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How Was She?

What’s the lifespan of chicken? Well, it doesn’t matter because all of my mother’s chicken are gone. The chicken-pen – a small wooden structure that the local boys built as my mother sat on the verandah sipping her tea in the bright midday sunlight of shags- now houses new chicken with a new mistress. Everything changes when you are rested six feet under; for one, someone else takes over your chicken pen.
We sit in the rental Toyota for a second longer, neither of us willing to step out. It has just clocked midday. My hand rests passively on the knob of the gear stick, now on P. The car hums. The boma is silent. There are no chicken in sight, just the sound of birds without names.
My big sister says “haya” as if we had been talking about something and pushes the door open. My father is standing at the head the stairs. He’s smiling. Why wouldn’t he be smiling? He has a lot to be smiling about now. As my sister scampers out, I sit there for a little longer looking at the chicken-pen before I push open the door. Melvine hugs Simon. Melvine is the girl. Simon is the dad. Simon gave Melvine the name which, I only learnt in adulthood, is also a man’s name. But now Melvine is the man of our family, the lioness. She leads all of us. She settles disputes. She says, “Biko, you are wrong, cool off and do good.” She tells her small sister, “Keep your money away, a woman never spends all her money.” We sometimes disagree with her but we all listen to her. She thinks like a woman and then she thinks like two men. When the pillar of my mother crumbled to dust five years ago, we thought that was it, we would be scattered like grain during planting season. But strength rises from unlikely sources, and she rose and she now sits on the matriarch’s chair, a big force of a woman with the big heart of her mother and the stubbornness of the one who named her Melvine.
Hugging my father has never come naturally. He wasn’t the kind of guy who you hugged. They weren’t the kind of men who hugged back then. So he presses my shoulder. I press his back with the palm of my hand. I’m taller than him now because old age is now curving him. I feel his dainty weight with that hug. I feel his age with it. I feel his fragility as a man and our unresolved frictions with it. Behind him stands his wife.
I remember sitting in the sitting room on Sunday mornings when we were kids, watching KBC and hearing the deep murmur of my dad’s voice from my parents’ closed bedroom door. They would talk for hours because they did nothing on Sundays as Seventh Day Adventists. Apart from his shaving at the sink barechested, a towel covering his lower body, that was the strongest awareness of the presence of a man, an authority figure, in the house; that deep murmur of my father’s voice through their bedroom door. It rose and it ebbed slightly next to the softer, gentler voice of my mother. Finally she would walk out of the door to the sound of my father laughing at something she said. She was the funny one. He was the charming one. Yet sometimes he would make her laugh, he would make the funny one laugh.
I now see this charm again as he introduces his wife. How he effortlessly plays with his words. How he stands with that revelatory poise of fading youth. This is Rose. Rose is from a place I don’t catch because I’m observing her. She’s got big knockers. I didn’t take my dad for a breasts kind of person, to be honest. This is new. Maybe unsettling. You think you know someone for 40 years then they marry someone with big knockers.
But he’s 68 years old and was married for, what, over 40-years? He is allowed to marry a woman dissimilar from my mother. Now he’s a boobs- guy. Happy days. Melvine shakes her hand in the same way you would shake the hands of your landlord. She murmurs a nicety that turns immediately into vapour between them. Rose murmurs something back. They look like two form one girls who suddenly find themselves as roommates on the first day of high school. Rose looks so pious next to my father, almost girlie, shy, like the presence of my father has condensed all the girl in her. I also notice how close she stands next to him. Like she’s afraid we are there to take him back with us. Other than in church, I never saw my mother stand so close to him before. But then again I never saw them when they started dating in 1969.
She’s taken by him, I can tell because he makes some jokes, slightly amusing ones, but she laughs like he’s Dave Chappelle. He’s trying to make this look casual, natural, uneventful. She’s my mother’s size before sickness infested her heart. She’s the same height. She’s almost the same complexion, maybe a shade lighter; yes, Simon, finally going lightskin. Who is this guy?
But how can I not be happy for him? When we gather inside the house to pray, because anybody coming in from a journey or leaving has to be prayed for – she stands right at his elbow. She stands so close to him as if she likes to keep his scent around her. I don’t close my eyes in prayer, I stare out at the chicken-pen with a new owner, I look at his face and how age has curved his chin, I observe my sister, head bowed, and I know she’s only half listening to the prayer. I know exactly what she’s thinking. Directly opposite my father and his new wife, my mother looks directly at them from an old framed family photo when I was 9 and my sister was 14. Mom doesn’t close her eyes through this prayer either.
My father chats his daughter as I haul out shopping from the boot. It’s a week to christmas so it’s cooking fat and flour and blueband and detergent and toothpaste and sugar and rice and toothpicks and lotion and a shaver and salt and bread and jam and peanut and soap and large sodas…He loves Fanta. He will sit in the verandah, writing small notes on his old notepad, the radio playing and a glass of fanta next to him. Forget to bring him margarine but don’t forget his Fanta. It’s the only time I get to see the boy in him.
At lunch she serves my father. She doesn’t ask him what he wants and he accepts the plate without question. I’m relieved to see that she doesn’t sit on my mother’s favourite chair. Throughout the visit she never sits on my mother’s chair, she sits on one particular chair close to the door. That’s her new chair. That’s the new mother’s chair now.
Later, after lunch, we sit at the staircase with my sister and he and his wife sit on a sofa in the verandah. They talk incessantly. They laugh a lot. Rose laughs loudly, an unhinged and unrestrained laughter. Everytime she laughs out loud (my dad might just be funny too or maybe my mother’s humour was suppressing his) my sister turns and looks at me with a weirded look like she just swallowed a fly from her drink. I chuckle and say, “It’s fine, let it go. It’s love. You can’t fight love.” She rolls her eyes and we continue talking but she’s distracted because she’s trying to listen to what he’s telling her to make her laugh so often. I suggest we walk and say hello to some relatives nearby.
“You think it’s love?” she asks me as we stroll off.
“I think he’s happy.”
You can tell how his cheeks are now filling out again. You can tell in his eyes that the lights have come on. You can tell from his brisk walk, he’s limber, lighter, and his movements are faster. He’s no longer mourning. He’s loving.
We arrive in the next boma. The place where my uncle’s kitchen was is now a rubble, they moved it nearer to the main house and turned it into a store with a low door. It’s coming to evening and chicken are hovering near the door. A bored dog, lying at the foot of the staircase stares at us listlessly as we step over it. What are the ambitions of village dogs? At least city dogs hope to be driven to The Hub one day.
My aunt and cousin debate with my sister how old my father’s wife is. My aunt says she must be quite old given her elbows and her ankles. “Always check the ankles and elbows, they don’t lie. She must be in her early 40s.” I’m leaning against the kitchen door looking into that charade. My cousin, a firebrand, snorts. She says, “She’s older than that.” I think she’s younger than my sister, or her agemate. They debate on as my cousin cuts kale and her mother sits on a stool, leaning against a wall and my sister sits on a stool in the middle of the kitchen. “I think she makes him very happy, that’s all that matters.” I say. They all ignore me. Finding myself or my opinions unwanted I take a walk to the main gate and sit on a stone to see cars that pass on the dusty road headed up to the hospital where my mother died. There is no sadness, just emptiness.
The next morning as I went to my sister’s bedroom I happened to pass outside his bedroom. The door was opened and I noticed that the position of their bed had changed. Previously the bed was positioned such a way that if my dad sat at the edge of it after waking up, he’d be able to see my mother’s grave at the corner of the boma through the large east-facing window. Now the headrest of the bed was against that window. All this time seeing my father and his wife exhibit closeness I never felt anything but happiness for him, but at that fleeting glimpse of seeing the position of his bed changed I felt a sharp stab of sadness. I felt like they had turned their backs on my mother.
Of course the moving of the bed wasn’t my father’s doing. I mean, for years he hadn’t seen the need to change the position of that bed. Men don’t think of such things. We can live with the same curtains for years. We can live with the same curtains for so long that other insects can start living in that curtain, raising their own colony there, and seeing them through the insect-version of uni. So I knew that was Rose’s idea. Bedrooms doesn’t belong to men, how can it when you can’t find your yellow tie in it? We just sleep there. And so I guess Rose can place the bed where she damn pleases.
Suitcases packed in the boot we gathered in the sitting room and my father prayed. Rose stood next to him. Very close to him. My sister, head bowed stood still like a goal post. I stared at the veins running towards my father’s knuckles and noticed – for the first time – how they resembled mine. He probably has, what 20 years left in him if he’s lucky? Well, now he won’t grow old(er) alone. He won’t sit at the verandah alone at 80, with a vacant look, his walking stick leaning against a wall next to him, asking about his grandchildren. Now he has Rose, who is more of his wife than my mother. I don’t need a mother now, but he needs a wife. Nonetheless, she fills his house with warmth again, with affection and laughter and perhaps sex which feels me with such hope if my father – at 69- can still have coitus. Now she warms his bathing water and makes his bed, cleans his clothes, brings him his soda and knows which shirt he will wear to church and that he likes his trousers ironed with a line running down it. Now he’s alive again because life is for the living.
When he had called me earlier last year to tell me he’s gotten “someone to live with.” (He was shy to say, “I met a hot chick who can boil my soup”) I had asked him how they met and he had said she was his former student where he was teaching literature part-time at a technical institute in the village. I wondered how it had all started. Had he written “see me” on her exam paper? Had he told her, “Listen, you cognitive interpretations of African literature are a bit weak. I think you need extra classes. Why don’t you come to my home tomorrow we go through this?” and she had asked piously, “what about your wife?” and he had said darkly, “let’s just say she won’t mind.” So she had come over in her favourite kitenge and looked at my mother’s chicken-pen and decided there and then that she was going to get eggs of her own.
I would have loved to hear his answer to one question. A question men hate to be asked of their exes: “How was she?” I wonder how he fumbled through that answer. Or if he said, “Dear, please fetch my bible I want to read you Ecclesiastes 9:9.”

204 Responses
  • Danco
    09.01.2018

    First to comment bandwagon still alive in 2018

    5
    • Owa Papa
      09.01.2018

      From did Cain get a wife? Nobody knows, it’s probably not documented. But perhaps did does not matter, the same way the taste of Foundi (maybe its Fundi) Bread at Gstaad on the Swiss Alps does not matter. It seems however it really does matter to comment first; someone, kindly help purge my ignorance on this.

      Nice write by Biko…I partly feel him but I suppose I moved on a long time ago…Mum passed 92, Father was already multi party so….life just went on. Only difference…my Step Mum is one really wonderful lady…was more of our Mum than his Wife.

      35
      • The Granny's Corner
        10.01.2018

        Haha! I love how you start that reply. I always loved it when it seems like a story on its own. An unrelated story only to bring them in together subtly.

        One of my resolutions for 2018 is to be nice. so I will reserve my comment on “first to comment” perpetrators and think about the chicken pen. Inhabited by new birds.

        5
    • James
      09.01.2018

      A good year-opener, but what’s with the typos! Too many in one day, or your coffee needs its own coffee huh?

      14
      • Angie
        10.01.2018

        Yes, too many typos! Haha

      • The car dealer
        20.01.2018

        Ohh wow so this is how petty people look like. I didn’t even notice, was distracted by the story.

        4
    • No Idea
      10.01.2018

      Unfortunately

  • S
    09.01.2018

    It’s back’

  • Dan Collins
    09.01.2018

    First to comment lot still nagging in 2018!

    2
  • Waithera
    09.01.2018

    ‘Now he’s alive again because life is for the living.’

    Stumbled upon this blog a few weeks ago after being stuck at home due to a knee surgery. Trying to go back all the way and read all posts since the beginning. Making good progress so far.

    This has been very therapeutic for me.

    Thank you,

    Greetings from Doha!

    65
    • Mkhadar
      09.01.2018

      Waithera, you have a looooong way to go. Had been reading this sh!t (did I really called this sh!t?) since early 2012. You will be hooked, for sure, but the biggest problem is, the hangover. Welcome on board, pull your chair and drink to this blog. 🙂

      36
      • Waithera
        09.01.2018

        Sooooo true. This is slowly becoming addictive. I’m going back all the way to 2010, but then again, I have all the time in the world. For now

        Thank you Mkhadar!

        5
      • Megga
        13.01.2018

        Waithera am sure you’ll enjoy better than the guys who started reading the blog long ago, coz now you can read as many at once as you wish, i started reading mid last year. Am now starting posts of 2013..

        1
        • Waithera
          23.01.2018

          Megga, apparently at some point websites were moved so I lost some of his work 🙁

          I’m glad I found this when I did though. I doubt it would have had a greater impact had I discovered it sooner.

    • Francis
      09.01.2018

      I remember I did that as a newbie. Happy reading…

      7
      • Waithera
        09.01.2018

        Thanks Francis, what a journey this has been so far…

    • Eddy
      09.01.2018

      Waithera, you mean to say you will read all the posts? Like right from the beninging? Then am sure you wont be disappointed.

      3
      • Waithera
        09.01.2018

        Yes. Yes. I certainly intend to Eddy.

        • Wambui
          10.01.2018

          Don’t forget to get the book “drunk”. It’s the cherry on the pie. Happy reading

          4
          • Waithera
            10.01.2018

            Thank you Wambui, will sure do!

    • Wangari Muriithi
      09.01.2018

      Waithera how I envy you. I remember my first encounter with Biko. You have just hit gold and you don’t even know it. Biko did two blogs on his mum’s passing. I highly suggest you read them with 2boxes of tissue. Sad but so well written. Truth be told his sad stories are the best. Some of his other great works are when he was covering the Safaricom promotional print.
      His fatherhood stories are super great. Kwanza the ones that feature his daughter Tamms.
      Others that he did on his barbers (an opinionated Kao guy & a mature one who thought Biko’s son was cute). Then there’s the Jadudi one (great read). By the way Biko, how is Jadudi doing.

      Waithera you might have to extend your sickness to get through all of them. You know how books are reviewed as unputdownable, for real for real.

      7
      • Waithera
        09.01.2018

        Wangari, I’ve been doing a lot of catching up over the past weeks. I’ve actually read a good number of the posts you mention there. The ones of Biko’s mum ailing and finally passing… yeah, I cried as others must have.

        I have chuckled and literally laughed out loud as well. I marvel at how he can use words to create such vivid mental pictures, as if I was right there when it happened and know these characters!

        My best by far is ‘God Is A Gentleman’.

        It is admirable to see how self deprecating he is. On one of his earlier posts, someone warned him in a comment not to let the attention get to his head, well, clearly this did not happen.

        And the stories of Tamms – not liking his pants and being an ice queen et al, hilarious!

        At this rate Wangari, you could be on to something. This sick leave might just be getting an extension

        10
        • Lydia Kiriti
          16.01.2018

          God is a Gentleman 🙂 He sure is.

          2
          • Bett
            04.02.2018

            Thanks for sharing the links

      • Jaxon
        11.01.2018

        Wangari please share the titles of the blogs on his mom’s passing? I did start looking through and realised there are tons to sift through. My encounter with him was when he did the, “There Were Birds, But They Didn’t Sing”, to which I became hooked ever since and began looking forward to Tuesdays like a child does to Christmas.
        I, just like Waithera, have purposed to read the old stuff, so thank you for the recommendations.

        3
      • Mumo
        12.01.2018

        She also needs to read the letter to kenyans living in diaspora, that remains my all time fav I have read abd reread it hahaa

        2
        • Waithera
          12.01.2018

          Thanks Mumo, I’ve read that one as well.

      • Jesse
        13.01.2018

        there were birds but they didnt sing is also a good piece was quit timely as well

        1
        • Waithera
          13.01.2018

          Thanks Jessie. I did read it, quote a horrifying account.

          • Waithera
            13.01.2018

            Quite*

    • Caleen
      13.01.2018

      Welcome to the club ,and may your knee not get well so soon so you enjoy this ,lol,quick recovery

      1
      • Waithera
        13.01.2018

        Haha Caleen, I’m just hoping my boss has never heard of bikozulu and therefore is not on here! Yeah, I miss the freedom of movement, but if it was to be given up so that I discover this, then I’m good!

    • NyinaMwanaJ
      17.01.2018

      Same here. I knew about the blog but I had been too busy to follow up. Last year while on a 3-month medical leave, I read and read and smiled and subscriber and I can’t stop reading. I am now lagging behind but am soon going to be up to date

      1
      • Waithera
        17.01.2018

        Looks like there are a number of us that have found soothing here while on medical leave!

    • Lesobet
      19.02.2018

      What a beautiful read! I am stuck here wondering whether Simon’s soup that Rose was now going to boil is meant in the literal sense or whether it might be figurative…

  • Beryl
    09.01.2018

    Yaaaaay. first?

    1
  • Jetoloxd
    09.01.2018

    So really Biko, you have evaded the 2018 question by talking about her knockers & mara you think she makes him happy, really man. HOW WAS SHE?

    3
  • abdullah omar
    09.01.2018

    it is the truth universally acknowledged that the bedroom is a woman’s world

    5
  • Wesh - Peter Wesh
    09.01.2018

    I wonder why the bible calls our days on earth ‘meaningless’. It’s like God watches over us scampering all over the place and gets disappointing at the hollow shit we keep chasing or the vanity of our empires. Maybe an angel will be sent to see how Wesh is doing and when he gets back to heaven he’ll be like, “He’s building his empire” (giving God those double air quotes at the word empire).
    Anyway Biko does your father read this things you write? Because he knows literature and can spot your dark humor do you think he would ever hug you again if he were to read? I remember this piece i read last week about parents and children. In summary, parents should not act like their kids are their world, rather, kids should be made to know that parents are their world. Old school parenting I guess. Mom and dad would talk to each other all the time and we would sit and listen and get bored and eat dinner – as they talked also – and quip in to ask for things and get ignored until the story ended then get our wishes granted as the talking continued and then wake up to find them still talking. It’s like we were second class citizens in the house! Never a dull moment though!
    First good read of 2018!

    72
    • Bumble Bee
      09.01.2018

      I’ve also read that somewhere. About parents being first. The boss. Not the kids.
      Good to see your insight is still in check Wesh. You had left us in awe last year.

      Biko, true, what matters is his happiness. And don’t we all just want to be happy and loved at 80? I think the closeness to him is feeling protected. Same way a child would hold their fathers hand while walking. You feel protected. Away from the states, sneering kids. He is happy. Jackshon’s son is happy. The world is beautiful.

      Melvine sounds like a beautiful person. How are her studies going? Her 2018 semester already in session? What’s the degree for now?

      6
    • Sonnie
      11.01.2018

      up to date my mom and dad will talk all night only to remind me…’go to bed,utachelewa kuenda kazi asubuhi’…..let them enjoy….otherwise children will never be there forever……
      ++++don’t ask me utahama lini+++++

      1
  • Juddy.
    09.01.2018

    Sad, yet humorous…. As always; refreshing. Would love to meet Biko someday and probably learn to write better than him☺

    4
    • MuthoniM
      09.01.2018

      Sign up for the Masterclass, you not only get to meet Biko ,you also learn really valuable writing skills.

      2
      • Joy
        14.01.2018

        How do I sign up for the masterclass?

  • Maiki
    09.01.2018

    What are the ambitions of village dogs? Well, they hope to catch the mongoose snooping at the chicken pen.

    46
    • Marmanet
      09.01.2018

      See what you did there

      3
    • The Granny's Corner
      10.01.2018

      See! Every question has an answer. If you know the right person. You strike me as a person who knows village life. Which is a good thing.

  • Lydia
    09.01.2018

    This was so perfectly timed. I have been feeling betrayed. I find myself hoping she is ugly and morbidly obese. I hope she is dumb as bricks.
    It is not about me, is it? It is about him and what he needs. You have gotten past the ill feelings and wished your father the best. I should do the same.
    Also, I think he was always a breast man. You just never thought about it before because well…

    29
    • A-Kay 47
      09.01.2018

      So funny, yet sad

      2
    • Imalyn
      09.01.2018

      Sure. When we are not happy for someone we literally steal from our own happiness. Let go and be happy: you never lost. Not one bit

      4
  • Elvis Jonyo
    09.01.2018

    Wonderful

  • Muigai
    09.01.2018

    hahaaa,welcome back.
    allow dad to enjoy life…its not easy but then,he needs Rose now.

    1
  • Fridah
    09.01.2018

    Oh wow, this is bitter-sweet and humorous. He is happy, that’s all that matters.

    4
  • Leona B
    09.01.2018

    “Hot chick who could boil his soup”……I love Rose already. She laughs out loud at his jokes.
    I mean I dunno how I would feel if my mom got a new stud these many years later, but Simon is happy and will not grow old(er) alone, at least.

    Great read!

    4
  • Becks
    09.01.2018

    This is such a raw read. You write well Biko.

    9
  • Ivaline
    09.01.2018

    it must be hard for you and your siblings..but cut Simon some slack..life goes on….if hes to remain lonely any longer at that age, believe you me every thing about him will deteriorate faster..his health..his dreams..his life…try and be glad atleast he has company. it will do him good. and while you are asleep in your house, you will rest assured someone fed him dinner, someone gave him water to bathe. Rose will never come close to replace your mum. this is more like for him.

    22
  • Muigai
    09.01.2018

    A nice read
    welcome back
    Allow dad to be happy,its not easy but if Rose brings him happiness,then thats what he deserves

    2
  • Beryl
    09.01.2018

    First?

    • Beryl
      09.01.2018

      Okay so on a serious note, I have lived through this, same exact thing. At first i thought, it was his life, he ought to be happy, but it was hard having someone else in charge of the house, someone who wasn’t mom. I never liked it one bit. You don’t reeeeeeaaaaally get used to it completely, but you’ll see the good things and bad and you will know where to stand.

      6
  • Emily
    09.01.2018

    Firstly, happy new year Biko. Good read. No one can replace a lost parent but those left behind have to move on one way or another. In your father’s case, he found someone. He’s happy. Makes me think about my mom and whether she’s happy 14 years after losing her husband.

  • Bree
    09.01.2018

    Those we hold closest to us never really leave us… They continue to live on in our memories and the joys we shared with them… 🙂

    And yes, strength rises from unlikely sources …..

  • Ashley Samantha
    09.01.2018

    I left my data on and heard my phone buzz .
    Its Biko ‘yeppy’ my lecturer does not stand a chance .
    Been laughing silently can’t wait to go out and laugh out loud . Awesome read as always ‘Terrific Tuesday’ indeed.
    Off to read what ecclesiastes 9:9 says

    5
  • Gerald Nderu
    09.01.2018

    At last

  • Jane
    09.01.2018

    His happiness is all the matters now

  • Pato
    09.01.2018

    This has been long in coming… Quite thought provoking. Love the start to 2018.

    1
  • Rael
    09.01.2018

    The hardest thing post any parents death or divorce/separation is accepting the new ‘parent’ who is brought home… I like how you look at it, your father is happy and won’t be sitting alone at 80.
    http://www.shesatomboy.com

    1
  • Riri
    09.01.2018

    And I can now tell where Tamms got her cold heart from, lol. I will wait to read on her reaction when she finds some of these articles in future because we girls will always find a way to tell our dads that we made a discovery about them.

    3
  • GAKII
    09.01.2018

    Such mixed feelings.

  • Irene
    09.01.2018

    Wauh………….! Rose is lucky to be hitched by your dad, older men come with comfort and genuineness

    8
  • TheBlackKennedy
    09.01.2018

    Now i will have to go read Ecclesiastes 9:9

    3
  • Macky
    09.01.2018

    Wow. So my daughter may also have these thoughts when one day am blessed with someone else?

  • Purity
    09.01.2018

    These things happen and we learn to move on. Every time I go home and I see both my parents lie side by side silently in their graves, I shed a tear. The warmth in that house is no longer there. Their laughter! Oh my. But I always believe that they are constantly watching over us, their children. It’s never easy but we learn to live with it. It shall be well Biko. At least mzee is happy.

    10
  • “I now see this charm again as he introduces his wife. How he effortlessly plays with his words. How he stands with that revelatory poise of fading youth. This is Rose. Rose is from a place I don’t catch because I’m observing her. She’s got big knockers. I didn’t take my dad for a breasts kind of person, to be honest. This is new. Maybe unsettling. You think you know someone for 40 years then they marry someone with big knockers.”
    This made me burst out aloud in laughter.
    Oh my. I sometimes wonder if Simon gets to read what Bwana Biko writes and what he thinks about it.
    I can imagine Rose needs to stand very close to her man because he’s probably all she’s got. She likely hasn’t had the opportunity to warm up to the whole extended family because she has no idea about the woman they’re all comparing her to. No one can fill that gap, but as long as she makes Simon happy and he has light in his eyes, and a spring in his step she’s helping out some in the boma.

    10
    • Bumble Bee
      09.01.2018

      Hahahahaha
      You just made me think what if kina Biko get a new sibling? One who’s younger than Kim How will they be introducing their new sibling. But it’s all in love.

      9
      • Oryna
        11.01.2018

        Then Kim is introduced to some small man like..’meet your uncle’

  • A.S. Biko
    09.01.2018

    He is happy, that’s all that matters, at 68, the man found a boob to hold when he sleeps.

    8
  • Rose
    09.01.2018

    I love this story… Nice work Biko and go on doing what you do best.

  • JuliannaTayebwa
    09.01.2018

    This is a sweet piece

    1
  • H Bee
    09.01.2018

    You can’t write ” Bedrooms doesn’t”:… Editor ako wapi?

    4
    • Kuria
      10.01.2018

      Editor still on holiday.

  • Maureen
    09.01.2018

    Happy new year Biko.
    Let your dad enjoy love and life. He should not be lonely in old age. It gets sad.
    Give the new wife some credit; she had the courage to meet you all and as I see it, she is not going anywhere so get on with the acceptance.
    Lovely piece. Thank you.

    1
  • @clif_the_tall
    09.01.2018

    Mhhh! very interesting read. Slightly bittersweet because as much as there are nice things in terms of seeing them again, things have changed without you unfortunately. But again, memories, even bittersweet ones are better than nothing. Great read.

    7
    • Njeri J
      09.01.2018

      Ecclesiastes 9:9
      Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love, all the days of this meaningless life that God has given you under the sun–all your meaningless days. For this is your lot in life and in your toilsome labor under the sun.
      NIV version
      Straight from google ladies and gentleman

      8
  • IMANI
    09.01.2018

    She’s got big knockers. I didn’t take my dad for a breasts kind of person, to be honest. This is new. Maybe unsettling. You think you know someone for 40 years then they marry someone with big knockers. That’s intresting…

    All this time seeing my father and his wife exhibit closeness I never felt anything but happiness for him, but at that fleeting glimpse of seeing the position of his bed changed I felt a sharp stab of sadness. I felt like they had turned their backs on my mother..This is sad

    HAPPY 2018

  • Fiona
    09.01.2018

    ‘You think you know someone for 40 years then they marry someone with big knockers’ ….haha
    Let you father be happy .my mom got re-married too and considering she has only one son she would have been so lonely at 80 with no one but ‘chi wuode who is not such a good cook and does not like shags and prefers nairobi
    Who would have visited her but now she has her husband and i have never seen her this happy for years now

    3
  • Kidney
    09.01.2018

    thanks for making all the non frequent bible readers google Ecclesiastes 9:9 😀

    8
  • Nah
    09.01.2018

    A happy and progressive new year to you Biko.

  • Leo
    09.01.2018

    Raise you hand if you just googled Ecclesiastes 9:9!

    25
  • Restored Voice
    09.01.2018

    Did you feel jealous? I did when my mother remarried, gave her a really hard time and I was a grown arse woman with a hubby and children with time we mellowed and loved him and was a great caregiver when Mama was terminally ill-I am forever grateful to him. Now that I am a widow I recognise the pain of loneliness and a longing for companionship. Biko please hook me up with a brother?

    24
  • Fiona
    09.01.2018

    ‘You think you know someone for 40 years then they marry someone with big knockers’ ….haha
    Let you father be happy .my mom got re-married too and considering she has only one son she would have been so lonely at 80 with no one but ‘chi wuode who is not such a good cook and does not like shags she prefers nairobi
    Who would have visited her but now she has her husband and i have never seen her this happy for years now

    1
  • Jacob Gathuita
    09.01.2018

    Eccl 9:9-10
    Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love, all the days of this meaningless life that God has given you under the sun— all your meaningless days. For this is your lot in life and in your toilsome labor under the sun. 10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the grave, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.
    NIV

    12
  • Suleiman
    09.01.2018

    “….with affection and laughter and perhaps sex which feels me with such hope if my father – at 69- can still have coitus….”
    Okey Biko, Mungu anakuona.

    8
    • KANYUIRA
      09.01.2018

      You remind me of the ”Suleiman and the goat” story..

      3
  • Liza
    09.01.2018

    Ecclesiastes 9.9 strength rises from unlikely sources: but not from a fanta bottle

  • kevin
    09.01.2018

    Great read and am glad jaduong has someone.

    1
  • Kerubo
    09.01.2018

    I think it’s good that Simon has Rose to take care of him in his sunset years. The companionship will be great for him. She will definitely not replace your mum, but she will be good for your dad.

    4
  • ANAKLET
    09.01.2018

    Did you say 69? Hehe

    1
    • Chirie
      10.01.2018

      I see what you did there.

  • Sophie
    09.01.2018

    Truth- who went straight to Ecclesiastes 9:9?

    8
  • @CharlieBeau
    09.01.2018

    A dear friend of the family died recently. It has made me consider the unbearable thought of my own parents dying. I hope that if the time comes for one of them to remarry, I can be as accepting as you are. As you say, life is for the living.

    3
  • Mware
    09.01.2018

    Ecclesiastes 9:9
    New International Version (NIV)
    9 Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love, all the days of this meaningless life that God has given you under the sun—all your meaningless days. For this is your lot in life and in your toilsome labor under the sun.

    7
  • Kaluki Kyalo
    09.01.2018

    At least we have started the year by opening our Bible apps. We had to see what Ecclesiastes 9:9 says. Thank you for the come back Biko.
    9th sounded like a century ahead when you closed your blog year last, but here we are. Happy Tuesday Biko blogs are back. It gives me hope that pia January will be a tbt soon.
    All said, let Rose make Simon happy. Dad deserves to live happily. Period.

    3
    • Eddy
      09.01.2018

      Kaluki, Well said

  • Abdiaziz Adan
    09.01.2018

    Nice one. Mixed reactions.
    At 69 part was humorous.
    It also gives me hope.

  • Elvinah Obuya
    09.01.2018

    Oh Biko, everytime I read your works I am reminded in every way that I am an amateur who should find something better to do with her life.. You have an eye to detail.. You look at things from an angle that most of us can’t even think of… Your mama was a beautiful woman, they called her Min Biko.. I know your papa too and now I am visually creating pictures of Rose. I hope to write like you one day..

  • Millicent
    09.01.2018

    And yes, life is for the living. That part of ” don’t need a mother now, but he needs a wife.”has really moved me.
    Good read as always.

    9
  • fridah
    09.01.2018

    Your father teaches literature.Well, 1 + 1= 2 .Quick math?

    7
    • Rose
      10.01.2018

      I know. Fruits fall close to the tree – as my people say

  • Wangari
    09.01.2018

    Life is indeed for the living. That part though ” don’t need a mother now, but he needs a wife.”really moved me.
    Good read as always.

  • Mwikali
    09.01.2018

    WOW ! What a nice read. This feels like my story .My dad’s wife is the opposite of my mum.Mama was a lioness who commanded respect wherever she went whereas stepma is the submissive kind who doesn’t argue back.i love the way she has made my dad happier and younger again,(tho dad has become so boyish, wearing Denim jeans and loafers*(sp) in his early 50s ,,haha) we always laugh at how digital hes become with my siblings and we are greatful that hes happy again after mourning my mom for so long and raising us singlehandedly. Damn! i have hijacked your story. Dont worry abt the bedroom thing ,my Dad’s wife changed the direction the bed faced and i was moody for sometime tho am over that.

    13
    • A-Kay 47
      09.01.2018

      Denim jeans and loafers at 50, mmh, I like your dad

      2
  • Kennedy
    09.01.2018

    Good read Biko
    Happy new year

  • Isz
    09.01.2018

    Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest all the days of the life of thy vanity, which he hath given thee under the sun, all the days of thy vanity: for that is thy portion in this life, and in thy labour which thou takest under the sun…..Happy New year Biko

    1
  • Njeri J
    09.01.2018

    Ecclesiastes 9:9
    Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love, all the days of this meaningless life that God has given you under the sun–all your meaningless days. For this is your lot in life and in your toilsome labor under the sun.
    NIV version
    Straight from google ladies and gentleman

    2
  • Phanis Obwaya
    09.01.2018

    God calls our days on earth meaningless? And as if that is not enough, he suggests that a wife is a reward for a man’s toil on earth? He must have been chauvinist, way before chimamanda was able to pen it down. Way before boychild and girchild became rival species. Anyway Biko, be happy for your father, for his aging days will be filled with laughter. His late days might just be the happiest, not because your mother was incapable of offering the same, but because God was kind enough to think he deserved another woman after he took away the first one. Always a lovely read.

    6
    • Rose
      10.01.2018

      REad the rest of the book, not just 9:9

  • The RR
    09.01.2018

    Good post as ever. Head over to https://theregardedretarded.wordpress.com/2017/12/28/2k17/ for a 2K17 take. Thanks

    1
  • Ythera
    09.01.2018

    As long he’s happy I guess… I wish my mum remarried. He died when she was 40. And she lived for 13 more. But then we’d have been left with a step dad. Hmmmmmm…

    1
  • Caroline
    09.01.2018

    DEEP!

  • Kelvn
    09.01.2018

    Happy New Year Fam.
    It’s been a long time coming. Finally I can look forward to happy Tuesdays in 2018.

  • Bibs
    09.01.2018

    My aunt and cousin debate with my sister how old my father’s wife is. My aunt says she must be quite old given her elbows and her ankles. “Always check the ankles and elbows, they don’t lie. She must be in her early 40s.” I’m leaning against the kitchen door looking into that charade. My cousin, a firebrand, snorts. She says, “She’s older than that.” I think she’s younger than my sister, or her agemate. They debate on as my cousin cuts kale and her mother sits on a stool, leaning against a wall and my sister sits on a stool in the middle of the kitchen.

    Hahahha I totally relate.

    1
  • Rose
    09.01.2018

    Wow, such an inspiring article though it brings memories of your mum; min Biko as I would call her then. Your dad deserves happiness one more time n I agree with you on that. Let him find love once more….Let Rose fill the emptiness inside your dad. Be happy for Mwalimu.

  • Munyambu
    09.01.2018

    I feel like I’ve read this before in one of your older posts>>>>>”They would talk for hours because……..Yet sometimes he would make her laugh, he would make the funny one laugh.”
    Great first read of 2018.

  • Life’s Good
    09.01.2018

    We lost our maternal grandma in 2008, and even before we could think what was going to be of my grandfather without his wife, he re-married. A white wedding this time round, I don’t think they had that with grandma; I only assume so because I have never seen photos.

    Anyway, mom and my aunties seemed to take it well, but it was different with my uncles. Some even said it openly, they didn’t like her, the rest didn’t say it but you could tell they didn’t want her in their mom’s house.

    The lady, now our shosh has kids of her own; all adults but still her kids. On the wedding day the son (26+) could not be consoled; he cried a river. The daughter just went along dancing with the other women as they celebrated the wedding, I could not read what she felt.

    Well, reading how you feel about it and possibly how your sister feels about it, – it is kinda what I see in my grandfather’s homestead with my uncles and my aunties

    4
  • Raindrops
    09.01.2018

    Sounds familiar… I’d like to be happy for my Simon but the sadness, when does it end??? It’s being pulled in two different directions with the logic (he needs someone) one hand and emotions (I can’t believe she’s gone and he’s moving on so soon) on the other. P.S ours has big knockers too and is in her early 40s. Thanks Biko for sharing.

  • Lynder
    09.01.2018

    Well,atleast your dad is happy

  • JUne
    09.01.2018

    Ecclesiastes 9:9
    9 Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love, all the days of this meaningless life that God has given you under the sun—all your meaningless days. For this is your lot in life and in your toilsome labor under the sun.

    Wow I dint know there is abible verse like this..Thanks Biko now I must forward this to mt husband lol!!!

    1
  • Joy
    09.01.2018

    I am smiling all through this read….. at some point I get teary (I don’t know exactly why) but I am happy for Simon. Nice read as always.

  • Imalyn
    09.01.2018

    In my early days and thus ‘still learning life’, hehe literally… I just had so much to learn. Life is for the living

  • lydia
    09.01.2018

    awesome read biko..i love rose already
    my dad needs a’ rose’ but he wont listen to me..i dont want him to grow old alone…

    1
  • Liz
    09.01.2018

    Happiness is what Simon needs, Happy new Year Biko.

    2
  • Lizz
    09.01.2018

    This piece kinda opened my eyes and thanks for that Biko… but I don’t see myself accepting my dad moving on with some woman, BETRAYAL.
    Welcome back and happy 2018.

    1
  • Makena Maore
    09.01.2018

    Hi Biko,

    This is such a raw piece. I loved it.
    I was a fly on the wall watching this and imagining the tension that filled the room as you prayed together.
    Begs the question, are our parents really not the same adults that we are?
    Makes me think how it would be if it were reversed roles.

    Always a good read, Cheers!

    4
  • Njuguna
    09.01.2018

    haaaha..knockers..good read and thanks for the comeback..the two weeks seemed like eternity

    1
  • Mwaura
    09.01.2018

    Ecclesiastes 9:9
    Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest all the days of the life of thy vanity, which he hath given thee under the sun, all the days of thy vanity: for that is thy portion in this life, and in thy labour which thou takest under the sun

    1
  • Magret
    09.01.2018

    I think he is lucky to have a second chance at love & companionship, at his age it’s a blessing. Some people may never find that. When all is said and done it does offer some peace of mind to his children . . . they worry less when they’re sure he is being taken care of. Be happy for them.

    1
  • Jen
    09.01.2018

    This kind of reminds me of a time when my mother was dating this dude. My brother and I would do everything we could to deliberately disrespect him… We were in primary school then. We hated his guts! Prancing around telling us what we should and should not watch; dictating the time we went to bed. Really maen! The guy actually had the nerve to think he was our father or something!

    Anyway, I love the way you bring stories to life. I wish your dad and your entire family well. Happy New Year to you and yours!

    • Rose
      10.01.2018

      How did it end for your mom? I hope well..

  • Kay
    09.01.2018

    Biko do you ever take ur wife and kids to Shagz? in all these years I’ve never read a story about it.or u choose not to share that..just wondering.

    4
  • Sonia
    09.01.2018

    You are a better man than me. When my mum died, my dad dedicated his life to taking care of us. When he ‘moved’ on, I never accepted her. Turns out with good reason. I wish your dad happiness. He is brave but at the end of the day, he is human too. May your mum rest in peace. It shall be well.

    1
    • Rose
      10.01.2018

      So sorry for your loss Sonia

  • Msele
    09.01.2018

    Hmmm…Starting 2018 with Melvine, it’s all good!

  • anonymous
    09.01.2018

    Let Simon be,companionship is sweet

  • Malaika
    09.01.2018

    She sounds as beautiful as the Rose flower. She gives your father a reason to live again. As you said, life is for the living, where there is Love, there is life.

    2
  • David
    09.01.2018

    Lucky Him, my grandad is lonely and still asks for his wife.

    Great piece Biko

  • Sophie
    09.01.2018

    That can’t be easy! Yes you don’t need a mother but he needs a wife, a partner, someone to spend old age with. Sad reality that your loving mum is gone forever, and that he has found someone else that he likes, loves. Such is life. Welcome back and Happy New Year.

    2
  • Onchari
    09.01.2018

    I’m happy you know Ecclesiastes 9:9. Preach brother.

  • gathoni
    09.01.2018

    hio part ya ‘big knockers’ ilinichosha…woi
    great story tho’

  • Elisha
    09.01.2018

    Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love, all the days of this meaningless life that God has given you under the sun–all your meaningless days. For this is your lot in life and in your toilsome labor under the sun. Ecclesiastes 9:9

    1
  • David Mwenda
    09.01.2018

    Back to timing this thing on Tuesday will be waiting for this every week now

    1
  • MuthoniM
    09.01.2018

    You know what got to me ati “ someone else takes over your chicken pen” Goodness!! You write so so well.

  • TheDan
    09.01.2018

    Hahahaha… Ecclesiastes 9:9: Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love, all the days of this meaningless life that God has given you under the sun–all your meaningless days.

  • Onesmo
    09.01.2018

    Great read!

  • Miromouse
    09.01.2018

    Such a great read as always. My mum passed on in 1990 and after three years my dad remarried. No ceremony, no speech, no pre marriage dos and donts…woke up one morning and baam. Its been a long journey, the day my mums clothes dissappered from the closet was hard, right till the photo albums went missing. My dad is now 67 and battling end stage renal failure. Guess who takes care of him, her, my step mum. Simon needs someone to grow old with, and if God forbid someday he needs critical care, she will be there. You may not see the whole picture now, but yes, life is for the living.

    4
  • Warui David
    09.01.2018

    Biko are you okay?

    Maybe it’s fatigue or hangovers from the the festivities and all that pertains to it. Couldn’t help but notice the typos which is unlike you…

    Nice read altogether which is so like you.

    It’s unfortunate I couldn’t pick the exact emotion or feel altogether from this writing…

    Also, lastly…is Wednesday the new posting day??

    • No Idea
      10.01.2018

      Or may be the person who does the final read and makes sure typos are taken care of is still on leave. I can understand that.

  • Carthy
    09.01.2018

    Great read. I wish your dad happiness in his new wife ventures.

  • CAROLINE KATHESYA
    10.01.2018

    What are the ambitions of village dogs? At least city dogs hope to be driven to The Hub one day.

    Such are the thoughts of a good writer.

    1
  • Mike
    10.01.2018

    Quite a poignant read that gnaws one’s at inner childhood. Being this far from home my mind plays tricks on me — going back to my childhood self— whenever I’m around my parents I still see them as Mommy na Daddy pre being robbed of innocence. When their parental responsibilities end as they see their chicks into the dawn of adulthood, oft what is left is a nest of void. True test of their union is whether theirs was a duty or borne out of love.

    When they parted ways, I mourned the loss of the familiar. My greatest battle ever since has been allowing them happiness on their own terms. I always wonder if they’d reach their aspirations in their own respective terms had they been nonconformist to societal norms that held them together. But again… as parents they did theirs now they live.

    It’s tough Biko, may the gods of serenity grant you solace that you seek during this transition.

    Great note to end on for your dad — Ecclesiastes 9:9

  • Archie
    10.01.2018

    This hits home.
    Mum passed in 2011 and one year later my dad was introducing a new woman. I resisted for almost two years not knowing where the bitterness was coming from. Maybe because I felt like I was betraying my mum and I couldn’t stand that feeling.
    One day it all just melted away. He is happy. She makes him happy and that is all that matters. She is also a very nice lady.

    4
  • Kip
    10.01.2018

    You have got to move on Biko!

    • Rose
      10.01.2018

      That whoosh sound is the sound of the ‘point’ flying passed you Kip.

      1
  • Lyn
    10.01.2018

    I am happy for the old man.

  • K
    10.01.2018

    “Bedrooms *doesn’t* belong to men”, how can it when you can’t find your yellow tie in it?

    A slight error to correct Biko…

  • A.J.O OKOYO
    10.01.2018

    What are the ambitions of village dogs?

    That one day, hunters will tag them along in their mission.

    2
  • NdivyoMamboYalivyo
    10.01.2018

    Waah!! Whatever the feelings, be glad that your father is happy, and will get to live many more years because of the newfound happiness.
    Now, imagine a polygamous dad, 4 wives, 3 deceased (including mum), last wife kosana’s with dad, dad moves out and builds himself a new home elsewhere, alone with a few employees. You visit home for Christmas, mum’s house is lonely, with a void that chokes you with emotions. You decide to visit dad’s new home and find him sitting on the veranda, alone, looking bored to death, dozing……at 80+ Years…..
    Let your father be happy..

  • Louis Wamukoya
    10.01.2018

    Great read. I’m happy for your dad and glad you appreciate the same.

  • Simplicity
    10.01.2018

    Maybe it’s just me but when a story is so good I don’t see the spelling mistakes some people are talking about. Not even one. Awesome read Biko…..Happy 2018 #Timesup

    1
    • Gamsley
      19.01.2018

      Sane here, I was encapsuled till the very end

      Hats off, to ride this tide, to see life for what it is, progress

      I was in hospital today, was admitted yesternight but today, someone’s mother’s home isn’t the same, she was indeed ICU, she rested

      The pain of their chores still lingers on my heart. A silent prayer, I pray they have better days ahead for indeed

      life is for the living

  • Kui
    10.01.2018

    I like Melvene…she is like my big sister Beth who took over being our ‘Maitu’ ….yah you probably don’t need a mother but yes your dad needs a Rose….not sure how I could have handled a Rose in my father’s house..

  • Linda
    10.01.2018

    This story is supposed to be happy, but all I get is sadness after reading it. Sadness for a man who is clearly missing his mother, who is afraid of his mothers memories being forgotten, but again cares so much for his father that all he wants is to see him happy. And he says “i suru” shingo upande. Happy new year Biko.

    2
  • The Evolving Mom
    11.01.2018

    What are the ambitions of village dogs? At least city dogs hope to be driven to The Hub one day.

    2
  • wamugi gichuri
    11.01.2018

    ” What are the ambitions of village dogs? At least city dogs hope to be driven to The Hub one day…” This line got me off my feet, reeled me in the air for a moment in laughter, and landed me flat on my buttocks. hahahahahahaha!!
    Who even throws in such a line? Nice one Bruh!

  • Greenilusion
    11.01.2018

    What do I think? I think our environment is always changing and people evolve with it, I think with that change there will always be a sweet and sour taste to it., I think you cannot script these things because we have no control of anything but our responses to it. So here is to the man, the life he will live and the knockers!

  • nimo
    11.01.2018

    Does your dad read your posts?And rose?

    • Jesse
      13.01.2018

      I think Rose reads them to try and learn something about the ‘son’ Biko

      1
  • jaaba
    11.01.2018

    with this article i paused to ponder… how strange a feeling it would be to have your mommy “replaced” . Who does she think she is? you don’t just budge in and play mommy role. She would never fit into my mommy’s shoes, no woman would, I thought to myself … But then you say or rather your sister says, “Simon is not mourning no more but loving ”. For dad sake I would try to be okay with it.

    nice piece.

  • Jennifer A. Okech
    12.01.2018

    Thanks for sharing Biko. This week’s piece speaks directly to me. Indeed “Everything changes when you are rested six feet under; for one, someone else takes over your chicken pen.” Reminds me of my Mama’s poultry house, how much she loved poultry farming, the art and love put into the construction of the chicken house.
    Your sister Melvine reminds me of myself, I hope I too, get to rise from the dust soon. Like Melvine, I also crumbled to dust after my Mama’s passing. This week’s piece gives me hope, I know I’ll rise again and make my mother and father proud. Like you’ve said, “…strength rises from unlikely sources.”

    I enjoy reading your blog, great pieces, and very inspiring.

  • Deb
    12.01.2018

    I am so much into context that the typos are sidelined. What a beautiful and unpretentious story. It is a jumpstart to the year, Keep writing.

  • fridahrima@gmail
    12.01.2018

    I would only imagine how painful it is for a mother to be replaced. But oh yes Biko life is for the living and you for sure dont need a mother now but he needs a wife. Happy for dad.Have met a man who for close to 15 years has never got over his wife and he looks miserable. Good for dad that he got himself a rose. They are hard to come by. Nice read for sure

  • H.K
    12.01.2018

    Anything you write about your mother gets me sobbing through it.Beautifully written.

  • Delilah
    12.01.2018

    Is it just me or are those telling Biko to move out of touch with reality? Biko is here to stay for his legion of fans. He has never told or begged anyone to read what he writes. Biko does not really mind if anyone likes him and that is what is called class. It is a quality that he has mastered. It is a personal choice that a fan makes. Those who are not part of his fan base can go on their merry way and those who wanted to read, can. He writes and whoever likes it enough, stays. It is what it is. Now, Biko, I am one of your many, many, many fans who are here to read what you write for the long haul, so please pop that champagne as I shake my hair loose and scroll up to read this inaugural story of the year….Kudos!!

  • Adam Ng'etich
    12.01.2018

    Have I gotten it right? Is Kip is telling you to move on, Biko? Ha-ha-ha-ha!!! That is right! Sounds like you and I need to meet face-to-face because, Kip, because you sound like one of those guys who lives cheque-to-cheque. Wife probably left you, your kids most likely nag and you probably believe that there are 30 bad days in a month. Shut up, Kip, sleep or crawl into the ground because every story that this fellow dude tells is like an earthquake that shakes the earth in a limited amount of time but leave such a huge impact that will be hard to forget. Biko, you’ll disappoint me if you listen to such losers as Kip.

  • Thinker
    13.01.2018

    As @greenillusion has said, losing something is the best option because nothing is guaranteed. Those who have lost are the best survivors because God always find a way of sustaining them. As for Centres, may God sustain them because He knows them better. The miserable one’s, are God’s people, too. Close to many months, things have been thrown at people’s way, hints have been dropped here and there, but the one judge we all have, black or white, rich or poor, gifted or not, excellent or none at all, is God. He alone knows the future.

  • Caleen
    13.01.2018

    Always a great read

  • Wanga
    13.01.2018

    It was about Rose sio chicken!

  • Njuguna Ndung'u
    14.01.2018

    That Rose reminded me of the movie ‘Fences’- and your dad as Den. Washington.

  • Prisciller Betty
    14.01.2018

    I read this piece when it was posted.
    I read again this morning…instead of going to church-long story.

    It go me thinking. You know someone for 35 years, she brought you into this world…then someone takes her place. But she keeps the one man you love unconditionally happy. Do you hate them? No, of course you can’t. Do you love them? I don’t know, things will somehow work out.
    The grief never ends though. It will hit you one day, occasionally when you least expect. She will adjust his tie or brush off hair from his shirt and feelings you never thougt lived in you will surface.
    But, you will survive. You will live. And the old guy will be around for much longer.

    Such is life.

  • Owa Papa
    15.01.2018

    To: ‘Granny’s Corner’, thanks for the kind comments. To ‘No Idea’, ‘Angie’ and ‘James’….I must concur with your observations… typos indeed abounded like the bubonic plague of London in the 1660’s. Hopefully, like the Great Fire that later gutted down London, killing the rats and the fleas that were causing the plague (inadvertently perhaps, resolving the plague), a Great Fire will similarly consume away any future inattention to what I have penned down. May all on this forum have a great year; they say life has no rehearsal….because you live it once-live well folks, live well.

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  • Othieno
    15.01.2018

    I can relate to the death of a mother and the replacement process that follows. You feel good for your father and at the same time there is the lingering sadness. I guess we go through the same emotions its only that you are bold enough to jot yours down. But time heals all – we get used to the new reality, the new mother! And while at it, you may as well prepare for a set of new siblings – who will be your responsibility!

  • jonyo
    15.01.2018

    Your comment*”what are the ambitions of village dogs?”

  • EM 4 Consultancy
    18.01.2018

    This is a good read, I enjoyed.

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  • Cy
    21.01.2018

    This is too relatable. I am reading this as I sleep in my father’s house which is technically his wife’s house now. I felt a little sad when I got in this evening as it was being rearranged, for the umpteenth time. So much change. My mother’s seats have all been replaced save for one. I look at her photo above the dining room entrance and she seems not to mind all this, as long as my dad is happy. It’s been seventeen years since mum left. It’s been 5 years since the house was re-occupied and with every visit, mum’s touch is getting phased out.

    I wish Biko you’d let us know what you call her (Rose? Mathe? Mama? ). I also hope she’s young enough to give you some more siblings who will play with your children, who will be wondering why their uncles and aunts are babies .

  • Klaiv
    22.01.2018

    Dear Biko,

    Happy 2018! I trust you are keeping well.

    This was a ‘heavy’ read. Not because your father has found new love, or because your sister feels betrayed by that very fact. More because you have accepted to live with your mother’s passing on and your father’s personal choices.

    A very wise old man told me, seven months ago, that the passing of a love one rankled so much because of the guilt tearing at my heart due to unresolved issues. That we mourn the dead, not because they are gone, but because we had so much unfinished business with them. In the midst of my grief, I heard, and appreciated, the truth in his words. Yet I felt that he was throwing subliminal darts (and, dare i say insensitive) my way. In fact, it was only my utmost respect for him that froze the retort on my lips.

    A few months down the line, I have come to accept that life is for the living. And that moving on from the loss of a love one does not equate to forgetting them. Live and let live. Choices are personal.

    Thanks for this piece. By it, my resolve is strengthened.

  • Klaiv
    22.01.2018

    By the way, has Old Man Simon watched the movie ‘Shall We Dance’ (am i stretching this too far?)? One of the most profound quotes i remember from this (or any other) movie, on marriage, is this:

    “We need a witness to our lives. There’s a billion people on the planet, what does any one life really mean? But in a marriage, you’re promising to care about everything. The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things, all of it, all of the time, every day. You’re saying ‘Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go un-witnessed because I will be your witness’.”

    In your father’s situation, i am conflicted/confounded!

    Are you able to share the quote with him, and, more importantly, his thoughts on it? As an African alpha (you characterize him so), i bet his take would make for very edifying reading!

  • mary mary
    23.01.2018

    Great piece

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  • Galgallo Guyo
    13.02.2018

    I got hooked on Biko’s Saturday Nation’s Magazine column. I encountered this blog last year and since then, I have been reading them or rather enjoying them days after they have been posted. Unfortunately for me – with my rural work – I always meet the blog with massive comments including those ones that comes with the ‘First to comment’ tag.

    Biko is one amazing writer.

    He writes with ease, wit and satisfying humour. I have learnt that sad stories are his best. He paints stories and that’s classic in itself. So far, the best I have read is ‘God is a Gentleman’.

    Kudos Biko ! Mob love man.

    Moyale, Kenya

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    • Waithera
      13.02.2018

      Don’t you worry Galgallo, I discovered it 2 months ago!

      And yes, ‘God is a Gentleman’ is something else. Shared it with my family, on Facebook, everywhere.

      Biko is just awesome, wonder if he’s aware really…

  • Mwangi Chege
    16.02.2018

    Biko! Biko! You breathe life into your stories with every stroke of your pen, Your writing is divine and your prowess is unparalleled. Keep regaling us with your true-to-life stories and we will keep reading.

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  • Maureen
    22.04.2018

    I loved it especially the ending and definitely I checked what Ecclesiastes 9:9 says.

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