Thursdays

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My second book is out.

It’s called Thursdays.

Small book. Like Drunk. Only there is no alcoholic in there, shagging girls and falling in ditches. Actually, there is no ditch. But there are girls. There are always girls because what’s a book without girls? You might as well write a book about ostriches, then. In Thursdays there is one (a girl, not an ostrich) with a tattoo and one without a tattoo. I like the one with the tattoo.

Took me two years to write this book. And it’s not even that big, just 217 pages – if you don’t count the cover and the little “about me” page where I write about my allergy to honey. Yes. I’m allergic to honey. Makes me itch.

Did I tell you about that time I was bitten by a bee? So, I was seated by the pool of a “major hotel” (as newspapers like to call them) conducting an interview while sipping black tea with honey. I had one leg slung over the other, feeling mighty cool.

The bee was in the cup, probably drowning or just waiting to ambush me. When I raised the cup to my lips, the little bugger stung my lower lip and in two seconds flat my lips ballooned and were covering half my face.

The interviewee screeched, “Oh my God! Oh My God!” while covering her mouth with her hand as if it was her who’d been stung.

“It’s fine. I’m fine,” I told her, but she kept panicking, “Oh my God! Oh my God!”

I didn’t think it was serious until I looked at myself on the phone camera and I said, “Oh fuuuf, oh my Goff! Ohhh my Goff!” because now my lip was really swollen. The waiters looked concerned. They brought me ice to press against the swelling. (Genius). The swelling didn’t care. Suffice it to say the interview ended right there and for two days I went about with a handkerchief tied around half my face like a bandit. Between you and me, I felt quite invincible.

That story is not in the “About” page, though.

Faddy did the cover. He’s called Faddy Rostom. You know Faddy, right? [As I type, Word keeps changing ‘Faddy’ to ‘Daddy’, for some reason. Word is naughty.]

Faddy is a designer. And a cool guy with his tongue always in his cheek.

I think it’s a sweet cover. You see that broken string in the guitar? That’s where the story is, fellas.

In university, there was a teetotaller guy who used to play guitar. He was annoying. Not that he was annoying for being a teetotaller but because he’d go to parties and sit in a corner away from people and start playing his silly guitar because he knew all the girls would gather around him and sit at his feet like he was some new-age Jesus or some shit. Which means, he’d become the party. He wouldn’t even converse with these girls. He was a moody fellow but the girls described him as “mysterious.”

If you were trying to score with some girl at the party, she would be seduced by this punk’s guitar. [He was very talented]. Didn’t also help that he had dreadlocks. Doubly annoying. Took all our girls, that chap. I wonder what happened to him and his famous guitar.

By the way, this is not a poem. I’m just too lazy to write longer paragraphs.

Yesterday I saw a man carry flowers into a restaurant. I was having fish curry. My phone battery was at 13%. He was a stout guy with an honest face. The flowers were lovely. Everybody gawped. However, the girl he handed the flowers to looked embarrassed. She looked like an introvert. The type who sits at the very back of a room and always has a bar of half-eaten chocolate in her purse. There is absolutely no reason why I’m telling you this story.

Took me two years to write Thursdays.

Tamms kept asking, “How is your book going?”

And I’d lie to her. I’d say, “Oh just peachy.”

Sometimes, for months, it would not be going at all, let alone being peachy. I had four main characters and some secondary characters who I had to think about, and I also had to think about what they wanted in life. They crowded my head. Intruded my dreams. There is a scene I enjoyed writing.

Wait, let me find it.

Here it is.

From the word go Magdalene wasn’t a model mother. You wouldn’t say she took to motherhood like a boat to water, to use a common expression in Sindo. Being a mother seemed to make her sad. She would cry all the time. She wouldn’t eat or sleep. She hated it when the baby suckled her breast. She hated what the baby had done to her breasts – they looked like balloons that would float and carry her yonder. And they hurt. She would sit outside the house in a woven reed chair carrying the baby like you would carry a bag of rice, with no emotion or tenderness. She avoided looking at her baby and when she did, she didn’t think, “I can die for this baby. I can run into a burning house for it.” It surprised her how little she felt for the baby. When the baby cried she would become extremely irritated and let it cry. Sometimes she would walk to the foot of the hill where her other baby was buried and just stand there, not from sadness or grief, but because that baby never cried.

I wrote that scene after a friend who had just given birth told me, “I’m so tired of this baby, sometimes I just stand over her cot and let her cry until she starts having hiccups.”

I thought, ‘whoaa’. I’d read about postpartum depression, but hearing my friend’s story made me breathless. So I wrote that scene but twisted it because I didn’t want her saying, “Biko, I told you that story and then you went and wrote about it? Jesus!”

People get their knickers in a bunch when you write about the stories they tell you. Sometimes they stop talking to you altogether. For years – until they forget why they stopped talking to you.

Why do poets not comb their hair?

By the end of today, Thursdays will be up on Amazon, which means you can access it from Ongata Rongai.

And it’s also in major Bookshops.

I’m not hosting a physical launch, obviously, because I’m like that girl who was brought flowers in a restaurant, the one who likes to sit at the back of the room.

But I’m autographing all the books – but with cheesy lines. Nothing inspirational. I won’t quote Martin Luther King. I will just sign it with irrelevant shit like, ‘stop wearing socks to bed!’

I hope you enjoy the book.

I enjoyed writing it.

***

To buy Thursdays.

Paybill
Business number: 596419
Account number: [your email address] Amount: Sh1,099

Inclusive of delivery to Nairobi only.

Email your location and autograph details to [email protected]

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366
101 Comments
  1. The wait is finally over. Drunk was beautiful. I have a great feeling about Thursdays. Can’t wait to read about the girl with a tatoo. Not that I like tattoos.

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  2. Kudos Biko on the launch of your 2nd book! Your progression to being a wealthy Kendubay guy is taking a steady shapeI can’t wait to read ‘Thursdays’ on my Kindle.

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  3. Today. It would only be unfair to me not to put something across.
    If only I could meet this Biko!
    Is it even possible? No doubt.

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  4. I will definitely go for Thursday!
    I am already’ ‘enjoying it’s.

    And Biko congratulations for completing another book; books are not easy to write.

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  5. Yaaaay!
    I was eagerly waiting for today’s post and crossing my fingers that you’d give us details on how to get Thursdays.
    I’m so so excited about this book and proud of you Biko.( I always feel kinda weird telling people who are older than me that I’m proud of them. I’m also rubbing in the fact that you are old here Biko.)

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  6. @Biko, i was at text book center on Sunday and it was not there. I instagrammed you. Which Major Bookshops? Are you able to list them. Waiting patiently. Gosh, i sound like my auntie. Congrats Biko. Super proud of you.

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  7. I’m gonna be cliche and actually wait for Thursday to start reading the book 🙂

    Congratulations Biko!! If you thought people will back off huna bahati. The emails, wozzaps and texts for “When is the third book coming out?” are about to start, if they haven’t already. I suggest you block them all. Ha ha (insert purple faced devil emoji here)

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  8. Just peachy! You take two years to write a book and come up with 217 pages? Nkt..if you take two years, you should at least finish at 600 pages. 217 pages reminds me of Reader’s digest or those Watchtower pamphlets that Jehovah’s witnesses are so keen to distribute.
    And don’t feel bad writing about people…every writer is inspired by the stories people tell them, whether it’s just muchene (direct) or things that they’ve heard as they eavesdrop (indirect)…ie Steve King’s Carrey was inspired by two awkward girls who were ruthlessly bullied in High School, one character in Chimamanda’s Americanah was inspired by her brother’s wife. So all those disclaimers about events described not tied to anyone dead or alive is a load of bs. Writers know it, but they place disclaimers so that they are not sued.
    I hope many of your followers will get the impetus to write and release books in the coming year. They have it in them.

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  9. It would be unfair if I go without leaving words like congratulations Biko for your beautiful baby.. Thursdays… I will own a copy

  10. Awesome, can’t wait to get my hands on the book, but wait a minute, is the 99 bob cost of delivery, cheeky pricing everywhere.

  11. Congratulations Biko on your second book. I received my copy yesterday as promised and can’t wait to start on it later today. And yes….’curtains are overrated..he he!’

  12. Biko and just like your Word ,mine keeps changing your name to ‘Niko’ not that I have a friend whom I call so, just that. Word is annoying. Otherwise am just saying congratulations. I’ll buy this book because I love how you brings the reader into a real world through your writing.

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  13. I’ve read only the first three chapters of Thursdays on kindle.( From the free sample). The story is out of this world, can’t wait to read the whole of it. Am in love with Mwendwa by the way and mad at Maureen for being offline when JP needed her to be online. Maureens never disappoint

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  14. “I had one leg slung over the other, feeling mighty cool…”
    I remember a certain visit to an Osteopath (who I visited by the way and got assistance with my sore back) and his interesting diagnosis. Now I see how you got there…

    Off to Amazon to buy Thursdays!!

  15. Ah Kindle, thankyou for that Biko. You should upload Drunk too so I can have a virtual copy too before I can head back to “Jamhuri” ( my dad’s fond word) and get a proper “smells-like-fresh-print” hardback. Much love from down under

  16. Dear Biko, thank you and your team. I’m working in a remote area (on the northern part of South Sudan). I know you don’t know but trust me, Ezekiel Abuk (of course, Abuk is both male and female name in Dinka) secured for me the copy of the Thursdays. My book copy sarcastically autographed. Ezekiel send me the picture last night.
    You asked me how many teeth I’m left with…..hehehe. Biko come on! I’m not that old. I’m in my late 20s and I got no traditional marks on my forehead, either. To say the least, the book will reach my house in Juba and may this is the Xmas goat to feast this festive season.

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  17. Congrats Biko on your second book. When someone asks what kept you busy in 2020 at least you will respond :Thursday”

    On your 1st book, you autographed that you would get me wine – LIAR:-P

    This time, say something nice like “Mango and achari is back”

    Looking forward to Thursday (All your book titles remind me of alcohol but its okay).

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  18. Congratulations on your 2nd born! I have already made my order and I am waiting eagerly for my cheesy line. Drunk was beautiful, really messed with my emotions- but beautiful non the less. Looking forward to reading this one!

  19. Imagine reading Drunk while Drunk then buying Thursday on a Thursday. You can’t make these things up! Congratulations Biko. Book nyaka wangi’ew.

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  20. Congratulations on your second born, Biko, looking forward to getting my autographed copy of Thursdays and Drunk. #Ugandangang

  21. You brought some life into Thursday” ( the day), it’s one of those days that’s kinder Invincible ( like the middle child thing’), can’t wait to read and discover why you called it so.

  22. And my copy arrived. Gifted by my lil sissy..
    I SCREAMED when i opened the parcel. I screamed with joy coz i did not expect to get a copy this soon, coz i had told myself i will buy it at the end of the month.. Yes we salaried people live on budgets.. lest you miss buying fruits coz you bought a book..
    Can wait to get off work and binge on it
    Congratulations Biko on your second book. I enjoyed Drunk and looking forward to thursdays..
    Yeah my Thursday just got better

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  23. I wrote that scene after a friend who had just given birth told me, “I’m so tired of this baby, sometimes I just stand over her cot and let her cry until she starts having hiccups.”

    I felt this ❤

  24. Good morning

    I paid for this book via Mpesa (REF:PA62D33TDQ) on Wednesday 06/01/2021 but have not received no communication yet.

    (J K Marete (0722803072). Electricity House Nairobi.)

    Please advise

    Regards

  25. I tried not to finish reading Thursdays but couldn’t put it down. No spoiler alerts for anyone, just extremely moving stuff. Thanks Biko