Twenty Three

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If you are reading this as soon as soon as it’s posted then I’m probably 39,000ft somewhere over West Africa, barreling towards the motherland in a KQ Boeing 787-8, non-stop from New York. If all goes to plan and someone important sends an email to another important person I will have ended up in Business Class, which will make the 15-hours much happier. New York City was cold but kind to me.

Here is a truism: You will pack your bags and go to distant lands, places with buildings taller than buildings at home, places with a transport system that works to the minute, places where they don’t hold harambees, places with bright lights. But there is just something about coming back home. There is something about home, period. Going abroad is akin to the first dates when you only see the best of the other person because the other person only shows you the best of them, when the air of intrigue and discovery is rife. When words like “please” and “thank you,” and “kindly,” and “would you please, darling?” are being used. When they sneeze loudly and they say, “excuse me,” and not, “ngai fafa!” When they don’t keep you waiting because they are with the boys or cancel dates because Manchester United is playing (and losing). When they are not ordering in and instead whipping up something hot with their hands and with their hearts.

But then you start dating and then you realise that they snore. Or sleep walk. They come to bed in a Jubilee promo t-shirt. They don’t open the car door for you anymore because suddenly they realise you grew a pair of hands. They cuss. They suck passion fruit loudly. They become normal. Faulty. They become themselves.

That’s what home is. Home is what you know; the good and the terrible. There is never going to be something that will happen that will surprise you. It’s a relationship. It’s normal. It works. It’s someone thrusting the face of a baby into your car in traffic jam to ask for money. It’s idiotic matatu drivers. It’s people who treat a red at traffic lights like a favour to humanity. Punks who drive on the wrong side of the road because they are driving big cars or because they know someone who knows someone who knows someone who says they are pals with the president. This is a relationship we signed up for and normally you would take time off from it and go as far away as possible and flirt with a different country, probably in a bar, a country seemingly without warts and a country that doesn’t snore with its mouth wide open. But then at some point you really are dying to come back home, to all the things that are not working and all the things that are working and you can’t wait to land because when you land at JKIA and those KRA guys are rubbing their noses on your suitcase you know that you belong; that you are from here with your people. And it’s a sacred feeling, to be home and to know that you don’t have to catch a train to go eat naan in an Indian restaurant, the closest you can get to getting chapos. Instead you can just call Ben of Three Dee Restaurant and say, “Ben, sasa? Funga chapo mbili, napitia kuchukua….er, ya brown.”

Since I’m airborne and it’s Tuesday I don’t have a post because I was on holiday. But I have a gentleman here who attended my masterclass and he’s a cracker. He will be filling in for me this week. He’s young and cheeky and naughty and he thinks he will never grow old. I like him. I asked him to write something very random about being 23-years old.

Gang, meet, Mike. Mike, put your bag over there and tell these people what your life is as a 23-year old.

***

By Mike Muthaka
Dating feels like a waste of time, which is funny because I thought my last relationship would go all the way to the altar. In fact, I’ve felt the same way about every girl I’ve been with.

I fall head over heels for them. I cook up blueprints for our collective future. One wanted a house with wooden floors. Another wanted five dogs and just as many kids. Ha! You should have seen me doing the math. I don’t even like pets, for chrissake.
Still, I jump over fences for these girls. I go to great lengths to make them happy. Sometimes I end up doing the complete opposite. I refuse to acknowledge their flaws. If they cause me an ounce of pain I take it on the chin and say it’s all in the name of love. I get excited as hell about them. I write them letters. I introduce them to friends, and when the girl goes to the loo, I lean closer to my pal and say, “I’m going to marry that girl.”
Then, when they break up with me, I’m left fumbling in the dark, wondering if life is really worth it if I don’t have someone to call at 1am for a spot of phone sex.
According to my friends, I’m a typical ‘Ted Mosby’ (you must know who that is, surely). Have you met Ted?
He’s the character played by Josh Radnor in ‘How I Met Your Mother’ (HIMYM). Theodore Evelyn Mosby, the gentle tousle-haired architect professor who took nine seasons to find “the one”, only for her to die in the season finale. That part kills me.
I’m a complete sucker for HIMYM. I watch it when I’m sad. I watch it when I’m happy. I watch it when I couldn’t be bothered watch anything else. HIMYM is to me what Star Wars was to Ted. HIMYM is, I think, the best depiction of what it’s like to be in your 20s, when it’s time to leave the nest and start laying your own bricks -the good, the bad, and the downright silly, all jumbled up into one memorable rollercoaster.
I like Ted. I like the way he bleeds on screen. He gives me hope. But as I get older, I want to become less like Ted –the hopeful romantic- and more like Barney, the charming playboy who holds relationships at arm’s length. Barney is awesome. Barney is always in a suit, unless he’s boning some floozy he just met at McLaren’s Bar.
Barney also says no guy should be married before 30. And he’s dead right.
What’s the hurry?
I’m 23 now. Thirty seems like eons away. I don’t want to be in a committed relationship before then. I don’t want to be tied down in my 20s. And I don’t want to make proclamations of love to a girl I barely know, because at 23 I barely know myself. Of course, there have been girls who’ve made me doubt this decision, but if there’s anything we can learn from Ted, it’s that girls will always be there.
Girls are everywhere. They’re the most beautiful things we have. Girls are right up there with sparrows and trees and blue skies. They’re in offices and they’re at the downtown kiosk. They’re seated next to you in a matatu, and they’re at the point of sale at your favorite supermarket. And now there’s even a cab service solely for girls, all geared up towards female empowerment.
I’m certain there’s one girl out there who wouldn’t mind marrying my ass. But unlike Ted, I won’t sweat it. I won’t go looking for her. Far better, I reckon, to spend my energies building a career –writing stories, drinking vodka and going where the stars take me. (Am I a romantic or what?) Mostly, though, I want to leave the nest, a decision half-formed by impatience and a little guilt.
Twenty-three feels like guilt. I’m guilty of not having my own place. I feel too old to be under my parents’ roof, and I wonder if they think so, too. I’m guilty of not learning my language (kyuk). And, according to my Catholic roots, I’m guilty of having sex.
**
I’m writing this at my desk, in the corner of the room. It’s Friday. I’m wedged between the wall and my dresser. Our house sits somewhere in the middle of Kitengela and Isinya. We’re surrounded by dry grass and a bakery to the right. I have loving parents and a kid sister who loves to sing.
My bedroom window overlooks the front lawn and a chicken coop. I have a cock and a hen in that coop, the last of the survivors. Initially I had 50 chicks, but a serious case of bird flu wiped them out, one by one, sometimes reducing me to sniveling tears. The cock is blind in one eye, and the hen eats all the time. When she’s in the mood she’ll lay some eggs. But the cock might not make it to Christmas. I wonder what a blind chicken tastes like?
There are three books on my nightstand –The Personality of St. Paul, which is older than I am; The Vendetta Defense, from the school library; and Memoirs of a Geisha, which I’ve never quite finished. They’re piled next to a brown lamp and a Sayona radio.
I listen to XFM and HBR, mostly. The afternoon presenter on XFM gets on my bloody nerves, and the voice of G-Money in the morning gets me all tingly inside. Sometimes I kill the stereo and stew in the silence of my room, listening to the kids playing across the fence.
Next Monday I’ll make a class presentation –a speech in honor of Bett, my mentor and editor at Craft It. My weekly column is called Dusty Rugs. (Sound familiar?)
I’m a third-year Communications student. The ratio of girls to boys in my school is 6:1. It’s heaven on earth. I get along with girls easier than I do with guys, but when they start to talk about Snapchat and Kim Kardashian and faux locs braids my mind wanders out of the room and comes back to this desk.
This is where I spend most days. Writing is my bread, my butter, and my noble excuse for not replying to text messages.
I’m wearing a fedora. It’s a two-year-old hat, with stripes running front to back, and it makes me feel like a classic journalist. The only thing that’s missing is a pencil behind my ear, a typewriter, and a smouldering cigarette.
My ex didn’t like the fedora. She called it ugly. She said she didn’t want to be seen with me if I insisted on wearing it. I caught feelings. How could she not like this hat? Perhaps that should have been the first red flag.
I also have a newsboy hat on the dresser. This one is black, and it makes me feel like a moonshine smuggler.
(Oh wait. I already wrote about the newsboy hat on Dusty Rugs.)
Anyway, at 6pm I’ll leave the digs and board a 14-seater bongo-playing matatu and head to church. I’ll share a seat with a school boy. Half my bum will remain suspended in the air. I’ll have to clench the other half so I don’t fall off the seat. By the time I de-bus my ass will be on fire, and I’ll think: “Boy, I should have skipped Mass.”
Like most people, I have a love-hate relationship with God.
The morning of my 23rd birthday, on a calm Saturday, mom found me smoking in the compound. She waited until breakfast to bring it up.
“What were you doing with that lighter?”
Silence.
“Were you smoking?”
I nodded.
“Why? Are you stressed?”
“Kind of.”
“Michael,” she said, “just leave your burdens to God.”
But I’ve never liked church. Church showed me God was to be feared. Everyone always wore a somber face in their Sunday bests. People turned into the most pious beings, with their heads bent in surrender before the imposing wooden crucifix.
Jesus had red paint spilling from his palms, and his face had tired lines, heavy with all the sins of the world. All those murderers and fornicators; all the thieves and the crafty businessmen who don’t give Caesar what belongs to Caesar, all the coveters and masturbators, we all had a hand in Jesus’ misery.
But there was hope for salvation. At least, that’s what his messenger –a white-garbed priest of Indian origin- was sent to tell us.
Boy, did I hate church.
My earliest memory of church is a profile view of the congregation at St. Joseph Catholic Church, Jericho. I’m on Mom’s lap, and my head is resting snuggly on her bosom. We’re seated on the back bench, next to Dad, who is cradling my kid sister–wrapped in pink- who is too young to be bothered about the length of the sermon. Birds chirp and sing in the roof. The choir belts out ‘Utukufu kwa Mungu’. My eyelids weigh a tonne. I feel sleepy. The drone coming from the pulpit is diminished to mere background noise. I’m barely five years old. No one holds it against me for sleeping in the Lord’s house. And I don’t feel guilty about it.
Now I’m too old to make use of Mom’s lap when I get a bit sleepy in church. Heck, I’m old enough to decide whether I want to go to church or not. So I usually don’t go, because I know I won’t get much from church that I don’t already know, and that I will have spent the entire Mass staring at the meek-faced believers while wondering what I’ll have for lunch.
I like the Friday evening mass, however, because it’s short. We don’t even give offertory. Just a five minute homily, the breaking of bread, and then it’s time for the final blessing. I’m usually back home by 8pm, just in time to catch Hullabaloo Estate on Maisha Magic East. Today is the season finale. (How underrated is Makokha by the way?)
Then, at around 10pm, I’ll turn in for the night. I’ll draw the curtains, switch on the lamp, and leaf through The Vendetta Defense before falling asleep. This is the tableau vivant of my nights at 23, unless I’m too bored to read, at which point I’ll enjoy an episode of How I Met Your Mother, with absolutely no guilt.

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194 Comments
    1. It’s almost 2019, for the love of God are we still scrumbling for the first to comment post?
      Anyway,

      Biko baby, did you bring me an autographed picture of Trevor Noah baby?

      Hey Mike, I hope this gang doesn’t make you uncomfortable. We’re a tad good audience. Karibu. Yeah, 23 does take a toll on you sometimes, I can totally relate. I turned 23 in may this year. I can leave a few notes as well, seeing I’ve been here for a few months
      Yeah, you’re right, we’ll (girls) always be here. Also, have you considered that they keep leaving because of your fedora? Your ex seems to have a good taste. But in the spirit of acceptance, you’ll find one who will love both you and your hats.

      Aaahhh, Ted, don’t we all love the guy. Actually, turned out after a full 9 seasons, “the one” was Robin. She was there all along. So chill out. You’ll find one that makes you wanna stay up all night on the rooftop staring at the massive beauty of the moon, or will teach you how to play the guitar, and will definitely snore on some nights and be annoying on others, but hey, human nature?

      Now on your writing, my God Mike, you started of beautifully ( I’ve would have expounded on this using more adjectives but I don’t wanna be in trouble later tonight, but lemmie throw in Magic Mike and if I get in trouble, we’ll consider if we can share the view from your bedroom window). Beautifully written, up until you stopped talking about girls and women and had your thoughts jumbled up and started writing about everything else. That was kind of confusing. It was like going down a water slide then all of a sudden you’re sinking in a sand dune. But I’m sure it gets better with time.

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      1. I like it. I too am 23, struggling with life after campo. Feeling the need to move out. Trying to find myself. Terrified of what the future hold.
        But what keeps me going is hope. So lets all hope and work tirelessly to achieve our dreams.

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      2. Bumblebee. You are 23?? This is a good month. Here I was thinking you are one of those hip attractive women in their late forties. Kumbe we are both in La liga. We must talk. Let us not frustrate destiny. Your words charm me, jaber. Your wit has me in a vice grip that I do not think I wish to be free from.

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      3. I would like to talk like a Kenyan. “He si you you can write.” Both this girl and the boy. Yeah 23 is heavenly with girls. Only you are less empowered to pamper them. Please whisper to Mike, if your parents don’t take you as a burden , take your sweet time to organize your self to get some good digs.

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      4. I just left 23 myself and I am not ready for 24.i feel like I should be having a manual on what I should be doing at this age. I think I have a phobia of growing old. Ask my friends. They can’t tell you my actual age unless they stumble upon my ID,bahati Mbaya. But 23 was great. The lessons I learnt, I will write an article and hopefully share. Coz all my articles lie on my laptop and diary. Lesson number one was the art KS minding your own business. People will let you know what they want you to know. They will let you know what function is okay for you to attend. Not once or twice I have seen functions happening from social media,that my close friends had, which I had no idea about. Lesson number 2,relationships at this age are kind of screwed up. No one wants to stay. It’s like they are in trial and error.
        Anyway, help me welcome 24. I am waiting to find out the new phase. Coz I have no idea what should be happening to a 24 year old, who just got her first job, and is single.

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  1. So if you are reading this comment as soon as its sent…. Just know I’m glad I’m the first ever..hehe
    Travel safe biko.
    Love yah

  2. Safe flight chocolate man,hope your wish came true for business class! And ooh,don’t forget all those parcels you were bringing along!

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        1. If one dates a person who is not challenging it does get boring, especially in bed. Single people tend to be happier though, better to be single than settling is my two cents.

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    1. Am 28,after two failed cohabitation am still hopeful there is that one person for everyone. Mine i think is being made from China, my mama tells me, ” Shira, i hope the third one is the one”.My only response to her in my heart is i really hope he is. Talk about faith!!

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        1. I have read your article but nevertheless still believe in marriage and the ‘nuclear family.’ It is certainly not a waste of time to build your life together with the one you love.

  3. The intro is perfect! Certainly describes how I feel when returning but I still really like the first date delusion. Reading 23 reminds me of how much hard work it was to date a twenty something year old guy. Confusion galore!

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  4. Great piece !…am like 2 years to 23 and i am glad to know that i shouldn’t have so much expectations…Mike i hope you will find the rhythm to your tune some day .

  5. Call us when the bonfire is lit, and homecoming story telling starts, of the bright lights and heartbeat of NY.

    And Mike can listen in the corner twirling his lighter blowing a column of smoke.

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  6. Booy! Don’t you paint 23 so good. Bless the Lord you have parents you can crush with, we are out here struggling with rent like it’s all there is to think of!! Thank heavens you also like Friday mass, what some of us like on Friday, is the idea of letting loose and getting wasted like we are celebrating a success. You actually remember your ex? Aren’t you blessed! Most of us have gone through alot of dumpings we don’t even remember how it felt to be loved. So your 23 isn’t that bad afterall!! Let me speak for the fornicators and mastubaters, Jesus died for us yes, out of His accord, so don’t guilt trip us!! Lol.
    Happy belated birthday and ohh, you really need a life, yours is downright boooring.

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    1. Indeed!
      Maybe it has something to do with the fact that his name is ‘Muthaka’ – Kyuk for beautiful?

      Great post Mike!

      Sincerely,
      Another 23 year old.

  7. Biko can we agree the hallmark of a grown relationship is not babe shouting “ngai fafa” when you sneeze so loud but when she guiltlessly works on the cupcake wrapper? I have known people who chew that ka-wrapper. And they are Kenyans like us. Even religious and all. And the bad part? Some of them are parents. Yes, PARENTS. Parents that chew on the cupcake wrapper.

    Hey Mike. I like the way you write. Where do we read the rest of your stuff about girls and church? Dusty rags is a blog?

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  8. Biko, i enjoyed your part reason being, it was not only humorous but also realistic. But ‘being 23’, i just got lost in the middle of it…

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  9. Have a safe flight, Biko.

    Hi, Mike. 23 isn’t that bad. It gets much better.

    Also, don’t tell your mother this (or tell her, I don’t care), you can always go to another church. Mass is boring as heck. No offence to people who go to mass (but you guys know that it’s boring, right? You have to know!)

    PS: Wear sunscreen. I know where you live, and there the sun does not play.

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      1. I would say that the ‘gatherings’ you have attended lack spiritual nourishment. I would also like to ask what you did about it but I won’t .
        I do pray that God eventually directed you to a ‘gathering’ that is spiritually edifying and that in your growth, others have also grown. Barikiwa

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  10. Looks like being a writer is a depressing job. Why else would I at 23, on a Friday evening turn in at 10 pm, and read a tome or indulge in a class sitcom when I can hit the streets of Nairobi (even from Isinya), and hang out? Heck, they do that on Mondays too, following the advertorials on Insta that promise you’ll meet some celebrity at Kiza Lounge and enjoy happy hour all night long.
    Or maybe I am depressed.

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  11. Ati Mike who? This is a typical Biko narrative. The handwriting is yours, the voice is yours, the mind is yours. The whole damn thing is yours, Biko. Are you pulling a prank on us?

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    1. I can’t tell if you are being serious or sarcastic……He is nothing like Biko unless you mean it as a compliment to Mike.

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  12. How do you sneeze and not say ‘ngai baba’ and sometimes add a small fart. A sneeze gives us an excuse for anything. Sneeze and slap your annoying partner. Nobody will sue you.
    Anyway, I relate with Mike Muthaka in many ways. I am twenty-three. I write. I fear 30. But I drink whisky and water. Vodka is deceptive: it looks graceful like water but tastes like hell.
    See more of my brokenness at
    http://ndetozetu.com

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  13. Nice one Mike.
    I don’t know why I laughed at masturbastors. ama ni juu ya kushika sheria mkononi?
    About marrying at 30, you might find yourself doing it sooner especially if you leave your parents’ crib.

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  14. Robin is the one and she dies?But i am currently at the episode where robin Is about to marry bonny?(next time say spoiler alert atleast). Ted cosby is more like Ross from friends-both nerds who are hopeless romantic and falls in love with one of their friends( is it only me or is the plot of the two sitcoms somehow the same?).
    Hi mike you sound like an interesting 23year old man. Did i mention i am also 23??hehe .i can relate to alot you’ve said relationships have been reduced to ‘hey you are pretty/handsome can we constantly text and fuck and then call it a relationship?’ It is really tiring. What happened to the good old wooing. I must have been born in the wrong generation but i am not complaining though i would not have survived without not being able to listen to music whenever i want.
    About church i am a catholic myself and no offense but i feel like catholic has no spiritual nourishment cause every mass is like a routine so you lose interest in church. In other related news God is amazing and don’t lose interest in that you life will be meaningless and you won’t have peace.
    To all my 23 year olds in here focus on your careers,build something on your own before you go looking for a husband when the time is right God will send him along
    P/S Mike i feel like we should be friends..lol.
    You sound like you could hold good conversations. Too much??Yes? Okay but i just had to get it out there.

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    1. Hi Phi (may I please call you by that name?) I will digress from Mike’s story and focus on the spiritual nourishment part. I’m glad that you point out the importance of having a relationship with God. About spiritual growth and the feel of lack of it amongst the Catholics, I would say it’s more personal or even congregational than it is universal. Just like a lake needs water to flow in and out for it to be termed as Fresh-water, so does every Christian need the Life-giving Waters of God. Way back, there were ‘jumuiyas’ but we have groups where I live. These fit the different needs of individuals/members as per the groups’ purposes but all focus on Spiritual growth (of individuals, the congregation and the world).
      God is there and He can be found by any who desire to do so. Hope more people get this Truth and are set free by Its Power.

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  15. Biko, sincerity is the mother of progress. I read Mike because you introduced him and he knows someone who knows how to write. But i got lost in beetween probably because I am too old

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  16. At some points it hits you that you can never truly know yourself wholly.. at 27 i still keep on surprising myself….

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  17. I think… in one word. Succint. Short stories are his thing
    Mike’s writing leaves dangling ribbons that can be unravelled at a later date to follow other stories.
    Did he move out? Did he change, become, grow into someone else. What happened at 25, 30.. Can’t wait.

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  18. “All those murderers and fornicators; all the thieves and the crafty businessmen who don’t give Caesar what belongs to Caesar, all the coveters and masturbators…” very funny.

    This piece is very interesting. It got me laughing aloud.. hehehehe.

  19. East, West, North, South…home is best! It’s surprising how we have survived years being away.
    Yes things work. You’re grateful for the fact that if you’re even in an accident or assaulted, the police or ambulance will get to your doorstep in less than five minutes.
    But all the order and bureaucracy bites in other ways too. You need to shift heavy furniture from your house? You can book an appointment for those services, but if you don’t do it on time..you’ll find yourself hauling your sofas by yourself. Then you’ve become the handyman, mechanic, plumber, fixer of washing machines, gardener etc because you want to save dough and if the professionals came to do it..they’ll tinker with one thing in a minute and send you an invoice for over 100 euros. Back home, it doesn’t cost as much to repair stuff because your relatives know people who can repair or haul stuff at friendly prices.

    Mike’s writing is brilliant. It reminds me though, of Loiuse Roe of Plain Jane British reality make-over show. She brings in frumpy folks and cleans them up but the end up look is a carbon copy of how Loiuse Roe dresses, walks and talks..and not the best version of these ones. Frustrating.
    We’d love to hear Master Class attendees own voices..albeit refined? But all we get to hear is a carbon copy of Biko’s voice.

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  20. Dear Mike,
    23 was the worst. I failed to graduate because my thesis did not pass though. My father told me he felt that had wasted his money on my school fees. That just killed me. I really wanted to move out after he told me that. But just like you, I could not afford to. Eventually I still graduated, still at 23. But I was too fed up to attend my own graduation at the University. So I just went to pick up my certificate later. At this time I was doing an unpaid internship. Just for the sake of experience. All I asked my parents for was 20 bob for daily matatu fare.
    I applied for postgrad studies shortly afterwards.I got accepted and moved abroad. I learnt a new language because of the country I moved to. I am now in an international organisation in Switzerland doing my internship as I write my thesis.

    The thought of another thesis makes my legs wobbly. Considering I failed on my first attempt. Anyway, I turn 26 next week. Soon I will stop saying how old I am turning. I am a lady.

    My point: Just do what you can in whatever capacity you are at. Practice within when without. It gets better, I promise.

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  21. Why do i always feel like those who attend Bikos master class always end up writting in a similar style to Bikos.? Isn’t the point to find your own voice and writting style. My two cents.

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    1. It’s an occupational hazard.. When you learn from someone, you’re highly likely to do things like them. It’s worse when you admire them.

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  22. When she’s in the mood she’ll lay some eggs. But the cock might not make it to Christmas. I wonder what a blind chicken tastes like?LOL….. hahahahahahahah.MIKE you have killed me here gosh you are good,keep it up.
    @Biko if mike is in your masters class you are doing a great Job

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  23. Bikozulu, he has your style. Ramblings that make for a good read. Love it Mike…and because I love it I will leave you with something my pastor always says: Do not sweat the small stuff!
    (you can need to quit smoking though)

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  24. I’m still mad at the ending of HIMYM …..who does that???? non the less i still watch it over and over again….I think it should be part of the curriculum in first year …like how we have common units ,watching HIMYM should be one of them.

  25. A well mentored writer. I would advise you to visit Mavuno Church or ICC, I believe you will get well spiritually nourished there.

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  26. Mike, you want us to be friends, leave masturbators alone sawa my fren’. (Speaking for 12 others)
    Nice way to start bloke.
    And aren’t you bored of taking Fanta Orange as your favourite drink? Ooooh i forgot, bot is twedi three.

    Biko, I’ve seen you tell Mike and the others who attended the masterclass about vivid description. Okay, Mike did follow your advice on that.

    Mike what a gem for a start.

  27. Mike, its a good thing you are doing there. Well, you cannot be Biko right now but I would place my bet on he wasn’t like you at 23.

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  28. For a 23 , he is much wiser than many out here,making good and bad descisions at the same time-rolling the dice. Trust the process 23, the road is ruggy,it will be 27 then you’ll realize that time flies and when you realize that the liver shall have colourised(pun intended). Mike is a talented writer.

  29. Mike, you want us to be friends, leave masturbators alone sawa my fren’. (Speaking for 12 others)
    Nice way to start bloke.
    And aren’t you bored of taking Fanta Orange as your favourite drink? Ooooh i forgot, bot is twedi three.

    Biko, I’ve seen you tell Mike and the others who attended the masterclass about vivid description. Okay, Mike did follow your advice on that.

    Mike what a gem for a start.

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    1. Masturbating is healthy and classed as an extreme sport. It will also keep you out of trouble and that includes shagging random chics who don’t add value to your life.

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  30. I think of two things or maybe three;
    a) Mike is a great writer
    b) every writer should own a voice,their own.
    c) 23 is confusing.

  31. The only reason why am commenting today is coz Biko you’ve touched Manchester United and two Mike you’ve also touched masterbaters…anyway a piece of advice Mike, thought non of my business but don’t go down the line of smoking, it’s addictive as hell!!

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  32. Oh Christ Yes!! that Xfm afternoon presenter!..Thought I was the only one.
    aah G money in the morning *wins* …but G can you drop the two boys?

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  33. I am a few months into 23 and boy, I’m confused. It’s like I want to do everything all at once and then I don’t want to. It’s a period where I want to be in a relationship but I don’t want. And most of times I feel like I’m massacaring my future due to the decisions I’m making. It’s that period of, sorry couldn’t pick your call cause I was held up, while in real sense I’m just enjoying my ringing tone. It’s tiring being 23 but hey it’s perks are, you are committed to trying to understand what life’s all about.

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    1. Things I would tell my 23 year old self(33 now) live life, make mistakes, discover yourself. Go on dates don’t just stay in one long relationship with one person. You have the rest of your life for that. Just live and enjoy it all. You will have stories and experiences to share with your kids…

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    2. hell yeah ,,,,,,,,23 is confusing af . 3 months into 23 and I even cant tell whether I like it or wanna leave it fast,
      I just believe my future is on my safe hands. so help me God.

  34. Okay that is truly a firecracker story. You have energy. Got exhausted. Enjoy your twenties. As for Biko i understand what you feeling of coming home. i cant stay out of the country for 2 weeks get homesick. Home is the best.

  35. Great read Mike. You have alot of potential. This piece reminds me of the initial ones Biko posted when he started this blog. Those are the ones I enjoyed the most.

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  36. G-Money always lightens my morning.

    23?Wau!…..Seems like such a long time ago!

    But one thing for sure, life is not as linear path, so many twists and turns,oh boy!

    Just live it to the fullest, good article there’s always room for improvement! Kudos Mike….

  37. 23 is hard? Shit you haven’t seen the half of it. But keep up the good work having something you are passionate about is one way of giving you a sense of purpose. Word of advise though you don’t need to get to 30 to start a family research shows men starting families later on are causing a lot of havoc to the offspring’s DNA. No pressure though God willing you have the rest of your life to pay bills, take a smoke and chase those 23year old perky damsels in distress.

  38. Mike, you write very well for a 23 year old. I’m 50. And this piece took me back to my early 20s – a period of my life that I’m just glad that it’s behind me.
    Keep writing

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  39. I totally relate to this post especially the dating part
    Lovely read, gives me hope of finding love and I should just chill and enjoy my twenties

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  40. Well you should stuck to one story… was it the girls or mum or your love hate relationship with religion or how you spend your day as a typical 23 year old male. You come off as a nice boy who does not want to displease anyone. The kind of guy who grows up to be an Itumbi not a Jowie. We girls settle with guys like you after sampling some blood curdling Jowies..

    Naamini ulifika nyumbani salaam Biko..

  41. Glad you’re mounding these young uns by giving them a chance to dive into the deep ends of writing. It’s not easy to please these interweb fans of your Biko, and Mike took up the baton.

    Mike, I like your 23 years. I was tied down by then, already living with (my now ex) girlfriend. Dating really is a waste of time for that age. I admire your eloquence, and your courage to bare your life here. But then again, it’s all you guys do all day on Instagram and Snapchat and all those other channels.

    I do, however, have an issue with your prose. At some point, it would appear, you felt the need to reach a certain number of words and started writing about everything at once. Not good. It could be the 23 year old mind wandering tho, I’m positive it’ll settle down into an awesome story teller. God speed man.

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  42. Mike!I’ve read all your articles on craft it and i love them all,plus your mentor Fra,amazing lady there.alafu,what has that x fm pesenter(Mungala Mbuvidone to you?)i think he’s just ok.ion I’m 23 too feeling lost and all but i know it gets better.keep writing,we’ll keep reading.

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  43. Mike!! You are now making appearances on this legend’s page! Wow! Strides on strides! 23 is sure taking a toll on all of us but we survive. Somehow. Nice piece.

  44. This is such a good read, as usual.

    To Mike: I also just turned 23, but that doesn’t matter. There are times I also want to be like someone else in terms of my personality, but, you really never know what those people with such personalities face. Don’t focus on changing the person you are, but focus on rather improving and working on yourself. Life is full of surprises.
    Also, God loves you!

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  45. It is an amazing feeling that I’m not the only one who’s a sucker for HIMYM

    Mike might just have found his Robin Scherbatsky

    I’m a complete sucker for HIMYM. I watch it when I’m sad. I watch it when I’m happy. I watch it when I couldn’t be bothered watch anything else. HIMYM is to me what Star Wars was to Ted.

  46. Mike i like your style of writing, for a moment i felt 23 though i just turned 33. Keep writing like this and you will have a gang of your own.

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  47. Wooi “ngai fafa” at 23! Apart from the dying fascinating of Maina Kageni, I was breastfeeding and my hubz was busy behind trying to make another one. Wait a minute does this qualify me as a sad child for loosing out on my youth? Will Beyonce concert compensate?

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  48. Biko, while you were up there did you see limit? I hope I will meet him one day. I need him to move his ass a few acres further.
    Yo, 23, if you were to draw my head at 23 it would contain three things; food, books and church. You have a big head. Keep it up.

  49. Nice work Mike. When someone is a child you go to whatever church your parents take you, but you are an adult now, if the church doesn’t serve you, and you don’t look forward to church, try something else. After all we all worship one God. I grew up catholic, but after I moved towards Athi river , I now attend Mavuno. I have grown so much more here.

  50. This is the first time I’ve paused to open a different tab to check out something, Dusty Rugs. It didn’t appear and I had to come back and go through Craft It to read the about, find yours and see you mention Dusty Rugs in between your introduction. Phew!
    That was some beautiful writing. Does Muthaka equal to the writing only? Just wondering.
    Thank you for mentioning HIMYM, I began watching it but got lost somewhere in between the seasons. It’s a classic and I should definitely get back to it.
    I can’t get over this jumble of words. I’ll definitely make stops at Craft It.

    https://reshonlineblog.wordpress.com/2018/11/01/breast-aware/

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  51. You have a very bright future writing, Mike. Keep writing. Never stop dreaming. Never stop being curious. And when you finally find that girl (when you’re 30 or older) may you be kind to each other.

  52. Am 24.20days old.23was just 23..I thought by 24 I will be out of my parents home. But am still here ,watching suits and startup sending my CV here ànd there and hoping my man will never forget to open that door.
    Ànd yes home is good.

    Mike,kuddos

  53. Am 24.20days old.23was just 23..I thought by 24 I will be out of my parents home. But am still here ,watching suits and startup sending my CV here ànd there and hoping my man will never forget to open that door.
    Ànd yes home is good.

    Mike,kuddos

  54. Its part of the growth to first write like your mentor, then to experiment with difference and change and then to finally find yourself. Mike, keep writing and never stop. In between the words, you will find meaning in many things that will lead you to learn about yourself. My advice to you, move out of home and find your own space where you will be free to truly explore everything from women to church to the taste of one-eyed cock.

  55. My sister ones told me “Life gets Hard before it gets Harder when you break up with a girl you like”.

    Brace for it bro, 23 you are still in diapers relationship-wise….

    Life isn’t a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, latte in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming ‘Woohoo WHAT A RIDE’!

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  56. phone sex? seriously? is that a thing? sounds like an oxymoron to me. plus I’m sure there’re online versions that are far more interesting
    Anyway, given that I’m 25 and never been in a relationship, I’m not really one to judge.
    Piece of advice though, never hit on a girl in a mat, it annoys us, it’s cheap.

    On another note, Dusty Rugs??

  57. Great writing Mike! Keep up!
    I’d urge you to take advantage of your age and discover the world for yourself. Go out there and see the world for what it truly is.

    All the best!

  58. I Love Mike’s opening line. Gosh, we need more writers like him in the mainstream media. Chuckled all through the read, seeing my son in every word. Keep up the craft Mike, you have talent.

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  59. I like you Mike. You sound as blissfully ignorant as I do most of the time. Always so excited about the small things in life. Like the way the music in my playlist sounds great when I have good quality earphones, because God knows how hard it is to get good quality earphones that your big brother doesn’t conspire to steal from you, and which he does eventually. Anyway Mike, I am 27 and would like to meet you. I live in Kitengela as well. Maybe 23 and 27 can find a common ground with regards to writing.

  60. I like that at 23 you actually sitting down to write. For a Mike, You really are focused.

    At 23 I was breaking people’s heart (it wasn’t my fault though-i thought we were having fun).

    Anyway, keep writing and keep being hopeful. It gets better in 3rd floor(Very few eff’s to give)

  61. Biko bwana, you could’ve come down to “ushago” Texas, so I can take you to mwaniki’s for mbuzi choma, ugali na Sukuma.
    Mike got talent, I liked his writing but he needs to remember the audience is world wide and some of us have no clue on some tv shows 🙂
    Keep up the great work!

  62. Mike,I like the way you shift from one setting to another and back with so much ease without losing me, the reader. I enjoyed reading your piece and your grammar is good.

  63. I just left 23 myself and I am not ready for 24.i feel like I should be having a manual on what I should be doing at this age. I think I have a phobia of growing old. Ask my friends. They can’t tell you my actual age unless they stumble upon my ID,bahati Mbaya. But 23 was great. The lessons I learnt, I will write an article and hopefully share. Coz all my articles lie on my laptop and diary. Lesson number one was the art KS minding your own business. People will let you know what they want you to know. They will let you know what function is okay for you to attend. Not once or twice I have seen functions happening from social media,that my close friends had, which I had no idea about. Lesson number 2,relationships at this age are kind of screwed up. No one wants to stay. It’s like they are in trial and error.
    Anyway, help me welcome 24. I am waiting to find out the new phase. Coz I have no idea what should be happening to a 24 year old, who just got her first job, and is single.

  64. relationships kama haujajielewa achana nazo….at 23 you have along way to know yourself and when you do you will be able to understand others.

  65. I can’t stop reading through the comments.. I’m 23 too and seeing thoughts of my agemates +-1 yr is giving me a sense of hope….
    I can relate alot , church , relationship , guilt , inner pressure to standalone, yearning for 25-30 and what it brings along, enjoying bright commenters like Bumb something Lee…
    Am not leaving this place anysoon
    Follow on IG @albertmelly_

  66. confusion, love hate church , heartbreaks real confusion ,guilt(very guilty still depending on),,building a career ….writing stories ., drinking vodka,,what are you ding with a lighter. going where the stars take me..
    just to mention a few ,, I relate to everything +-1 to 23yrs has mentioned here.
    follow on IG @albertmelly_

  67. Mike is an exact replica of me @23, down to the chicken farming save for having a career in journalism. I am 25 now and still besotted with HIMYM infact I read scripts online when on travels and cant watch it. Btw how hilarious was Mary The Paralegal episode and The Sexless Inn Keeper on a scale of Barney’s Stinson strings of one night stands¿¿ You guy…my guy , I can tell we see eye to eye, like two peas in a pod. 😉

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  68. First Biko ua observation of being away from home is super true reminds me when I visited some country only to be told tea was over en they had no plans of preparing more. Wished to close my eyes en get back home. For Mike I love the humility in ua expression.In my 20s ave written so much but do afraid to share en be judged but for you I envy your courage.

  69. I hadn’t thought of my 23 till now. I graduated at 23, fell in love with a great man at that age as well but i was so focused on having fun and being a carefree that I did not realize that I had gold…. I should have married that man,, sigh* Don’t be so naive that you loose great opportunities still feeling like you are young. Open your eyes always…

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