Last Saturday I woke up in my room at Diani Reef Resort and stood at the sliding doors leading to the balcony. Outside was slightly – and strangely – overcast for Diani. The sky looked bruised and surly, like a butcher with a blunt knife. Sadly, the ocean mirrored this temperament; grey and frothy, it curled and churned on its belly, as if it had colic. Right outside, behind the glass, was a family of monkeys nonchalantly sitting in the winding balcony. Like me, they didn’t look like they had solid plans for the day. There was mama monkey, baba monkey and three baby monkeys. They stared at me, unmoved by human presence. They were naked. I was half naked. I slid open the door and humidity lumbered in. The baby monkeys and mama monkey scampered off. Their papa stared at me, because he felt like he was male enough, that he’d done his time and he wasn’t going to cede his balcony ground because who said balconies belonged only to humans? He had seen many like me – men standing behind the window naked, hairy men, men with knees like clubs, balding men, and so he wasn’t scared. 

The previous day I had forgotten to close the balcony door and upon returning, found the room ransacked. They had eaten all the fruits on the platter, rummaged through my vanity bag and chewed on the Strepsils, tried eating the Nexium tablets and gave up, left the door to the mini-fridge and drawers open (looking for recreational drugs, no doubt) and left peelings of fruit scattered all over the table because monkeys can’t chew with their bloody mouths closed. In short, they did what monkeys do best; monkey business. 

I tried kicking baba monkey to remind him that this was an animal farm and I was more evolved than him and he scooted off, leaping onto the railing, onto the roof and out of sight. I stood there and watched the ocean and wondered how fast time flies. How old we get when we blink. How we look back and see how far we have come and how we look forward and our hearts sink at how much ground is left to cover and if we will have the time to cover all of it. 

It was my birthday. I turned 42 the day Eliud Kipchoge did 42 in under two hours. Of course I didn’t do any writing in the days before that (the holidays started on Wednesday, didn’t they?) or in the  days after that because it would be very cruel of you to expect me to write on my birthday weekend, not when some of you celebrate their “birthday months.”

So, may I just have this moment to hang around in my towel and do nothing?


We resume normal programming next week. 


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  1. I’ve wasted 2 minutes of my time reading this only thinking it was going to transform into a women and marriage kinda story? Woooooi. This ain’t fair bwana Biko. Anyway I shall be waiting for normal programming to bounce back.

      1. Hahaha let them that want to feel/be entitled just be so. After all we haven’t escaped with your entitlement girl.

  2. 11.20-email notification-biko has posted
    11.20.35-excuse myself from a meeting coz i have an urgent “call”
    11.21-log onto biko for Tuesdays dose
    11.21.59-am heart broken

    My Fren.
    we need to talk
    i need my 1.59 minutes back

    1. Biko will never sit in that special corner in heaven where there’s free WiFi , charger , guacamole , Whisky & many lodz of good things 🙁

  3. Happy belated birthday Biko….and I’m beginning to think monkey have a thing for you…or vice versa… remember your FB post conversing with monkeys? Na urudi nyumbani by 1.59am kama Kipchoge

  4. Aki Biko…..I even said no more work for me since Biko has posted. Biko time is sacred. I will not bitch because its Your birthday. HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY BIKO. we love you

  5. Haki Biko.
    May you choke on whatever it is that you are taking right now down at the Coast.
    Do you know just how much I was waiting for Tuesday 10AM? And I will learn to trust my instincts from now henceforth, I felt funny when it got to 11 without getting the alert.

    ION, you are forgiven, as always and enjoy your birthday week. You can try monkey keeping,

  6. Happy belated birthday Biko!
    I was wondering why the email notification is taking so long today, kumbe there’s no story for us 🙁

  7. Biko!!! This was a monkey story… …. I have been checking my inbox for a new story and then this!!! Happy Birthday and may you live long to enthrall us with your writings… Looking forward to next week…. Another very very long week.. It’s not that we ain’t got nada to do…. but.. you draw us into another reality which opens our other eyes to see life in a different light.

  8. True Biko, time really flies, when someone tells me he or she is 42, I am tempted to say, ‘so am I, aaaw!we are agemates’! Then reality hits me! Darn! 43 already

  9. Btw, you can just tell us incase no women are writing their stories anymore….I can write to you about mine, ha!
    Happy birthday!

  10. Noooo Biko, not again!! Do you know how we look forward to Tuesdays?? Of course you don’t know. I’ve caught feelings.

  11. Aiiih Biko,,2 weeks in a row no story, this not fair. i can offer to tell my story too. Nway happy belated birthday, enjoy

  12. Classic example of vitu kwa ground ni different anyway what can we do we have to wait….we are your cockroaches step on us

  13. Just like baba monkey. Just like that, you make us open the glass door, then you jump. Leaving us on a high but not yet high.

    Ama hunt you down and drag you back to your workstation. We won’t have this again.

    42words. Happy 42 biko.

  14. Happy belated birthday Biko. Older and wiser..wise that you did not start by saying there is no new post for this week, and for that we read your post to the end.

  15. I am sorry I don’t get this joke two weeks in a row, and what have monkeys to do with your birthday, I gloated on your stolen fruits.

    Happiest birthday Biko,
    waiting with many others for normal programming

  16. My colleagues think am a joke, they wait on me to supply the story.Like am the middleman (but why it is middle man and no middle women or middle person) anyway fine.
    So now am telling them we have no story this week too and my life is in danger.
    I need rehab and please if you don’t hear from me know am the Mama monkey because I died and reincarnated.

  17. like a butcher with a blunt knife

    I love how you paint the picture in my head!
    Happy birthday to you! I have been celebrating mine since august 29th…okay it started on August 1st.

    Allow me to wish you all you ever wish yourself.
    Enjoy 42 BTW you are the first man ive ever heard reveal his true age.