Celebrating East African Writing!

The dregs: ever heard of me!? By Chrispus Kimaru

Photo by Jerry Riley. Click on image or visit to see more pictures of Kenya

The morning sun was creeping in shyly like a newly wedded bride. The smoke wafted slowly and their words started filtering through my waking brain. I wished they could just shut up for the sake of my hangover but a whole night of bingeing couldn’t allow this, the ladies were cantankerous and the guys drooled and ogled at the damsels.

“Jana ilikuwa mezesha! Hako kamzai hakakuwa na mudi alafu ati nikapatie shot tatu!” Teresa was a big mouthed escort girl as they cryptically referred to the prostitutes in Sodom Corner. It never hit her that the name was blasphemous at least to the saint from India. I adjusted my threadbare cap and tried to nap.

“Si hako kamzee ni kale ka former M.P, sijui Starehe ama Makadara, kwani kalisota?” Totti the shrill voiced one was now speaking. Her nick name was “itchy fingers”. It was rumoured she could pilfer a note out of your socks with your shoes on! As usual, they gave me no attention. I had no money to even pay for one round with them. It was only when I regaled them with tales of the struggle that they ever took interest. That only happened after I had taken several steams, as we referred to the concoctions they sold here.

“Wee unasema kusota, Yule mhindi wa River Road si alikuwa jana, maze jo, anakupeleka kama lorri alafu anatoa soo moja!”Shiro sounded exasperated. Everyone at Sodom knew the miser. He owned a large school uniform shop but never parted with a dime. As we waited for the bar to open, my eyes swept across the group. One of the guys was a student at the university whose dad was loaded and we mostly drank off him. He liked my Marxist ideas though he never suspected who I was. The other guys were just my mirror images; dregs left by the train of life. I suspected they had untold stories hidden deep in the vaults of their subconscious. The ladies’ chirping went on as my mind drifted to that tragic day.

I had the power for six hours in my hands, and then someone threw a spanner in the works and poof! The one minute I was an asylum seeker Tanzania, then the next in Kamiti facing treason charges and the next everyone believed I was hanged. I felt sorry for my colleagues who died but I never dared ask who plotted my escape from the noose. The guilt pangs hit me as I thought of my family in Siaya thinking I was long dead and buried. As the ladies chirped away and the men ogled, I felt pity that the dream I “died” for was never born as seen in the hopelessness of the group. I felt like opening my mouth and shouting.


©Chrispus Kimaru

If you would like this piece to be the Story of the Week, please vote below on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being weak, and 10 being excellent. The numbers will be tallied on Friday and the story with the highest figure shall be Crowned Story of the Week. Be sure to fill in your name and verifiable email. You can include your critique/comment after the vote.


3 comments on “The dregs: ever heard of me!? By Chrispus Kimaru

  1. kyt
    August 4, 2010

    i will give 7 for the imagination


  2. Beth
    August 5, 2010

    the imagination is great and it shows the different aspects of life. What i liked most is the display of the class difference where the call girls displayed when talking about their clients. Good work Chrispus!!! 9


  3. sammy
    August 7, 2010

    Good imagination,taking us back to 1982 when a new revolution started,its the probable as aristotle said, a 9 for me


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