humanity. So he’s there punching keys, removing card, re-inserting card, punching more keys, punching again, removing ATM card, inserting it again, punching more keys as the ATM constantly spits statements after statements because he obviously doesn’t care about saving trees. And I’m getting frustrated because surely, is Christmas going to find me standing there in the drizzle?

Plus I’m beginning to suspect that the very act of inserting and removing the card from the machine is turning this old man on. Otherwise why would anyone insert and remove an ATM card so many times if it wasn’t some kind of a twisted fetish they nursed from childhood? Ages later he finally finishes and turns – he could be in his late 50’s -and he says in a deep drawl, “Oh I’m sorry, I didn’t know anyone was waiting,” his politeness unnerves me for a second then I hear myself say,  “ No problem…nice jacket, by the way.” which is a goddamn lie because that jacket is dreadful but I felt like I had to say something nice to him to pay him back for his politeness. And age.

“Oh thanks!” he says, surprised at the compliment, “My daughters hate it!” Then he chuckles, “I’m surprised you like it, young people don’t seem to like it much.” I turn on my bullshit mode and say, “Ah, young people, what do young people know about high fashion?” I’m joshing with him, yanking his chain a bit, because that jacket can only be high fashion in Maua, Meru.

Anyway, I think he sees what I have just did because  he emits this strange burst of  laughter that completely surprises me. It’s  as if he had someone else’s laughter in custody, like he had kept it for safekeeping until they ask for it. But here he is using someone else’s laughter; it was one of those sharp, surprising laughs that, well, didn’t seem to come from him, or belong to him. It wasn’t consistent with his leathery face, his deep growl or his eccentric jacket.

He then squeezes my arm as he brushes past me and says, “Happy holidays, young man,” in that fatherly way and I feel like a complete jackass for lying about his jacket and playing with his emotions because for all I care that chap could have been Father Christmas in his civilian clothes. That was a great random moment. Here are some of my great moments of 2015:

#1milliforJadudi

Because you guys demonstrated (with 7-million shillings)  that humanity will never be buried in the biggest rubble of life.

Kim turning two.

He jumps off sofas, half scaring his mom to death. He climbs windows. He’s rough, pushes his sister around, breaks new toys in the first ten minutes of receiving them. He says “juush” to mean “juice” because even a half luo is still a luo. Most importantly everybody says, “Biko, that boy looks exactly like you,” and I pretend it’s no big deal but it’s such a effin’ big deal. Right now he has this huge painful-looking bump on his forehead; fell on the cold floor jana, face first. Cried a river. But he’s back at it, jumping off sofas and climbing windows because he’s a boy. My beautiful boy.

My Best Destination of 2015: Ngerende Island Lodge

I remember walking  around barefoot in my underwear in my suite overlooking the Mara River, because the lodge is cast in a panoramic oxbow around this lazy river infested with hippos who when I listened closely late at night, I could swear were moaning my name. I remember the feeling of the warm mahogany floor under my feet and the smell of the woodland. I remember spending my evenings in the private jacuzzi reading a book and listening to the stillness of the evening and thinking that  silence indeed is a sound. I remember the bush dinner in the middle of a Mara thicket, a roaring bonfire crackling in the night, the sound of strange animals calling each other somewhere in the ominous darkness, the shadows of the shuka’d Maasai guards in the dark periphery of the clearing and the dancers leaping around the fire as if in a ritual, my glass of Martel long forgotten in my hand.  A truly enchanting night. I remember going on a game drive and seeing about 12 lions. 12! You see so many lions you start feeling like you are on a first name basis with them:

Hey Mufasa?

Hey Chocolate man?

Nice mane!

My name?

No, mane, not name!

I remember how the chef came out and bowed to my compliment, a guy who never stepped foot in a culinary school but sat at the foot of a masterchef and learnt about onions from the dexterous hands of the master.  I remember breakfasts on green gardens, the day I realised I love green chilli, the morning sun kissed the back of my neck.

I’m very lucky to stay in some of the most luxurious places when I travel for my travel writings but at some point they all become a blur of pillows, rainforest showers and egg with toast. A few stand out and stay with me. Ngerende Island Lodge has refused to leave me. It’s one of the best places I have been to in Kenya.

It’s about 76K a night for two people all inclusive. A bit out of reach for the average Kenyan who struggles to pay for Internet, yes, but if you ever win a big tender, get visited by BAT, or play Lotto and get lucky, please go there. Until then put this lodge on your Bucket List. It’s something special.

My best read of 2015: The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt

Who was it that said that coincidence was just God’s way of remaining anonymous?”– Donna Tartt.

If you are going to read only one book in 2016, please read this book. If you read it and it doesn’t move you in any way whatsoever, then please get a big-checked jacket.

Top 40 Under 40 Finalist 2015

I wore a ridiculous ankara bowtie done by Nick Ondu. For the first time in many moons I wore a suit and couldn’t help feeling like a pallbearer. But that night at the Windsor was magical and it called for the occasion: I was in a room with the some extremely smart fellows, men who had decided to stand taller than their heights. I left before the night was over, holding my plaque close to my nipples, like it was its feeding time. Outside, in the dark night I ducked into the waiting Uber, three double whiskies (and three rocks) ringing in my ears like the drone of a submarine engine underwater. Inside the driver studied my plaque and asked, “What did you do to win that?” and I said, “ I’m not sure.” And he laughed like I had told him a joke.

(Thank you, Antalya)

Imelda

When I was told I had that clot in my leg I came here and made light of it, christened  it Imelda. If you repeat this anywhere I will deny it but truth is, it scared me. For a whole month I was on blood thinners and the whole time I thought, “What could have happened had this little bitch moved to my heart and killed me? Who would take care of my kids? Would they have the same quality of life? Would they remember me 10 years from now? Would the Missus marry again after a year or after six months to someone with a better forehead this time, and would he treat my kids well, take them to decent schools and buy them “sootcases” with cartoons on them?”

Death isn’t some fashion fad you will never be interested in. Death is with us. It sits down with us at the dinner table even though we don’t set a place for it. The irony remains; we live with death.

Again, thank you Professor Elijah Ogola, the best cardiologist (and all time great guy) this side of the Sahara, you are a small god. Keep touching broken hearts.

Running Club

So I’m in this rubbish running club that does runs every Sato at Karura Forest. We call ourselves The Phat Boys- and Girls. It consists of Eugene Dudu Afande, Luis Indimuli, Philip Mwaniki, Wairimu Maina, Wambui Muriithi and Mbula. Only reason I’m writing their full names is so that you don’t allow them to join your running club because these people are lazy, with exception of Philo, Wairimu and Wambui. Eugene for instance didn’t come for one single run this whole year. Luise has hangovers most Saturdays and Philo sijui had some leg complications. The running group has become a dead dodo.

I’m looking to join a small running group that can train at Karura every Sato. It would be nice if that group didn’t have Kalenjins, because, well, they are “racists.” Inbox me on [email protected]

 

P.S: By the way, look out for what Weetabix will do next year for this fitness challenge because, well, we will need to shed off this weight come January.

Bonus Mention

I ran into Connie Aluoch – fashion stylist – at Yaya recently and she said, “Biko, how many years have I known you for?” and I said, “uhm, many.” She sighed and said, “ten years, Biko! I’m your biggest fan,  in fact you have turned me into some sort of groupie! And how many times have you even written about me?” I said, “Come on now, Connie, you don’t need me mentioning you, I mean you are Connie!” and she said, “No really, we even share a birthday!” So I took her to Sierra lounge upstairs and bought her a glass of wine and she said, “I think as a dedicated fan I deserve a shout out, I don’t care where you do it, just do it please.”

So here, hey Connie!! Thanks for reading!

The best in the game

Who even listens to those safety announcements by flight attendants? They are mostly repetitive and dull. And the people who read them sound like those recordings in lifts that say in that oriental accent, “second floor, doors closing!” Besides how many different ways can you tell passengers to be careful when opening the overhead luggage compartments because luggage may have moved during flight?

Well you haven’t met Benson Wamwea then, a flight attendant at Jambojet. On a recent flight from Malindi he was cheered wildly after his pre flight announcements because he was funny and witty and he just didn’t read those announcements but owned them. He made them personal and fresh and interesting to listen to.

For example after we landed in Nairobi, a very rough landing, he said, “Ladies and gentlemen we have just landed in Nairobi – in style, as you noticed.” and people laughed, then at some point he said, “make sure you don’t leave anything behind, including children and spouses.” more applause. And he kept saying all this funny stuff and everybody listened and chuckled and clapped and when he was done you felt like you didn’t want to leave the plane. You wanted him to just keep talking in that slow motion way of his and making all of us laugh. The ladies loved him. It’s not everyday people applaud a flight attendant and when they do, you know it’s something something special. Benson Wamwea, keep doing you, man.

The Lady of the Manor

This time I went back home and I found the missus standing by her wardrobe picking out her clothes for the next day and I could tell immediately she was sulking. You can always tell when they are sulking even when their backs are facing you. “The things you write,” she said without looking at me, “I know we have had this conversation before, but sometimes they really really piss me off.” (Those are two “really”s…bad) And she never spoke a word of it again. (Bad again). She hardly complains about what I write (not anymore) but when she does I have to take notice – or I might get killed in my sleep. (Her best friend is from Nyeri…). This is to her for taking my bullshit all year round and for always being graceful.

My best Interview of 2015

I have done about 48 CEO profile interviews this year for the Business Daily. That’s pretty much an interview every week. There are interviews I remember fondly for one reason or the other; I remember Charles Njonjo because it was a scoop, a big fish and I remember how when he invited us into his lair and he sat at the head of the table in his signature pinstripe suit and that elephant bracelet around his wrist and how he stared down at me with his rheumy eyes and I refused to balk under his stare and we ended up being great pals. I remember Christian Turner’s wit in an interview I did recently and how at some point we entirely forgot the voice recorder and just chatted because Turner was a brilliant interviewee. I remember Jeremy Awori, Barclays CEO, because I knew he was going to be dead boring and give me plastic answers when his PR – Ann Nderi – sat in the interview to perhaps “herd” it,  but I loved how he toyed with my questions and toyed with me and he expertly maneuvered pitfalls with rhetoric and anecdotes and when I was just getting frustrated he’s drop me a bone and keep me on the trail. He was a masterful interviewee who doesn’t give out too much but makes you feel that he did.

But my best interview for this year is definitely Senator Mutula Kilonzo Jr. whom I interviewed in his office on Ngong Road early this January, a fine cold morning, 6:30am on the nose. He sat at his father’s desk and even though I broached his father’s death and I knew he wasn’t going to talk about it, he delved into it, with brutal honesty (some of which went off record for legal reasons) and he was just bereft of any pretence or posturing and he  wasn’t afraid to reveal his vulnerability to me in a way that made me want to “cover his nakedness.” Later, he walked me out of his office to my car and thanked me for coming. He didn’t have to be decent to me, but he was. It wasn’t PR either – I can see PR a mile away – it was just who he was at that time. There are people whom I interview and want to get out of their space quickly and gargle warm salty water, and then there are people whom you interview and you tell yourself, “It would be a great disservice to your profession if you misrepresented this person to the public.” Mutula Kilonzo Jr. was the latter.

My worst…

I interviewed this guy who couldn’t stop talking about his money. How well he was doing. How loaded he was.  It was vile. And tiring. And old. But mostly it was sad. He saddened me deeply. There is nothing as sad as someone talking about his immense wealth when they are wearing a bad suit.

Diana Ngila

My most favourite Nation photographer (after you Salaton Njau) who takes all my profile interview pictures. She’s loud and unapologetic and she always bullies subjects, draws them out with her effervescence and cheek. A good soul. Thanks for being you, Dee. Let’s do it all over again in 2016- Inshallah.

The editors

To Vickie and Ciku; the people cross my t’s and dot my i’s here. Thank you. And of course to Magunga who uploads these things every week on time. Asante.

Tamms

Because she was number 8 this term. But she acts like it’s no big deal. Because she’s my baby even though now that she’s gotten too heavy to carry.

You, le Gang

Because all this would mean squat if you didn’t come to this blog to read.  Someone said it here the other day, that they come here for the comments, you know what? So do I! The comments here are hysterical!

You guys make this place home and each one of you is an MVP. If I had a cookie I’d distribute to every one of you, but that’s a hell of a lot of cookies, plus most of you sound like you don’t do junk. So maybe carrots, that is if The Kasaine – the Maasai farmer – can deliver in truckloads.

Thanks a lot for reading, for taking time to comment, for always being very decent and mature even when you don’t agree with what I write here (I have disapproved only less than 5 comments this whole year) and most importantly thank you for your participation and continued decorum. I appreciate it.

Shall we do this again next year, if God allows?

From me and the Zulu Dynasty, I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Don’t bloody drink and drive.

Could the last person here please switch off the lights?

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642 Comments
  1. Holiday cheer to you too…and to everyone here, especially those who struggle to comment here first, only to find themselves 10th. May 2016 bring more luck to you.

    Tuonane next year ondiek.

    1
    1. Hey Magunga, now that you are on a first name basis with chocolate man, I will take advantage of that and ask for a Christmas present. Since it is next to impossible to see that forehead I simply want an autograph from chocolate man…pleeeeaassee!!!!

    1. Went to look at their rates during the high season you pay USD 1,962 (APPROX KES 200,000) per night if you want your own room

  2. Kwani meru’s have hideous fashion?:( am offended…we’ll pick the born next year though….thanks Biko for being my highlight every week. To you and your family… Happy Happy holidays….lot’s of love(in a nice way)

  3. Biko how on earth could you forget ththe Masterclasses? Esp the 4th one? Biko? Biko? I’m talking to you? Biko? Isokei….anyway…I didn’t notice there was someone waiting! Merry Xmas…happy new year…let’s teach CHIVAS a lesson again at Explorer

  4. I read you slowly, sometimes quickly, most times I laugh, other times i want to cry…excuse me for getting maudlin, but for this gift that you share with us freely, thank you Biko.

  5. It was funny (as always), engaging (naturally), but most of all, I loved the vulnerability of today’s piece. God bless you Chocolate man, you are putting your talent to good use. Happy holidays to your family and get the missus something sparkly to say you’re sorry.

  6. Thank you to all the guest writers too… especially Nduta, who left us high and dry, waiting (still waiting) for more. 🙂
    Thank you Biko aka Chocolate Man for keeping some us insomniacs entertained and touching our lives with your literary prowess.. Here is to an even better year, 2016.
    #RaiseYourGlassesGang!

  7. Well done biko,I haven’t read any other blog ardently for the last couple of years.And yes you have inspired me to read books again in 2016 after a long hiatus.Merry Christmas.

  8. Wah Biko I. know you don’t realize it but you love your missus & the babies, You’re a great daddy. The sense of humor 100% , I always wonder what did you use to attain in your compositions? Am sure yours were read in class. Good job Biko. Ati that guy had a fetish inserting the ATM it cracked me up. Happy Holidays too …

  9. Biko, last year on a similar post you said you were chasing Donald Kipkorir and The big man, Uhuru for an interview in 2015. And I’ve been waiting for those two interviews. In 2016, make it happen. Even one.

      1. Chocolate man, it’s ogambaki!! My relationship with you started on July 19th 2015, aboard KQ, my first flight out of Ug. It was that July Msafiri magazine which introduced you to me. Google did the rest. I landed here and I’ve become part of the Gang. Happy holidays, Merry Christmas and let’s wait for 2016.

  10. switch off the lights i will, after reading all the comments. anyhu thanks Biko for highlighting my weeks even though sometimes i really really want to slap you(and im not from nyeri)
    Cheers to better 2016

  11. Benson Wamwea is on point. He was in charge on this flight to Kisumu and as I walked past him I told him radio would be happy to have him. Merry Christmas Biko, Merry Christmas Gang!

  12. Could it be Sasha Mutai…for that worst interview….I know because that is what I felt about him when O read the interview….tired tired showing off!

  13. i have laughed with all of you and cried when pieces were emotional but the best part of my week is always reading this pieces and sharing them with my best friend because we always race to see who shares them first.
    a wonderful Christmas to you, the family and the gang

  14. Merry Christmas to you too. I have always wondered about your wife, The Missus. That mention of her is so AAAAAAAAAWWWWW!
    Best Writers Award 2015 goes to you! Baraka

  15. Thank you for all the hearty laughs in your pieces. They always make my days and I always look forward to a next one. Merry Christmas to you and Family and all your fans. Lets see you next year. InshaAllah!

  16. To Biko, thanks a lot for keeping us smiling at odd times. Biko if you know Wanja Kavengi ( a writer too) say hi.
    To the gang, Wacha tu. Happy holidays.

  17. Your stories have brightened up and brought laughter to many dull days. Merry Christmas and happy new year to you too. Looking forward to more in 2016!!

    1. I totally conquer on this. I have actually wondered if indeed she exist. What is her profession and what is her take on your writing?Happy New year

  18. I opened this post immediately I got the notification on email and it has 23 comments already!!! I’m going on a hunger strike for the next 10 minutes
    Post again before the year ends chocolate man. Thank you most especially to Magunga, Joe Black and Chero. You guys are phat

  19. It’s about 76K a night for two people all inclusive……Read this twice and fell off my seat both times. Weeeeeeeeh! Splendid read as always. You rocked my 2015 Biko, looking forward to 2016. Merry christmas and a blessed new year.

  20. My first comment. I only read everything including the comments. Thought it an honor mine being read today. Happy holidays chocolate man and the gang.

  21. I Always enjoy reading your articles.The imelda story is my favorite(dont be shocked) its just that you turned a big deal to a no big deal…more interesting when you mix swahili and English.

  22. Happy Holidays,I dare you to better your works next year…oh,i forgot we need permissions from God.Well he has granted you the life and talents,who among us is to question his wisdom and mercies?we will be there in this community next year,see you in the morning Gang,lights out!

  23. I read The Goldfinch earlier this year and I’ve been forcing everyone to read it! (It should be a set book for real life) 😀

  24. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year too!!! Discovering and subscribing to this blog is one of my highlights for 2015. God’s blessings to you and your loved ones.

  25. You turn things in such a manner with your words Biko,keep brightening up our Tuesdays and may you have a merry christmas and a happy new year.

  26. Ardent fan!!!! Diehard for your weekly blogs. I have been a faithful follower. Merry Christmas to you and your family and a prosperous 2016

  27. its bn a great year having to get here every Tuesday and get entertained!I have read every post bro n thanks to ua wit am getting really in book reading again.merry Christmas choco man

  28. And thank you for holding our hands every Tuesday, some of us could not do without this dose every Tuesday!! Merry Christmas to your and the family and a happy New Year 2016. cheers

  29. Salute Chocolate Man…thank you for the laughs..a toast to you and your family.Happy Holidays.See you in 2016, God allowing, Inshallah!

  30. I laughed my ribs out when you called your mom Forehead Jane.Then you went ahead to say that even God says “Oh my God” your sense of humor is unmatched. Am trying to find your supplier because that which you smoke-i want to try it too. Merry xmas and happy new year to your family,keep keeping on.

  31. Yap Benson Wamwea is really good!All flight attendants should borrow a leaf if not the whole tree :). Thanks for your amazing writing that always makes us keep coming back to your blog! Merry Christmas!

  32. ‘the things you write’ I have always wondered what the misus thought about the things you write. clearly, she has lots of grace.

    Goldfinch, I will try it again next year. My book of the year 2015 was book thief, you reviewed it sometime last year. thank you.

    and the Kale’s are racists… Hahaha.

    Merry Christmas!

  33. Happy holidays Biko.you forgot to mention dnt speed either.reading this blog at the magistrate court.waiting g for the judge.speeding fine.aaargh..what a way to kick of the holidays.gang.just drive at 30kmph

  34. Am just hoping you will respond to my comment. Tamms will always be your little girl, however heavier she gets after the holidays. Happy holidays Chocolate Man

  35. Whisky and a book specifically The Goldfinch, are my plan after the fun fare is over and the kids and other adults are asleep, Merry christmas Biko and the gang.

  36. ….river infested with hippos who when I listened closely late at night, I could swear were moaning my name…really Biko…superb read as always. I love what you do by killing my boredom by your posts and other contributing writers esp. Hanafi. They’re splendid… happy holidays to you and your family

  37. Cheers Biko!Happy holidays…wanere 2016!
    To le gang, your comments are hilarious 🙂 lets meet back here in anticipation of Biko’s read. Happy Holidays!!!

  38. Merry christmas and a happy new year Biko. You made my year. Your blog is so refreshing. i loved the piece “9 hours a waiter” for obvious reasons-how kenyans view Ugandans but all the other pieces were wonderful. Greetings from the pearl of Africa!

  39. I always look forward to every week. You make the weeks bearable. Thanks Biko and happy holidays to you and yours. Tuonane next year Inshallah

  40. The day i will miss a flight reading your article again,you will pay my hospital bill. (I meant a flight of stairs. You have made my year. Happy happy holidays. Good health of body and mind to you and all the Zulu Dynasty.

  41. Happy Holidays BikoZulu. Thanks for making 2015 bearable. Looking forward to more juicy stories on the other side of New Year’s Eve.

  42. I started reading your blog after the ‘lets bury a Kikuyu” Post. I have never laughed so hard and repeated reading something which i have never done even for books. when i have nothing to read or watch yes i read your blog as i catch up on your earlier writing. Tamms is very lucky to have you as a father! Merry Chrismas and a happy new year Biko!

  43. Thank you, Biko. The Jadudi post was your best work….words that change lives, because your words have life. The Visa Denied post should be adopted for secondary school literature short story….or something! You stood up to our colonial masters! And they heard! You are hereby inducted to Mau Mau Hall of Fame. Merry christmas….off to get my checked coat….

  44. This was so well done, like Biko’s 12 gifts of Christmas for the Gang, it felt like a lovely chat about his year over a drink. Very nice. Thank you for letting us in your world.
    Merry Christmas and a Great New Year to your near and your dear ones
    Happy holidays Biko,

  45. First time I saw that book, it had been uploaded on the Facebook page ‘hooked to books’. Someone later recommended it on the same page claiming that if one enjoys your blog they’ll love that book. She compared the author to you. High time I get to reading it.

  46. As usual you end the year with a bang. Thank Biko for adding laughter to our lives. Lets do this again next year. Merry Christmas and a prosperous new year.

  47. because they can’t simply read the instructions and get their money out in one attempt like the rest of humanity. 
    Nice piece. Thank you Biko for coloring our world

  48. Biko,
    Thank you for an entertaining 2015!!! You have a gift, and i’m glad just like all your fans that you are using it… To you, your lady, Tamms and Kim – May the good Lord grant all you wish for and more in 2016! Le gang wishes that you keep writing and making us laugh, cry, sneer, chuckle and LOL all year long!

  49. Ah Benson Wamwea,I wouldn’t forget that name.Flew on his flight thrice to Diani and he was just like you described him.People you don’t forget when they make an impression

  50. Biko, its been a great year! My passion for reading and writing has been reignited…….Have a Merry Christmas and don’t forget the reason for the season.
    Stay blessed.

  51. I may not afford all those places you mention.
    I liked the piece on Rusinga island its on my bucket
    list.Ooh and I read Gone girl and book thief just
    because you said they were great and I truly enjoyed
    myself.Currently reading All the light we cannot see
    Congrats for offering the blog as platform for
    budding bloggers to test the waters.
    Thanks Biko and merry Christmas and prosperous 2016

  52. hats off Zulu, Shaka whose weapon is a pen. (I just had to)
    The humour in your posts always cracks me up. recently i was in a matatu n i started laughing when an earlier ppst came to mind
    great job

    merry Christmas and a prosperous 2016.

    Salut

  53. My best writer.I take you so seriously I screenshot every book you recommend.It’s my Christmas gift to myself.Thank you for always making my week.You are insightful.Very astute with ideas and you don’t mind telling it as you feel it.Happy holidays to you ,Tamms,Kim,The Missus and your extended family and friends.

  54. I have never been social media fan and the one time I logged into my facebook account this year I clicked on a link shared by The Insider magazine, it was on the Try Hit A Girl Today post and like cocaine I was hooked so I went back and way way back to all the post,if you haven’t you really should, I still revisit never dissapoint. you’re a master at writting Biko.Long Live the Zulu. Happy Holidays to the whole Gang.

  55. Happy holidays from the trenches Biko,past when God and angel gabby are having a convo would you chip in and tell the sun is roasting our alcohol ravaged liver. One gun salut BOOOM!!!

  56. Am an advocate, more of a writing/drafting one than a talking one n my boss thinks am the worst thing that happened to writing..the “poster boy” of terrible writing to be precise..this blog has come to my rescue lately though..I steal ides here without acknowledging intellectual property or paying sooo..thanks Biko!!

  57. I read your first article while I was working in dusty Wajir in 2011. I was home sick and I needed a familiar place. I found this in your blog and since then, I have never stopped reading it. I had the pleasure of meeting and learning from you in the first Masters Writing Class this year and it was indeed a highlight on my part. I slowed down on the writing but I am committed to working on it in 2016. Even though I rarely comment, I have witnessed your growth in writing, mentorship and social change. Thank you for using your gift for good. I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy 2016 Jackson Biko.

    1. It was an honour having you in the first masterclass, great to hear from you again! Keep writing and thanks for reading! Happy holidays,Lynette

  58. Must have been ‘The Smoking Private’ that drew the ire of Mrs. Jones. Still it was the ‘Nine hours a waiter’ series that I considered the best piece(s) of 2015. But it was all good, except for the one guest post that we chased out of town. Thank you, Biko. You really, really added some joy (or is it happiness?) to our lives this year.

  59. Cheers to one of
    21st century prolific writers! Thanks for touching our lives and bringing joy and good tidings. Merry Christmas to you, your family and the gang!!!

  60. Now that you’ve mentioned foreheads… I feel obliged to share a recent discovery I made: forehead of the year; hats down. You’d think yours a big brother Biko.

    I don’t know if you’ve seen this new Calvo Mistari video, but there’s a guy on it who’d put you to shame. I’m saying forehead from here to Hagadera.

    Anyways, Merry Christmas, don’t spare the chapos, and I wish you a fruitful 2016.

    PS: Thanks for suggesting The Goldfinch. Loved it. I still get dreams about Theodore and Pippa lakini. Don’t like how things ended

  61. I bet the lady of the manor got pissed off about that Thai article she has to be quite strong but your wit compensates must be compensating for such.. say hi to her tamms n kim tell kim we are called Keymooo,oooney

  62. Am 203rd person to comment! 🙁 But its always a pleasure reading your posts Biko. There’s this week you weren’t around or something, and I was depressed coz I hadn’t refreshed my mind with your(and other’s) articles!! Imagine that kind of addiction, smh
    Happy holidays, and to another awesome writing season in 2016.

  63. Thank you Biko….your articles were among my highlights in 2015. Being Nyarembu, the article “a cut below” still takes the cookie 🙂 Anyway, happy holidays to you and your loved ones. May 2016 be a better year… God bless. Cheers!

  64. Hey, Biko ur writing is simply amazing. It’s funny that I was introduced to your blog by my colleague through the Imelda story(we happen to share the same name). since then I’ve been an ardent fun. Keep doing you. Happy holidays

  65. Biko! Hey Mate (I just used that word??). You kept us going through 2015 with your ever so interesting stuff. I hereby
    certify that I am fully weaned of
    ‘Pala Hangover Syndrome’ Which reminds me – I sent you
    some story about THE MOB. Yaani, I didn’t make the cut?
    At least lemme know mate (That word again!)

  66. Biko, Happy holiday! I just started reading your blog earlier this year and I have been inspired to pick up/buy/download a book every now and then and read. I’m on my first book now…. Thanks.

  67. I totally love and adore your writing. My boyfie gets to read by force cos Im always sending your articles to him.
    I love love love your writing!
    Happy Holidays Biko. See you on the other side!

  68. Too many comments on this one, Always leaves me feeling like I know u personally. Now I know Magunga’s role in this. N does he have his own Blog?
    Nway, have a great festive season guys. Hope we’ll still be getting next week’s dose Biko!

      1. Are we talking about the lawyer turned writer, with different names on his id and Birth certificate here? I know this guy but I never knew hes the same Magunga! Im an ardent reader of his blog too. I thought the one u were referring to was one of your students from the masters class! Kama ni huyo Jamaa alinyimwa Passport namjua!

  69. Magunga can keep beating you guys for that Numero Uno prize, as for me I’ll be the last one here this year. So please guys after keep your comments for next year. Hohoho. Am kidding fellas.
    Anyway let me wish each and everyone of you happy holidays and a prosperous 2016. Biko, you have influenced me in ways I can’t say. Ruoth omed gwedhi kod NyarOkuyu gi Jim gi Tamsh.
    Peace.

  70. Biko extraordinary penmanship,you have more than a few subscribing dedicated silent followers like myself from England(we’d still love to have you visit by the way),I knew next to nothing about Kenya,you changed that.Profoundly.Peace bruv.

  71. About that post of the Missus, we’ll hold you to that…should be interesting to know how you guys met and the way she deals with your chauvinistic ass(which you almost always manage to cover with those humorous lines that always crack us up and we just can’t catch feelings…it’s adorable btw-your chauvinistic side not your ass)…And Thank you for this blog(mostly because you make some of us seem smart after stealing your phrases but also for your stories that make us feel there’s hope for humanity after all, for showing us that life is never that serious. We appreciate you
    happy holidays biko!

  72. Biko your articles are a great read always, fervently wait for the next read because it never satiates the need for more, trust you me 2016, will be here thanks for keeping us on this addiction. keep on keeping on. Happy holiday to you too and the gang.

  73. Happy holidays Biko, to you and your family a very merry Christmas and a happy new year.Thank you for being the highlight of most of my Tuesdays this year. Be blessed Chocolate man.

  74. How the heck do you manage to read in a Jacuzzi? All i end up is cold and wrinkly as a prune with a wet book. Also curious (feel free to take the 5th on this one.. Now that Kim looks exactly like you, did he also get your forehead?

  75. Discovering this blog was the best thing that ever happened to me in 2015! Cheers Biko. Merry Christmas to you and your family. Looking forward for more in 2016.

  76. Biko, I see what you did there. You carefully avoided
    answering my question. I hoped to be featured as a guest writer. But isorait. I wish Biko and everyone a Happy
    Christmas and a healthy 2016.
    Let’s all strive to do good.

  77. Got onto this band wagon a bit into the year, and am glad i did…always gets me laughing. To more laughs next year, God willing. Merry Christmas to you and yours and to the rest of the gang
    PS: there was no mention of weaves in this piece, have we made peace with them?

  78. I’m glad I discovered this site sometimes mid this year. You never disappoint. Read backwards up to first piece. Merry Xmas Bike & family

  79. I took some time off the blog due to exams and all but today i have just finished reading all the articles. They give me a good laugh and open my eyes too, I promise to read one book in 2016 (only one hahahahaha). I like how you bring out your family,good one there…and Biko i wana see that forehead where all these comes from. Happy holidays

  80. ‘There is nothing as sad as someone talking about his immense wealth when he is wearing a bad suit’ That’s almost my best part.
    I’m pretty new here but this is one of the bestest things I look forward to all week. I use my phone to read the blog so it pisses me off when someone calls me as I begin to sink into biko’s forehead..

    Lights out.

  81. I usually feel guilty reading your blogs posts free of charge. I feel like I should pay to read such good articles.

    Shout out to all those who comment for the first time and they have to let us know they are commenting for the first time. What’s up with that?

  82. Have the lights been switched off yet? A response from you Biko would end my year well.lol. Glad we enjoyed the same books this year.Merry christmas and happy new year

  83. hehee **with a sheepish smile** i get to switch off the lights. Thank you baba for lightening our moods when the accountant decides to become an ass. See you in 2016. MashAllah

  84. happy holidays Biko…. though I don’t read ( books) at least I read this and that’s a big plus(+)
    merry Christmas let’s meet next year hope will start reading…..Buy her( I need one too a book )

  85. A male flight attendant and am very sure the crew members were male.Wanawake tunamalizwa.But isorait.All is forgiven and forgotten since hes good at his job.
    My flight attendant crush is this black beauty with fly 540.She’s a deal.Speaks English fluently without faking an accent.
    Its like a poem she is reciting.When she was done she calmly sits down and I could see her reading Nora Robert’s The villa.
    Good piece like always.I read but never drop a comment.But new years resolution is to comment here(Top 1,Magunga beware).
    Merry xmass and God’s blessings.

  86. Hi Biko,,Thank you for you amazing articles and hoping you won’t start charging us to read.,lol..am your biggest fan and am hoping one day i do get to meet you and see the forehead myself…plus i will be waiting for a personalised shout out for my birthday..i’ll keep you in the know when its due…happy holiday..
    ps:i wldn’t mind a reply from you.

  87. Biko, as for switching off the lights…I will Kick the can down the road because this comment train is still rolling. Here’s to a 2016 full of grander things than lanyards, and the usual serving of relentless wisecracking in your posts. Happy holidays man.

  88. I approach your posts like good food.I read them slowly and savour them sometimes I eat greedily. I take time to turn over images you have used…more like chewing cud-not the most colourful image… Am one of those who have always read but never commented…but I din’t wantto get to 2016 before thanking you for the laughter fand or the beautifully woven words. Plus I noticed you were responding to most posts so am sure you will read this…so here it is Thengiù Mùno, Merry Christmas and God bless you and your family.

  89. Well in Biko & mingi blessings to u 4 being such an inspiration through ur writing. Have a blessed Christmas & a more blessed 2016. It is an honor to live in ur time!

  90. Thanks Biko for being the umblical cord that keeps some of us connected to 254! The humor and humanity in your work is a gift. To an even better year 2016…..cheers

  91. Thanks bro for keeping me sane over here in Kandahar Afghanistan every week for the last 4 or so years with your humorous stories. First time to comment though, hahaha….Happy Holidays and a Blessed 2016

      1. Yeah wuod Kendu and in Kandahar the hot-bed to be precise. our ‘ball’s are also frozen in this winter season, hahaha. Mosna jo home

  92. Your stories make me go hmmm. You certainly know how to take ordinary everyday moments, and turn them into something special. Like the ATM story above. May you and your family have a blessed Christmas and a great 2016. Thanks Biko.

  93. Merry Christmas and a blessed 2016 ahead Biko. You have done it again, I have always looked forward to your words. God bless you Biko!!! See you in a few weeks!!

  94. Wow..I enjoy reading and re-reading your articles. Incase you always see reads and re-reads from China, then here is one of them from Beijing. Happy holidays Biko. Blessings galore

  95. It’s near impossible to choose which one of your articles was my favourite this year, coz they all ROCKED. Bur if I had to I’d go with 12 hours a waiter. It was epic.
    Keep doing what you do best in 2016, that’s keeping us hooked on your literary heroin and also giving a platform to hitherto unknown writers. Happy Holidays

  96. I hardly comment though I think I have read every article of yours; the blog, mantalk, msafiri, true love except those I haven’t found. You inspire me because you not only write well, you write about life honestly. Keep doing you. ‘See’ you on the other side. Blessings!

  97. Merry Christmas Biko my old friend and brother .
    Maye God continue blessing you and your family.
    reading your blog is so refreshing,addictive and something to look forward to.
    KUDOS!! FOR THE GOODWORK

  98. I dont really have the right words to put accross my heartfelt gratefulness for sharing your world, time and all the humour (foc) with the gang. Wish I could Biko. Sorry for failing you. Forever indebted. But hey! To Tamms, Kim & Missus Ooh! Feliz Navidad Pró spero A ñ o y Felicidad…. As for you Biko, you give humour & literature a pulse. You are …. Enjoy your hols too BUT … still indebted.

  99. Started reading this blog this year over valentine’s ‘Get a girl a book’ it’s been inspiration, hilarious, and I was once called mad while reading your blog but 1 thing will remain constant am with you all the way. Happy holidays chocolate man

  100. Ja Kendubay, found u this year and promptlly joined le Gang. I read u 7-8 hrs behind Nairobi time — which is why I might be the one to switch off the lights. I’m Ja Kendubay, too, ‘xept with a fairly decent forehead 🙂 See u the other side. – Kodi

  101. My mum always accuses me of smiling at my phone. she thinks it’s girls. It’s you. sorry, your writing. Thanks for what you give us. Happy holidays to you
    p.s. wish a one Christine Ng’endo happy holidays. a great reader of yours. And me too

  102. Thank you for the great writting. I don’tcomment but i absolutely enjoy the read,always. God bless. Merry Christmas and a wonderful new year to you and yours.

  103. Your writing is awesome. But like most things we are awesome at, it really means nothing if we don’t touch others. Thanks for what you did for Jadudi, and Joe Black. Merry Christmas to the Biko dynasty

  104. You are awesome Biko. You write like the story is speaking of its experiences (if that makes sense i will eat mufasa). You inspire me alot and I hope I will be the next after you. Merry Christmas Biko.

  105. i see you have ended the year in style.replying to almost all the comments.awesome read as always merry christmas to you and the gang.I belong to the group that comes here for the comments .see you in 2016.

  106. hi Biko,
    I bought The Book Thief for a friend of mine as a birthday gift<
    I saw the recommendation here. she liked it. thanks man!happy holidays

  107. What better present can I wish for than a dedicated happy holiday wish from you Biko??You’ve maintained entertained,enlightened and hell even motivated by your writing.God bless you abundantly and beyond for this.I’ll try not to be a silent subscriber next year.Looking forward to 2016!!!

  108. Happy holidays Biko. The emotions on this post were splendid. Love, love your blog. Can’t wait to read more of you in 2016. Inshallah my friend

  109. Biko and Fam, happy holidays.I discovered you not too long ago.And I cant stop reading.You crack me up.I love people who can write something I can read and laugh,You are that man.Ah…..and watch out Muranga.lol…!!!!..What did you say about Meru again.? Ah…my must read BIKO!

  110. happy holiday Biko with your family and the gang! thank you for making 2015 a wonderful year with goodreads! looking forward to doing carrots this season!

  111. Thank you Biko for always putting the most beautiful curve on our faces literally every week. You are indeed blessed and a blessing. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2016 Biko! Let’s do this again. #GangLet’sRaiseOurGlassesAndClink!! Cheers!!!

  112. Happy holidays to all, Biko, the gang and the guest writers, especially the resident foodie Sophie Gitonga. Looking forward to more next year.

  113. This blog has been one of the best things that have happened to me this year.Thanks Juliet (kwa kunitoa ushamba).Happy holidays Biko.

      1. Hahaha you’re welcome Pauline.
        I make everyone read Biko, wish it was like Uber though (I’d get free rides lol).
        My year = MADE. Merry Christmas.

  114. Biko,
    Who will cry when you die? I will.
    You are so damn good at what you do!!
    This has been one very tough year for me.But anytime I had a low moment,I just came to your blog and laughed the blues away.
    Thank you.

  115. It’s been a privilege for allowing us into your world and sending the lift down for newbies. For voicing what we are all thinking and not saying. For influencing a younger generation to follow their God given talents and not trying to be DJs. Merry Christmas and a happy new year to you and your family all the from a hot Kampala.

  116. this year‘s read was awesome.try hit a girl was the best.joe blacks dhings also rocked.wish you and your family Gods richest blessing this christmas and the year 2016.long live Biko.

  117. It’s always good to read from you Biko, somehow it’s like a school of thoughts and humor and all that happens around. Be blessed and happy holidays.

  118. Have a fantastic holiday season and see you in the new year… Next year December mI will be a summer bunny with an Arabic accent from the Kingdom of Bahrain tihihi

  119. Who listens to flight attendant…this time round when flying with my son I was very keen to listen on how to put that life jacket! Chocolate man you have done it again! You make laugh out at the most awkward places. I do pray for a great mind in 2016…Merry Christmas and a happy new year 2016!

  120. I decided to comment because I think Biko might just do an oprah Winfrey. insert oprahs’ excited voice, almost orgasmic pitch. You get a present, you get one, you too get one EVERYBODY GETS A PRESENT. And I didn’t want to miss out.

  121. Now that you and your words shine so bright that they illuminate even us who’re decemberphobic, have a happy ‘mas and a bright new year…

  122. Thank you for sharing your amazing talent with us Biko.I love reading your blog..For some reason it makes me feel like am not so far from home.Thank you.Happy holidays and God bless

  123. Happy Holidays Biko and the gang here. Let 2016 un-roll in a big way. Meantime, thanks for keeping us entertained all year round. Inshallah!

  124. This blog always makes me feel a little less homesick, even when they he picks at us diaspora folk or should I say ‘summer bunnies ‘

  125. happy holidays Biko , awesome piece. My highlight for the year was that interview with Kelvin Ashley, I would sell a kidney for the tape recording, cheers.

  126. Wewe Biko, am emailing you right away: am inviting you to our kale running club. You must run very fast or else we will turn even more racist. Big thanks for yet another great year.

  127. I knew abt this blog during the Jadudi story, bt mention any story before n after that n I have read it. I ate, slept, and drunk this blog. Some I reread 🙂 bcz they were so great n others so touching. You hv real talent Biko. Looking forward to more in 2016.

  128. Thanks Biko for the awesome year. I learnt about this blog during the Visa Denied trend. From that day i became a royal gang member and read almost everything in the archives even stuff dated earlier than 2012. I introduced more than 10 of my friends to your blog, we are entertained and sometimes discuss your stories and laugh. Cheers Happy holiday too Biko and The Dynasty not forgetting le Gang

  129. Merry Christmas to you and your family Biko! I bought 3 books of the ones you recommended and when I asked for the whisky (I do not drink) the charming mzee said they did not want to have people drank during Christmas.

  130. Great work Biko. Tulikuwa pamoja ile class ya Gingyera Pinchwa( oops hope I got the sp right, though departed). I admire ur diction. Merry Christmas.

  131. am reading this as a dentist is rendering me toothless at 22 n its Christmas!!!at least the anecdotes left me smiley.happy holidays

  132. Happy Holidays Biko. You have inspired me to go back to my addictive reading despite being far and a day behind I wait until past midnight for the weeks article cant get any sleep without reading, your suggestion novels to read have gone a long way into spicing my reading, inspired to attend your writing lessons one day.. THANKS BIKO

  133. I’ve been the silent reader who never comments. Got almost all my girlfriends to start reading your blog.Happy holidays to you Biko,let’s NDUTHIS again next year. God bless you.

  134. My highlight for 2015 is most definitely becoming a mother to one beautiful baby girl. That moment has lived with me ever since.

    2015 has been great. I have read your posts and laughed so hard. In the office, Tuesdays lunchtime are for this blog. Then when BD highlighted the Top 40 under 40 (men) everyone was calling me out in the office, ‘Aida,here is your Bikozulu…’
    Your writing is something out of this world and this blog makes one feel like they know you. So whatever you do, keep at it.

    Happy Holidays Biko.

  135. To Biko and the Whole CREW

    Thanks for an interesting read of your daily nourishment. I overheard one day this blog being mentioned by my sis-in-law and since I signed up that nice hearty laugh and chuckle while am in the office always follow when I read your days servings and guys r like am mad (coz I have never shared what I laugh about) .

    Thanks and happy holidays keep up the cheer and yes Look forward to more of the same in 2016.Maybe by then I will be ready to share

  136. I loved that you were in Top 40 under 40… about time, nay? Before you go to the dark side. Merry Christmas Biko. Let’s do it again next year.

  137. Well, I guess I’ll be switching them lights off…Thank you for inspiring me to continue reading, young as I am. Great read as always. Happy holidays to you, your family and ‘the forehead’. Oh, and a cookie would be great.

  138. If you charged for your articles, I would buy but please dont. They are addictive. Happy holidays and a brighter 2016….praying no more clot scares..Some of us feel like you are the unknown brother.