Celebrating East African Writing!

Humour in an Envelope – Once-a-Month Contest

A major hallmark of Kenyan humour is being able to laugh at ourselves. We make fun of ourselves, a lot. Our accents, our experiences in school, our fumbling attempts in the social scene, the cons that hit us from time to time – politicians, real life cons, bad tv shows, you name it, we take it and make fun of it.

Read the Facebook Status Messages, even when we are complaining about serious issues we make fun of things. That’s just how we are wired to deal with our problems.

But perhaps the funniest stuff is the shagzmodo-silly that happened to us when were kids trying to feel much more sophisticated than we were.

I don’t know about you, but me, me I had issues with the letters boys wrote in high school. This might be why:

Dear Sugar

Time and ability plus double capacity has forced my pen to dance automatically on this benedicted sheet of paper. Why this miraculous thing happened is because honey I love you spontaneously   and as I stand horizontal to the wall and perpendicular to the ground I only think of you,   since you are a fantastic and fabulous girl.  Darling please   Stop haranguing with the feelings in my heart because I love you more than a snake loves rat. To me each day starts by thinking of you and ends by dreaming of you. Each time I see you my metabolism suddenly stops and my peristalsis goes in reverse gear.. My medular-oblangata also stops functioning.

Crazy crazy crazy you may say but this is true.. If only you knew what is going on in my encephalon you would understand. That’s why I need to see you face to face with you, soon. I think I have to pen-off here because I still haven’t finished studying electrolysis and polymerization. Catch you later. Sleep tight and don’t let those bed bugs bite you coz you are too sweet a thing for them.

Yourz Elvis.

Now at 15, I was looking for something else. I honestly don’t know. But I am really sure I would not have replied like this:

Dear Honie

My Love, My Sugar, I was exasperated with pride to have received one from you, the lungs in my body flapped with joy when I have been reading your letter. Anyway by now you have reached the realisations to why I am jotting this small letter to you, yes it is to see if you are keeping with the sands of time.

How is everything on that other side of yours? Well here everything is just half lemon half sugar to make it Schweppes. How is your schooling? How are you pulling the wagons of life? I am just pulling the schooling thing like a donkey pulling a cart..


My honie, I am missing you very much right now, my heart is perambulating with every word that I write, if it was not for these oceans that decided to flow between us then I would get on the next bus to come and see you, but until then I know that I will not hesitate to put this blue blood on this paper and write to you. I remember that day lovie, that one sweet day as Maria Carey sanged it, you know that it is my favourite song honie. The one day that we were boarding the transport and you escorted me to my home, walking with you just brought sweet dreams to me for the rest of my life honie.

If words of love could ride a bicycle I would be competing against mariah carey Anyways, I will not stop you from reading the books that give you life and education so I will stop here for today.

Please always  be writing to me because I am missing you like sugar misses tea.

Keep well my mop of my heart, Yours in flesh and in blood.

automatically yours

Gaceri ga Chiira

But then, that’s why I didn’t have a boyfriend all through High School.

So here is this month’s exercise prompt:

  • Write a short story that is either a back and forth of humorous letters or that includes at least a humorous letter and its even more humorous response.
  • Must have a lot of Kenyan in it.
  • Must have punch that has not been done before, so don’t copy and paste those email fwds. FYI – I’ve read them all.
  • Must not exceed 1200 words. Anything that exceeds will be thrown out.
  • Prizes: Airtime worth KES 1000, KES 500 and KES 200 up for grabs.
  • Deadline: Friday 10th December 2010, at 4pm.
  • Mark clearly in the subject line: Humour in an Envelope and send in to
  • Winners will be announced on Monday 13th December 2010.

For a strange reason, I do hope it is not because I have become boring, there were no submissions this week. If I am indeed boring, give me a heads up and tell me what kind of stuff you want me to feature here. You could also be a guest writer of the weekly blog note. Show me how it should be done! Just write in to and tell me about it.

For now, happy writing and have a wonderful week!

Are you in need of a little mental provocation?! Come join Sunny Bindra (leading columnist, author, management strategist) as he dissects our funny and no-so-funny national peculiarities. 6-8pm 4th Dec. Silverbird, Westgate. If you come with 700/ to buy the book, Sunny will be most delighted to sign your copy. Come in time for cocktails and snacks and discussion, tafadhali.  Music by Udi. Pay Ksh 200 for an entry ticket at the door or book your free early bird seat by emailing before 27th November: or


2 comments on “Humour in an Envelope – Once-a-Month Contest

  1. Digzer
    November 29, 2010

    Sounds like fun.


  2. Salem Lorot
    December 7, 2010

    I have read the samples here and I am thinking: Wow! What is there to write better than that! Well, let us do it. Let us have fun!


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This entry was posted on November 29, 2010 by in Writer's Blog.
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