From Togo With Love

bikozulu

The only reason we stay standing is because we are under the shadow of our mothers’ prayers. Every day our mothers wake up and put us in the hands of the Lord. And every evening as the light hands the baton to darkness they put us again in the hands of Jehovah. They bow and they mumble: “Dear God of Abraham, guide me with your spirit as I pray for my children according to your will. I release them to you so that you can accomplish your will for their lives. Keep me from binding them by my needs, wants and ambitions for them. Get me out of your way so that you can work the life of Christ in them and protect them in the city where they are. Give them grace and integrity and always look over them, Lord. I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.”

At the exact time your mom is saying “amen”, you are probably in a bar sitting in front of half a bottle of whisky. You will most likely get into a car and drive drunk and somehow you will get home because apparently the car knows its way home. At the exact moment your mom says “amen” you are probably sitting across this chick with thick lips wondering if she has any knickers on, because you have been staring the whole night and there is no sign of a panty strap on her waist. And if she isn’t wearing any – you will be thinking – does that mean your night might just turn out better? At the exact time your mom is saying “amen” you might be hurtling down the treacherous escarpment in a car full of drunk men and women, headed for a wedding after-party in Naivasha’s Wave Nightclub, the best place to dance if there ever was any.

You remain oblivious of how your mom worries over you. How she prays that you will slow down. Or find a new job. Or quit drinking. Or come home more frequently. Or mend relations with your siblings. Or think of your future. Or stop keeping the company that you do. Or keep your ass in school. Or she just wants you to find Jesus. And so she prays for you every night. And she prays for your siblings. And for the sick. And the poor.

She begs and cajoles and implores and bribes God. And even though God doesn’t show you a sign he always leads you away from deep pits. Pits that have swallowed many men’s souls, men who now howl to be rescued from the depths of it.

Can I hear an Amen, Gang?

So we continue to stay safe in this city because of our mothers’ prayers. Otherwise we would drive into trucks at night and get squashed between steel. Or get shot accidentally by drunk gun holders. Or develop headaches and die in our sleep. Or lose our jobs. Or get burdened by bad debts. Or develop peptic ulcers. Or get gout and hobble to meetings in sandals. Or meet bad women who break our hearts and leave us broke. Or meet bad men who break our hearts and leave us broke with bastard babies.  But we thrive because of mom’s prayers.

And I think when mothers pray, God stops what He’s doing out of respect. He holds His hand up and everything in heaven comes to a standstill for a moment and they all turn to look down at your mom. Angel Gabby – who we are very fond of here in this blog – says, “There goes Mama Pato praying again. I swear this just breaks my heart, how this lady keeps coming to you  Lord and she keeps asking for Pato to stop drinking and keeping the company of those dodgy women with ugly weaves. Lord, when will you intervene, bana?” And God would mumble somberly, “I’m not saying no, Gabby, I’m just saying, not yet. Pato need to learn some lessons first, those weaves are his punishment; after all weaves never killed anyone. ” And Angel Gabby would chortle and say, “You think? Clearly you haven’t watched Afro-Cinema lately, those weaves are worse than Boko Haram.” And God would laugh thunderously and say, “Oh get back to work, please make sure those harps are well cleaned this time, Easter is here, we don’t want #KOT making fun of us.”

A month ago I saw five thugs get shot along Thika Road. You must have watched it in the news. I was there. As Kenyans like to say, I watched it “with my own two eyes.” As if there are other things that they watch with only one eye.

As it goes, a friend and I are driving to Garden City for a meeting around 11.30am. Lovely day, before this insane heat became a problem. Just before Exit 6 we hear what sounds like “fatakra” (Fatakra is what we used to call fireworks as kids). I’m thinking, “Ala, kwani Indians live on Thika road now?” I then happen to glance in the rearview mirror and what do I see less than 50 meters behind? I see a dozen or so cops in plain clothes and combat gear jumping out of cars and fanning this green car they have forced to stop. Men with big guns and big jackets. A shootout ensues. Have you heard the sound of an AK 47? Have you? You don’t want to. These chaps are shooting at the van they have cornered.

Windows are shattering. Cars behind are swerving to a stop. I can actually smell adrenaline in the air. Adrenaline and death.

I screech to a stop in the middle of the road and turn on my hazards and then turn in my seat to watch. It’s like something from a movie. The thugs are shooting back of course, but they are outnumbered and outgunned. Basically they are about to have a very bad day.  The proverbial ‘mbio za sakafuni’ is ending right here at Thika Road’s ‘ukingoni’ – whatever ukingoni means.

Of course the cops had been trailing them for a while and this is an ambush. Four are sitting at the back and two in front. The chaps at the back stand little chance because they have to turn to shoot, which is futile because they are receiving fire from all sides. They are getting butchered.

I know how this will sound but I remember thinking how beautiful it was to watch that scene of men facing their death. The tumbling finality of it all. The desperation it embodied. Death is intriguing, that’s why we are all dying to read Paul Kalanithi’s book, When breath Becomes Air,; we want to know the thoughts of a dying man because it reflects on our own mortality. And death in itself is an art form, especially when it comes brutally and violently through gunshots.

My heart was racing out of fear and excitement.

Anyway, I see one of the thugs jumping through the passenger window and making a run for it. He’s jumping over the barrier and sprinting across Thika road as cops shoot at him and he ducks and stoops, legs it and disappears. My pal completely freaks out, “What the hell are you stopping for Jackson, drive!” But I don’t because you don’t see something like this on the daily.

The cops pepper the car with bullets. I see one cop, this brave guy, actually stoop and run to the passenger window and while hunched over, stick his gun through the window and spray bullets at the men in the backseat. Men die in that car. They die with fear in their hearts and they die with blood in their mouths. They die shredded with lead. They die.

All this time my pal is mumbling, “Oh my God! Oh my God!” and I tell her, “We have to go back and see,” and she shrieks wide-eyed, “Are you completely mad? We could get shot, Jackson!”

Chicks! (*Roll eyes*).

I’m convinced that nobody is crazy enough to shoot a lady with a great hairstyle and so I drive ahead get off at Exit 6, turn back and join the already building traffic jam. As we eventually pass the scene of shootout, I see the bodies now sprawled on the tarmac and my friend looks away cursing over and over because she has never seen a dead body in her life!

I drove back to see the gore that ensued because I love to look at dead men’s shoes. When they show pictures of thugs gunned down I love to see what kind of shoes they are wearing. I’m fascinated to know what shoes men die in. You have many pairs of shoes in your closet but you can only die in one of them. The shoe you will die in is in your closet. Or you are yet to buy it. But it’s there. What shoe will we die in?

One of the thugs died in some pretty white sneakers. It shows that he had someone to keep them clean; maybe a house help. Or maybe he lives with a girlfriend or his small sister. Or a wife. Someone cleaned those shoes he was going to die in. He laced up for the last time, tied his life with death.

Later that same afternoon I had a meeting at Ogilvy, CVS Plaza for an Ecobank meeting. Boy was I distracted! I kept thinking about that one thug who escaped death and how my pal had said, “That guy’s mom really prayed for him last night.” It’s true. That guy’s mom really prayed for him.

At the Ogilvy meeting I could still feel the remnants of adrenaline in my system. I could still hear those gunshots and see that man running across the road chased by a hail of bullets. I could still see the dead man’s white sneakers. All that time Francis and Jojo were banging on about Ecobank I could barely focus. Also, listening to people talk about financial services is as interesting as listening to a lecture on artificial insemination techniques.

Jojo was talking about their “network advantage” being the largest in Africa covering 36 African countries. “We have 1,200 branches in total and 29 branches in Kenya alone, 29 branches, Biko!” she enthused and I don’t know if I was to stand up and bow at these branches. I sat there thinking, either this chick loves Ecobank or she is paid a hell of a lot of money to love Ecobank.

“I thought Ecobank was a Nigerian bank?” I bluttered. That got her even more excited. She said, “I don’t know why everybody thinks we are Nigerian! We are NOT. We are actually from Togo!” She kept saying “we” when referring to the bank, like they all went to high school in Togo. I was bored and distracted but I sat up because Tamms is supposed to travel to Barcelona, Spain in October for a school trip and I need 200K for that, so trust me, I was ready to sit in any meeting with anyone. I was ready to sit in a meeting of people  selling ice cubes. Or instant shower. You know,  I wish someone took me to Barcelona when I was 8. As kids we never went anywhere. The best place we were taken to at 8 was Wimpy for chips. And you wonder we are always so angry in traffic?

“We have to let everyone know that we are not a Nigerian bank,” Francis the Account Manager is saying bringing me back from my reverie. I’m fascinated by PR people to be honest, how they can switch from one brand to another whilst still retaining a semblance of loyalty. They will be talking passionately about Nivea in one meeting, then they walk into the next meeting and talk equally passionately about Weetabix and then they step out for lunch and when they come back they are talking about a bank!

I have this thing where I can be listening to someone while thinking of something completely different.  I remember that when Jojo was gushing about THEIR bank (which isn’t Nigerian), I kept wondering if they would love to hear my shootout story, or if it would be inappropriate to bring it up in the middle of the meeting. I mean, who wouldn’t want to hear a shootout story, come on we are Kenyans. But then again, they might think I’m trivialising the meeting and their bank and their widest network. So I shushed.

But finally I said screw it and I cut her off in the middle of her “regional collection solutions” spiel by blurting out, “Can I tell you guys about this shootout I watched today?” She stopped midsentence, surprised at my intrusion. This was the first time I was meeting her by the way. She shot Francis a furtive look and said, “Oookay, sure.” Then sat back as I narrated the shootout story but they didn’t seem too impressed by it even though it was a better story than Ecobank being sijui 27-years old. I’m sure it was. My shootout story had colour damn it. Someone escaped because of a mother’s prayer. How is that not better than a story about a Togolese bank?

She politely asked some questions about the shootout and then sighed and went back to THEIR bank. I was hurt that nobody wanted to hear my shootout story. So I sat there and tried not to sulk.

Anyway, another banking meeting was scheduled with the head of marketing and communication lady at Ecobank. She’s called Jacqie. I expected it to be a painful meeting. I thought it would suck. But then Jacqie walked into the meeting followed by this massive and charismatic hairstyle, a hairstyle that looked like half Mohawk and half a clutch of braids climbing up and settling at the top of her head in a large fist. Very valiant and arty. It commanded attention. A hairstyle with its own strong opinions.

I’m easily distracted, I have an attention span of a deer, and so you can imagine how that hairstyle distracted me. The whole time Jacqie spoke about their bank I couldn’t stop thinking about and looking at her hairstyle and I resisted the urge to ask her about it.  I wanted to reach across the table, cup her hand in mine and tell her, “Jacqie, listen to me, this is not you. I know it. You don’t belong here in a bank with that hairstyle. Leave sweetheart, go out there and find you. You are not a banker, escape now, you have time. Run, Jacqie, run!”

But I held myself back. I told myself, “Chocolate Man, don’t ask her about the hairstyle, she might take offence!” And I chilled for the first forty five minutes. I did. I asked the Lord to hold my tongue but then eventually the voices in my head won and I asked her about her hairstyle and what it’s called and if she was by any chance an artist and if she was saying something to the world with her hair. From the corner of my eye I saw Jojo shift uncomfortably in her chair. Francis remained stoic.

Jacqie took it on the chin like a sport and we talked about her hairstyle which was a bit insensitive because the hairstyle was right there in the room. I think it’s rude to talk about someone when they are in the room. At least let the hairstyle leave to pick a call outside before talking about it.

(Jacqie if you are reading this, please keep that hairstyle. It’s full of pizazz. It says, “I might work in a bank but I’m not like these other wonks; I’m cool. I’m loose. I’m artsy.”)

I honestly don’t know if they will give me that gig. I hope they do. Jojo hasn’t said much after that meeting. Actually she hasn’t said a word. I hope Ecobank looks past my blabbering. I hope Ecobank acts like the big person, or rather the big bank they say they are with those 29 branches in Kenya and their presence in 36 countries and from deep down their big Togolese heart they give me this gig.

If it’s any consolation to them they won’t be doing it for me because I’m just a low class wazzock who pokes fun at people in financial services and rudely asks clients about their hairstyle in meetings. They will be doing it to send a little girl to Barcelona. And if they do, I will tell Tamms, “Darling, Ecobank sent you to Barcelona, not me.” And Tamms will never forget Ecobank. She will grow up and bank with no other bank. If Ecobank starts a charitable run, she will do the 21kms and do selfies on social media. She will even fight people who say Ecobank is Nigerian.

Show your heart Ecobank. Prove to me that you have a heart somewhere living in one of those 29 branches in Kenya.

Ps. Happy Easter, Gang. To all mothers, keep praying for us.

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225 thoughts on “From Togo With Love”

  1. Brian Njoroge says:

    Happy Easter too

  2. faith says:

    firsto!

  3. Josh says:

    haha..faith!

  4. Bakeloh says:

    Why not Dear God of Solomon

  5. myco says:

    Haha top 10

  6. Davi K says:

    ‘ I think it’s rude to talk about someone when they are in the room. At least let the hairstyle leave to pick a call outside before talking about it.’ Hilarious!

  7. Mukami Kathambara says:

    Indeed….the power of praying mums 🙂 Tamms must go to Barcelona, hear that Ecobank? LOL. Happy Easter Chocolate Man.

  8. Felix owira says:

    I love the part where the car knows it’s way home. So true.

  9. myco says:

    “Oh get back to work,
    please make sure those harps are well
    cleaned this time, Easter is here, we don’t
    want #KOT making fun of us.”
    I die

  10. Kavita Ndolo says:

    I have laughed.

  11. Victor says:

    I always felt i am standing because of those prayers. Thank you mum

  12. Corrie says:

    ‘I kept wondering if they would love to hear my shootout story, or if it would be inappropriate to bring it up in the middle of the meeting. I mean, who wouldn’t want to hear a shootout story, come on we are Kenyans.’ LOL

    But i always say my moms prayers have made me to be who i am today. If it were not for her prayers, honestly I don’t think i would be who I am. Thanks mum.

    But how this piece went from prayers to the NOT Nigerian bank…LOL!!!

    • I know right. Am here thinking Chocolate man already got the gig, now I want to know about Ecobank and Togo. Its just one of those countries you recognize is in Africa when you see it in a map. Like you don’t mention it off the top of your head.
      But our mothers prayers! Very true…

  13. Kamau wa Esther says:

    The only reason we stay standing is because we are under the shadow of our mothers’ prayers…WORD

  14. faith says:

    Now let me read

  15. James says:

    Deers have quite long attention spans! Bunnies though, I really don’t know.

  16. Angie_Muku says:

    Hilarious!

  17. Rugie says:

    Hahaha..Now I know Ecobank is Togolese. That was a beautiful read Chocolate man. Tamms will most definitely be going to Bercelona after this.

  18. Hellen Ak says:

    hahahaha, pthooo, you kill us. Yes if we went to Barca at 8 yrs we wouldn’t have road rage. lolest. Tamms must go to Spain.

  19. Muriithi says:

    Once again sir the article hit close to home…my name is Patrick,my mums prayers sustain me,I do enjoy the occasional tipple and the company of beautiful women though am never certain about the weaves(It’s rude to ask,as I found out)….oh and while reading this my dear Mum phoned me. Mr. Biko hope your daughter gets to Barcelona.

  20. Elsie Birech says:

    Wow! If ecobank dont come through for biko then we the gang will send Tamms to Barcelona….Happy easter Biko.

  21. Someday I will meet Gabby and ask him how it feels to talk to God on a daily basis. Gabby knows all our secrets. Damn!

  22. Maureen says:

    Truly they are a great persons that keep us moving every step of the way with love and prayer for theirs is pure and undefined.

  23. Cris says:

    If this Togo thing fails to send Tamms to Barcelona, me and this whole gang here will pay for this trip. Is that true people? We need to ‘rudisha mkono’ to this guy for the amazing work he does.

  24. Mike Dennis says:

    ‘The power of prayer of a mother…’

    Ati those weaves are worse than Boko Haram. HAHA

  25. J. Mukami says:

    Macabre and hilarious at the same time, made my scorching Tuesday morning… still waiting for the book.

    Happy Easter Biko and The Gang!

  26. Fridah says:

    God and Gabby, Makes me laugh every single time. Never gets old.

  27. Emma says:

    Happy Easter Biko.

  28. Robert says:

    The only reason I stay standing is because I am under the shadow of my mother’s prayer. Thank you chocolate man for giving me these words.

  29. Benja says:

    A school trip to Barcelona? 200K for a school trip? I bet my school fees from nursery up to now will nev er add up to that much…

  30. Kemunto says:

    “At the exact time your mom is saying “amen”, you are probably in a bar sitting in front of half a bottle of whisky.”…… *DEAD* Nice one Biko

  31. eddta says:

    Ukingoni. Dead End. How about that for an epitaph?

  32. abdullah omar says:

    why do fathers get a raw deal?dont they have mothers to paint their easter eggs
    ?i hope the thug lives to be shot at or maybe will have mended his ways

  33. Anzemo says:

    Today I’ll take time to comment… I never understand the desire to comment first amongst the gang. And I never do even when am first… I’m usually too busy savoring the moment…
    Locked. Thank God for my mum

  34. Njagi says:

    Am sure Ecobank have a heart in one of their many branches.

  35. Lynet says:

    I have this thing where I can be listening to someone while thinking of something completely different that is me in meetings lol

  36. Chris says:

    The harsh and cruel reality of life and death weaving beautifully,one minute cold!my heart pulpitating as I read through ensuing naarration of the shootout the next moment warmth and humor, as I read about the hairstyle, how do you do that?chocolate man you got style. And yes our mums do indeed pray for us.

  37. jabay says:

    its true my moms prayer keeps me going………

  38. Hangetsu says:

    Ecobank ni bank ya nguvu maaaan.

    Mr. Biko sir, can you do two posts in a week please. My shrink thinks your work is therapeutic enough for me, in-between our numerous sessions.

    Because I never shut up about it. And I’ve been placed on a suicide/homicide watch.

  39. ” I wanted to reach across the table, cup her hand in mine and tell her, “Jacqie, listen to me, this is not you. I know it. You don’t belong here in a bank with that hairstyle. Leave sweetheart, go out there and find you. You are not a banker, escape now, you have time. Run, Jacqie, run!”

    Absolutely hilarious..had a good laugh at this one. Love your mind Mr Chocolate man.

  40. Ciiku says:

    Now Biko you messed up Tamm’s trip to Barcelona and

  41. Ciiku says:

    Dear Ecobank, Please give Biko that gig…. for Tamms – dont break a little girl’s heart. We dont choose our parents ( & their inabilty to control the voices in their head). The voices in my head often always win too. Signed

  42. Ranji says:

    Happy Easter Biko…
    God bless all mothers,for their prayers sustain us.
    Such a beautiful read.

  43. Miss bush says:

    Biko, Biko! Now that was such a good read. I totally loved it. Now Ecobank send Tamms baiby to Barcelona! The dad was so honest to you, please forget his ‘noise’ and make her trip possible. Let the missus do the work of a mother by praying and it SHALL BE.

  44. This reminds me how my mom implores me to pray often. Every single time I call her the call ends with “Na usisahau kuomba”. Sometimes after I hang up I actually say a little prayer to make sure I don’t annoy God for not listening to my mom. I know she prays for me. I even know Mzee would fast whenever I had an exam when doing my undergraduate course. And look here I am all successful and kicking ass in life. I am inclined to say the first woman i’ll take to meet mama has to know how to pray and stand through the long prayer session where we pray for the poor, the sick, the pastors my mom knows, the friends of my dad, the friends they have in common, the economy, the chief, the politicians we think are stealing, the politicians we know are stealing, mugathe Uhuru Muigai, for our siblings, for Kenya and for Togo 🙂 Haha..I have actually noticed I can keep going with this 🙂 Biko I hope that “from deep down their big Togolese heart they will give you the gig”
    ps. Happy Easter gang !

  45. Ken says:

    Hahaha why dont you become a PR guy Biko? You’re really good. I can see your passion for Ecobank no matter how hard you try to hide it. LOL

  46. Nic Malakwen says:

    The moment your mum says AMEN!

  47. Chrispines says:

    Ever wondered why its always Mom’s in the room praying before you set out for a journey. Reminding everyone how the vessels are man made but God is in control!
    PRAY ON MUM!

  48. Liz Githendu says:

    ‘Oh get back to work,please make sure those harps are well cleaned this time,Easter is here,we don’t want #kot making fun of us.’This got me laughing like crazy…yaani kot are feared even by God…kot is no joke..keep u p Biko

  49. kevin murgori says:

    …crazy enough to shoot a lady with great hairstyle haha

  50. Peter Muturi says:

    I really enjoyed this piece. Way to go Biko. What shoe will I die in?

  51. shiroo says:

    . A hairstyle with its own strong opinions
    .” As if there are other things that they watch with only one eye.
    this caught my eye or is it eyes?

  52. SALMA says:

    Thank God for our mothers.

    Happy Easter Biko.

  53. Msa says:

    Very clever what you have done here. I hope they get it.

  54. Amani says:

    Ah… thanks for this piece. Whenever I go to check on mum, she holds my hands and prays for me.
    I like that very moment, when I am there kneeling down to be prayed for.

  55. shiroo says:

    I couldn’t agree more. Our mothers Prayers keeps us going.

  56. oranges and bananas says:

    I’m sure Ecobank paid you like 100k for everytime you used the word Ecobank in your article, and manybe 50k for everytime the comments section mentioned it (you’re welcome). This IS the gig!

  57. juddie says:

    simply amazing, those are like 6 stories in one article and they
    are all complete, Biko you are,,, there are no words to describe you.
    You simply are. i more than enjoy reading your articles

  58. Megrachel Nyakio says:

    As always….GOOD!

  59. Ike says:

    Happy Easter

  60. Alvin says:

    Truly our mum’s prayers sustain us!

  61. Rael says:

    Amen, and we thank God for mothers 🙂 . http://www.shesatomboy.com

  62. wambui kiruthi says:

    my dad got into two accidents in a span of two months and survied both.After the second I just thought to myself that was God and my mum’s prayers.Awesome piece as always and I hope you get the gig so Tamms can go to Barcelona

  63. MrsMwiti.com says:

    Mums always pray(ed) for us. Even after they die , their prayers still keep us.

  64. digitek1 says:

    si Togo is near Nigeria

  65. Abu Amirah says:

    Talking of shoes and dead men. Why is it that anyone who dies in a shootout especially has a their left shoe out? Just an observation….

  66. Elsie Birech says:

    And YES, there is no where in this world you will go,where a mother’s prayer has not been to. Lucky you who have mothers. I watched as mine passed away and didnt do anything about it.Not even begging God one last time. I was numb and paralyzed. Thank God for you mothers each passing day

  67. Tim says:

    Sure, mama’s prayers keep us going. Happy Easter too and good luck on that gig.

  68. Gathoni says:

    Happy Easter Chocolate Man and the Gang. Truly our Mothers prayers keep us going.
    After all you’ve written about Ecobank…..they have to take Tamm’s to Barcelona. I mean we now know Ecobank is from Tongo not Nigeria!!

  69. Tesha says:

    “Clearly you haven’t watched Afro-Cinema lately, those weaves are worse than Boko Haram.”

    #dead

  70. oseko says:

    Biko while you were away,we refreshed our laptops to no avail.Glad you back

  71. Numbi Edwin says:

    Thank you mum for your prayers….they have kept us going. Weaves worse than Boko haram…,hilarious. Ecobank for the sake of Tamms who never chose Biko as the parent,give this man that gig so that she can go to Barcelona…

  72. Milka says:

    Hizo branches ni 27 au 29? Enyewe that meeting wasn’t easy..Lol! Hope you get the call back though. Great read.

  73. Ginene! says:

    Damn!That conversation between good old Angel Gabby and God!Yay!

  74. Mukami says:

    Amen Gang master! As always, it’s a good read!

  75. @clif_the_tall says:

    I don’t know how am feeling am reading this piece…. am not sure if it makes me happy or sad. It makes me feel though… and i love it for that.

  76. Lydiah says:

    I think the gore hit a little too close to home for comfort. i nearly ran to the washroom when he described the scene, Maybe am not as much of a bad ass as I purport to be.

  77. Musa Juma says:

    My Mother nyaginera nyar Asembo ! She prays for us her children everyday… Hope when the good Lord beckons, I have my dancing shoes on… I’ll go in style or I’ll make a mad dash like that robber

  78. Naomi says:

    Biko, next time you come to a meeting, we will allow you to talk first, lol. At least I will, if I’m running the meeting. And you can tell us all about your day, gangs and whatnot.

  79. feli says:

    Ooh Biko that shoot out story gave me a nasty nausea.
    We are all going to die it is inevitable,but i hate
    bloody scenes and bloody movies.So Eco bank is from
    Togo always assumed it was from Nigeria or South Africa.
    Why does it matter where it is from? Do they have
    accounts that ordinary citizens can join with small
    businesses.I have always assumed its a bank for the
    rich.

  80. Wairimu says:

    haha i like that the story changed from a mothers’ prayer to the Not Nigerian Bank…..wait….was that the point??..either way i loved it!

  81. Rita says:

    God laughs thunderously…totally funny. Tamms will go to barcelona

  82. mercy says:

    My special comment https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=95YBY1TVT24
    coz you won’t take your mother’s prayers for jokes.

  83. Butterscotch says:

    Was wondering what you were up to in Togo…kumbe ulikuwa Thika Road…

  84. Kazevangel says:

    Always wondered what “Ukingoni” is…who came up with that word and why?
    Tamms has to go to Barcelona, EcoBank please come through for Chocolate Man!

  85. Anastasia says:

    “those weaves are his punishment; after all weaves never killed anyone. ” And Angel Gabby would chortle and say, “You think? Clearly you haven’t watched Afro-Cinema lately, those weaves are worse than Boko Haram.” And God would laugh thunderously and say,”
    this just killed it.
    nice read BIKO

  86. Morris says:

    whenever i come from ucha to Nairobi I always ask mum to pray before i go back to the land of hustling

  87. Jackie says:

    On 02 occasions, I have witnessed thugs being gunned down by flying squad.
    Both were along Lang’ata road. What bugged me both times were: the ages of
    the thugs (early twenties max) & how neat they are, the way their bodies flop and the clinical way
    the squad goes about their business after the shooting (they’ll get out of their car
    ,grab the body-they never miss- by the ankle and move it off the road like it’s some dead tree branch that’s in the way,
    pick up the shell casings & drive off)…it sits with you for a long time when you try to put yourself in the mind
    of the flying squad guy and also in the mind of the thug…

  88. Cecilia says:

    Loved it Biko, looks like our minds were married to each other when you were writing this piece because I wrote on the same topic as a dedication to my mum GRHS during her would have been 52 years birthday. https://cessyiel.wordpress.com/2016/03/19/praying-mum/
    I loved this. I pray and believe that Ecobank will give you the gig and for sure Tamms will go to Barcelona.

  89. jackson says:

    hahahah lol. Ecobank come thru for the little Tamms, she deserves to see the world from a different perspective and Barcelona is that place and opportunity.

  90. Mukami says:

    Biko this is why after all these years we the gang keep coming back! Another excellent piece!! Happy Easter to all who live in countries that celebrate it….thank God for our mother’s

  91. Patrick says:

    Great piece, and sure mama Pato prayers do him through. happy Easter biko

  92. Jenn says:

    When Mama prayed
    Good things happened
    When mama prayed
    Lives were changed
    Not much more than 5 foot tall
    But mountain big and small
    crumbled all away when
    Mama prayed……

  93. Njooro says:

    You nailed it!!!! We are nothing without our mothers and their prayers.

    Happy Easter Gang.

  94. Lemuel kandoro says:

    The only reason we stay standing is because we are under the shadow of our mothers’ prayers. Every day our mothers wake up and put us in the hands of the Lord. And every evening as the light hands the baton to darkness they put us again in the hands of Jehovah. They bow and they mumble: “Dear God of Abraham, guide me with your spirit as I pray for my children according to your will. I release them to you so that you can accomplish your will for their lives. Keep me from binding them by my needs, wants and ambitions for them. Get me out of your way so that you can work the life of Christ in them and protect them in the city where they are. Give them grace and integrity and always look over them, Lord. I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.”
    This paragraph its just real to me .The time when I was sick last year from September to December .Every morning and at night my mother was just beside my bed praying for me .My tears keep on falling just hearing my mothers supplications .But I hank God through the prayer of my mother I was healed.So lets give respect to our mothers the do a lot for our well being .A nice article this one.

  95. Felix says:

    Ecobank real sounds like Nigerian hahaha

  96. Wams says:

    Nice read. Over to you Ecobank from Togo.

  97. Wams says:

    Nice read. Over to you Ecobank from Togo. And thanks mummy

  98. Casmir says:

    AMEN!

  99. Marie Becca says:

    This is just too hilarious. I wanted to comment but I would only repost everything. Come to think of it, which shoes will we die in?
    I feel you chocolate man, no one was fascinated about the shoot out in the financial meeting but I hope eco-bank considers your plea just for Tamms

  100. Gracie says:

    Tamm’s mom is praying…God will hear she will go

  101. Lydia says:

    Ecobank (Jojo, Jaquie n Francis) please give Biko the gig. Happy Easter Biko and the gang

  102. Purity says:

    Happy Easter Biko and gang. Another wonderful piece

  103. Purity says:

    Did Maguga not comment today intentionally?…musings of a loyal gang member.

  104. B. Rapudo says:

    are you kidding me? fascinated by the shoes men die in… eish chocolate boy

  105. Why thank you Biko. Now my kahouse smells like adrenaline. And I’m going to reconsider this whole religion of wearing shoes… because if I die, I’ll blame the shoes for leading me to my death. Damn it Biko. look what You’ve done.
    great article though! chocolate man. I’ll pray for you and Tamms

  106. Claire says:

    Your talent amazes me every single time.Thank you!

  107. Lil says:

    Chocolate man.I simply love your pieces…All of them.Each word…each sentence.So deep so well put.Now the way this particular piece moved from a mother’s prayer to Eco Bank…to Hairstyles and Togo is what I don’t get…Happy Easter to you too! Eco Bank please give our Biko a chance.He will do a great job!

  108. Livy says:

    Hahaha biko thisis the best post yet. Yani you have malizad me,laughing like I have lost it in a mat hehehe ….eco bank from Togo muachieni tu ….

  109. Sir Kev says:

    She’s in a better place always praying for me,RIP mum. Nice read Chocolate Man,keep writing for the Gang is always reading. Happy Easter,Gang!

  110. Muthoni says:

    Dear Ecobank, you surely can’t ignore this article and our comments.Hahahaha
    http://www.treatsonabudget.co.ke/

  111. Wamuyu says:

    Nice read Biko. For sure our mother’s prayers keep us going.

  112. Nelson says:

    Happy Easter too Chocolate man and the Gang mothers are the best

  113. Gakii says:

    Show the Togo people the traffic on this post and Tamm’s heart will not be broken.
    You’re smooth

  114. Zanze says:

    Tamms is going to Barcelona! Wow … I have so many questions about this. Which school does she go to? Why did the school choose Barcelona? Why not Lisbon or Marseille or Cape Town? Where do kids in the other classes go? Is this necessary?

  115. ruby says:

    The only reason we stay standing is because we are under the shadow of our mothers’ prayers…….#truth

  116. Lukanyagah says:

    You rock!Ecobank nawaoo,chineke,let Tamms go to Barca o,abeg

  117. mr.chambers says:

    when breath becomes air…now let me go look for that book

  118. Boni-STFU says:

    Now we make soft speeches & sob soft cries, And throw soft flowers & utter soft lies.The thief who legged it show know,if you live by the gun,you shall die by the gun!

    Bless all Moms

  119. Kalasinga Kisinja says:

    You are a star Biko! Great read. Hahaha.

  120. Mwikali says:

    Always a good read gangmaster.
    Hehehe…and you secretly love Eco-bank.Tamms must go to Barcelona

  121. clara says:

    After Tamms is back from Barcelona we can talk about Eco bank when they are not here, I mean we can be insensitive twice.

  122. Meg says:

    Happy Easter chocolate man. True our mums are the bomb.Com. Always being our Guardian angels.

  123. Nzilani says:

    Amen Biko and happy Easter. Tamms will go to Barcelona, don’t worry about it.

  124. Steve says:

    Bravo to all women with natural hair..Lakini next time don’t call people bastards… That language is gor Games of throne

  125. cheronoirene says:

    I am figure the thugs story won over the hairstyle……………but i think being in a boring meeting is the essence of it all especially when talking PR.

  126. Victor says:

    A mother’s love runs in deep channels. Mother’s never stop loving their children. This reminds me of my mom’s words just about every time we talk; “pray always,” she never forgets to remind me. Whether we remember to pray as often as they urge us, mother’s go down on their knees and present their children to God, always!

  127. Carl says:

    nd Tamms will never forget Ecobank. She will grow up and bank with no other bank. If Ecobank starts a charitable run, she will do the 21kms and do selfies on social media. She will even fight people who say Ecobank is Nigerian.

  128. bennten says:

    that Gabby N God dialogue is hilarious as always. I have finished all my laugh!

  129. moreen says:

    funny how when I pray I use my mum as a bargaining point…those ecobank ladies must have taken offence…I mean, I also ‘caught’ some major feelings right there lol

  130. Wangechi says:

    Biko, that prayer has touched me so so deeply, a powerful prayer from a heart of great love.
    I have laughed and laughed – the voices in your head are so insistent Biko! I have laughed, I have thought about issues of life and death, about the opportunities we are giving our children, about my prayers, my children, and God. And you just had to sneak in the weaves!!
    Keep writing Biko, yourthoughts on paper give some of us the assurance that we’re not crazy after all (and if we are, then at least Chocolate Man is a member in our club, haha)

  131. General Zod says:

    As always, fantastic read Biko. One thing though, the one mistake that most Kenyan reporters make when reporting on crime (and now you have done it) is, calling any big gun you see an AK47. Unless you’re an expert how would you, from a distance, tell that it was an AK?

  132. wanjiru says:

    Biko I agree with your friend why would you stop to see a shoot out!! with all the stories in Kenya of bullets somehow curving towards civilians! sigh. interesting thought on shoes that one dies in though and as usual awesome read.

  133. Quintessence says:

    You have many pairs of shoes in your closet but you can only die in one of them. The shoe you will die in is in your closet. Or you are yet to buy it. But it’s there. What shoe will we die in?
    One of the thugs died in some pretty white sneakers. It shows that he had someone to keep them clean; maybe a house help. Or maybe he lives with a girlfriend or his small sister. Or a wife. Someone cleaned those shoes he was going to die in. He laced up for the last time, tied his life with death.

    This part is scary. It makes me hate my shoes kwanza now that I’m looking at them. Shit!

  134. Wakiuru says:

    This story is all over the place… From mothers on their knees to robbers on thika road to God and angels in heaven to hairstyles in eco bank meetings… it will have a befitting end with tammy happy in Barcelona. I am a mother and I have prayed.

  135. penina muchiri says:

    One time my son told me that my prayers are his driving force in whatever he wants to do. Happy
    Easter too people!!

  136. Njeri says:

    As if there are other things that they watch with only one eye. There are: Your children doing perilous things that you have to allow them to do because its all part of growing up, that and horror movies! Especially those that have Satan in them!

  137. chalo says:

    Oooh Mum, how your prayers rescue us. Keep praying for us.

    Tamms should go to Madrid!

  138. Maureen says:

    I’m glad to hear that everyone’s mom is religious, mine texts me scriptures on a daily basis as well. I’ve laughed my head off, I have those voices in my head too and at times I want to disrupt meetings as well.

  139. Regina Mwengi says:

    Before I say anything.. I have said a prayer for Tamms trip..Eco bank have to give you this gig. I’ve not laughed as hard as I have today.Biko if not for anything else, I shall add a prayer for you to keep writing.. I am spoilt for a long life, everytime I have a dull day all I need to do is log into your blog and laugh away into a better day. Angel Gabb add that to his name…

  140. Valerie says:

    Biko never disappoints! Loved it!

  141. Nyambura says:

    God bless our mothers.

  142. Alex Migwi says:

    Biko, what shoes were YOU wearing the day of the shootout? I am very concerned about your desire to watch a gunfight where you are the designated Backstop. I love your writing and I don’t want to say that in past tense.
    Both my names .co.ke

  143. Sheilah says:

    Happy Easter to you and yours. Hope Tamms goes to Barcelona though they should watch out for Suarez the cannibal

  144. Belinda says:

    Mothers are truly Angels living on earth . Thanks for reminding us of what is important in this life . There is no comparison to a mother’s love and prayers.
    The amount of PR and Marketing you have done for Ecobank in this article….. covers their marketing targets for quarter 4. I had no idea Ecobank is from Togo

  145. Twinny says:

    Hahaha this guy has marketed ecobank, marketed some book, gotten his gig…. all the while making us laugh our heads off! How brilliant is that?

  146. Faith says:

    The stuff here keeps getting better by the day. You got real talent Biko, your mother must have fasted and prayed 41 days for you. Happy Easter!

  147. Kinyanjui says:

    good flow and a prayer for Pato

  148. This is me says:

    Chocolate man, ukingoni is derived from the word kinga. Work along those lines.
    Things dads do for the love of their daughters, like drifting off at a Togolese Bank meeting :D. Happy Easter

  149. sheji says:

    A good story they were gunned down like a movie scary this

  150. MIn Krasi says:

    hehehehe – Tamms is off to Barcelona!!!…at least we know Ecobank aint from Nigeria….too funny….haki corporate meetings can be a drag, but do they beat NGO meetings with all the abbreviations being thrown around??

  151. Violet says:

    I was expecting to read some serious stuff about Togo and the not so Sandy beaches of Lome.

  152. Ras D'artte says:

    if ecobank doesn’t give you the gig, Tamms still has to go Barcelona, ksh10k from me, and am not talking abt Ugandan shs, real Kenyan shillings and not the one with mzee Kenyatta without his shirt due to the heat, when hes fully dressed up!!
    but wait ecobank is not Nigerian? I cdav sworn and ive been in banking 5 bloody years!!

  153. Mr. Nduta says:

    What about the boxers or panties we will die in, will they be torn, clean?…. This is scary

  154. Waci says:

    I miss my mom

  155. Joy says:

    It’s a bun Biko not a fist that was on her head

  156. bankelele says:

    The Togolese bank once had their AGM at KICC in Nairobi. What a fleet of Merc’s on show – it looked like an AU ministers meeting

  157. Joy says:

    Haha, I enjoyed this piece from start to finish. Thank you!

  158. njagi says:

    Ukingoni, for your information has something to do with the neck. For further clarification, seek the pals who swear by the mountain and ask for the name ‘neck’ in their tongue..

  159. QTTQU says:

    Used to love Oyunga’s weekly…then one day, I see a different name on Man Talk & True Love. Can’t say I was not disappointed (is that the spelling?) because I was. For almost 6months, I did not buy the Saturday Nation- am a civil servant, I dont have the luxury of buying papers daily! And this upgrading parallel programs are not helping our pockets either. Not that am complaining, am just saying. True Love and I have a covenant of sorts…so I began to warm up to this intruder called Biko, like a secretary whose good old boss has been transferred ( old bossess are morw like family, they understand you…blah…blah…blah, you get the point) I had to he nice. I read his column just to get my moneys worth…Until he shared the story of his mothers demise ( RIEP) and then a friend told me about his blog…let’s just say that the new boss is not so bad after all. In fact, I might make him some tea or fetch his laundry from the cleaners ocassionally. I do not mind.

  160. Njeri says:

    I am late to the party but I can imagine Francis shifting on his seat uncomfortably as you blubbered about shootouts and asked the lost lady about her hairstyle. May Ecobank look find it in their heart to send your little girl to Barcelona.

  161. Clive says:

    Hang on, did you say the cop went to the car and pumped a few more bullets into the ‘dying’ dudes, for good measure?
    Is someone from IPOA reading this?

  162. Mkabz says:

    Angel Gabby will intervene. Amen

  163. mufasa says:

    awesome i am already addicted i love the wordplay humour everything in it …

  164. June says:

    The proverbial ‘mbio za sakafuni’ is ending right here at Thika Road’s ‘ukingoni’ –
    LOLEST

  165. TNgash says:

    Hahaha biko… the sheer chutzpah of asking them for a gig after this!!! Lmao..Ecobank, if you’re reading this, please send Tamms to Barcelona please..*Grinning while tongue in cheek)

  166. Edwine Wandera says:

    “We really should not talk about people when they are in the room…” good read!

  167. Angela says:

    Or maybe he cleans the sneakers himself ?!

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