While I was away


I lost my ass. Obviously. In February this year I started walking through a glass door five days a week. Monday to Friday. Nine to five. This glass door has a fingerprint scanner with a voice that goes, “Please try again,” every time it fails to register my thumb.

My craft had brought me to the door of an ad agency. My JD would have terms like social media management and content creation. I’d get a company email and free passes to events I wouldn’t normally bother to attend.

I would have to meet something called a KPI. I would start paying NHIF. I would also become a (temporary?) school dropout.

And, unbeknownst to me, I would lose all the writing momentum I’d built the last two years. Dusty Rugs would suffer bigly. I’d start using words like unbeknownst.

I don’t know what to tell you.

But I’ll be back.


I downloaded Anybooks. It’s far better than Wattpad. It has all John Le Carre books. It has ‘Game of Thrones’. It has Anthony Doerr’s ‘All the Light We Cannot See’. It has Donna Tartt’s ‘The Secret History’, which I finished one sleepless night, with a sweaty pillow and a smoke-filled chest.

Anybooks is the best thing I’ve installed since Subway Surfers.

I turned 24 last month. And for absolutely no reason at all I decided to get a fade haircut. It makes me look chubbier and the twists in the middle are growing rampant. In my head I look like Swae Lee circa ‘No Type’. Comments I’ve received thus far:

“Imagine you should just comb it a little?”

“Your hair is growing dry. You should apply coconut oil.” (As if I keep bottles of the stuff in my room.)

“Hii nywele yako unaekanga aje?”

I’ve decided that clubbing is bad and muratina is good and Swae Lee is sexy and I’d far rather use up all my life savings on a trip to Italy than go to Milan in Westy.

I fell in love with Bey T. My word. The girl sends a tingle down my spine. The way she moves her hips in ‘Wololo’. Her pink jumper on ‘Bad Bad’. Man, don’t even get me started on the flame-colored hair on ‘Facetime’.

I listen to her every morning when I get to work. And before I clock out. Her songs have been ringing in my head for weeks. And I think I’m ready for a new Twitter name: Bey T Stan Account.


Chapo beans. That’s what I’ve been having for lunch at the kibanda. Daily. 100 bob will get you two chapos, gravy-soaked beans and some veggies of your choice. Mine is always sukuma wiki.

The kibanda is noisy and smoky. Walls sweat. Salt shakers walk around. Charcoal jikos flare. Shoulders rub along the narrow hallway and on the low wooden benches.

“Ugali omena,” someone shouts.

“Mboga?” comes the reply.

“Maji,” a gruff voice in the shadows.

There are a lot of things to be had at the kibanda. From pilau to matoke to mrenda. But trying to decide what I’m in the mood for will cost me another ten minutes, knocking off precious lunch-hour time. So when I go to the kibanda my answer is always the same:

“Chapo beans.”

And the reply is the same: “Mboga?”
Follow Mike on Instagram: mikemuthaka

The Agency
Office folks

Comments (4)

  1. Kimangara

    It’s good to have you back!

  2. bobo💜

    Mike!!! it’s so good to have you back,however briefly… i hope you find your balance between all that adulting is..,and pitia here more frequently..💜

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