May 17, 2010


I remember those young days when I conveniently indulged myself in the right thing, a lot of prayer. It was timely right for me to do it because I had a lot to pray for. I prayed for myself, my family and my friends. I prayed to God to save me from evil and to help me pass my exams all the time. I even asked Him to make me rich and keep my dream of becoming president some day alive. Gospel music, morning devotions, a lot of fasting and bible studying was my way of life. And so God helped me to pass my exams.

The excitement and jubilation of the moment caught me in a different setting, outside school. Prayer reduced significantly, the food was too good for me to think of any fasting and like never before, the mornings were too cold to contemplate morning devotion. After all there was nobody to psyche me up.

All over sudden, life became different but too good for living. I had all the freedom to myself, my wallet had been made heavier and my budget bigger. For the first time in my life, a little pop of liquor bottles every now and then became a trend.

Buggy jeans, designer T-shirts and flashy jackets on top of colorful sneakers and Safari boots was the hip hop style then. With bling all over my teeth, fingers and ears and bandannas over my plaited hair, folks knew me as a little gangster with a crazy swagger in town.

I made a spectacle at my neighborhood; nobody had tried my style before. My room of loud music was full of picture decorations of Cool J, DMX, and J Blige among other big names then.

My pals always took any slight opportunity to come around for liquor but mom often turned them away. I however always sneaked in my favorite with whom I unveiled plans for dance floor nights at F2 on any given Wednesday and Friday.

Some guys accused me of watching too much TV and being a bad influence to their young ones but I dismissed them as whining old folks who had peculiar taste for life.

It was decided that I had to be stopped; so I was taken for a college preparatory course in a rather remote suburb. I knew my freedom was being curtailed in a way but I convinced myself that nothing much would change. 
Life in this school was strange and harder than I had psychologically prepared for. Guys were hard looking and arrogantly village like whom for a while made life a living hell for me but I had to learn to live like them. A few tracks of reggae music which they played repetitively through their small radio cassette every Saturday was all entertainment we could have.

I couldn’t take it any more; after all it was seven strange months in the wilderness. I had to leave but believe me I had become a hardened fellow. At home this time, I tried to take it easy by avoiding going back to my old lifestyle. For this reason I resorted to listening to a lot of roots reggae music.

I acquired new friends some whom regarded themselves as rude boys. The whole setting of my room became new with the Wailers and the Burning spears all over the walls. Tight piped jeans and plain T-shirts on top of Sahara boots became my new style.

My rude boys and I made it our business to attend all reggae joints. Some day I almost crippled my legs scrambling for entrance at an Impala club in Nairobi where Joseph Hill and his Culture group were performing.

I seemed to enjoy myself and for some time, this remained my lifestyle even though my rude boys often scared me with their weed smoking habits.

My first day in college caught me by surprise. There was nobody of my type to associate with, so life suddenly turned complicated again. I became unusually quiet trying to figure out what was best for me. After a couple of years when I was clearing college, it became clear to me that I had become of age.

At my next level of studies, I was comfortably calm as I was in college. I dressed casually, took no liquor and become lesser of a music maniac. I did no partying even though I fancied a little bit of flirting every now and then. That was not until a woman came into my life. Of course I had to respect her and even though we later parted ways, she put in me a great deal of sense.

Five years later, I have learned to make more sense out of life. None of the lifestyles I have evolved through appeals to me any more, in fact it’s embarrassing when I flash back to what I have been.But that will always be the case, people are hardly ever proud of their self past  lifestyles unless it’s that which I began with.

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