Celebrating East African Writing!


Written by Joan  Kabugu


I almost fall on my slippery bathroom, it is dark outside, there is a lovely full moon. That should be romantic.

I have exactly 22 minutes to get ready. How did I doze off?

I had overslept and almost missed this long awaited date.

It is not a “Kawaida” date. It’s a valentine date. I have not had a valentine in four  years since my last boyfriend in campus who also happened to be my classmate and homeboy. It is still awkward when I bump into him while visiting my mum on those rare weekends.

So Friday the 14th of February is going down in history as the day I get my groove back.

I do everything in record time and in 15 minutes I put together a perfect outfit or rather perfect combination. My sister Becky who is watching some comedy is privy to my selection.

What colour Becky? Green- too flashy, red-too radiant, blue-too boring…then we remember a little dress Becky brought me from her trip to Zanzibar. I do not fancy dresses, but Becky is adamant that I should show off my ‘lovely legs’.

I put that on and it looks exquisite: the mirror and Becky agree with me. I get my makeup from the drawer-unused for almost six months.

Eye shadow, eye liner, blush, powder and mascara-check…Becky does it so flawlessly…my personal makeup artist.

I pick some wet wipes and wipe a bit of the eye shadow…its fuchsia; matching with my small dress with white polka dots…I have a pair of black gladiator heels and a white boyfriend jacket.

I hardly recognize myself. I am used to sneakers, jeans, small t-shirts, biker jackets which work perfect with the Yamaha I drive to work.

His name is Seth, he is not my boyfriend, he is actually one of my clients- I see him every week for his deliveries. On my last delivery he asked me out for coffee and after two weeks we decided to have dinner on a Valentine Day.

I am the senior sales rep for a soft drinks company and I am always on the road taking orders from suppliers. I don’t date clients…but there’s always a first time for everything, right?

Moto moto, penzi lako moto moto… Moto moto, penzi lako moto moto”

That is not my ringtone…small sis is always borrowing my iphone and returning it will all sorts of ringtones.

“Halo…Seth…I am almost done…yeah…first turn on the left…you will see Village Apartments”

“Yes…I am done…Hse No 170”

I quickly try to change ring tones to something more mature.

“Mary J Blige’s new number…”  I go to applications on my phone and quickly download. I put a few items into my pink clutch bag…with all this pink this date better be good.

Bleeeeeeeeep….my alarm door goes of…he is here.

“Your boyfriend is here,” Becky shouts from the door. I am about to shout back, “He is not my boyfriend, he is my client….” But I hold my tongue.

GFF…are the letters on my mind when I land my eyes on him. Seth, my would be date, is standing at my doorway, I maul over his physique and the fact that I can count the cubes forming his six pack. I am however not impressed by his getup…he has on some faded blue jeans, sneakers and an old jacket. I try to hide my disapproval up to the car. He comes to the right and opens the door. At least he is a gentleman.

“Gina you look fabulous.”


I would have added “you too”…but I am not in the mood for lies…he looks like he is going for a morning job-already lost a couple of points right there.

He starts the car and it roars to life… then stops…he exclaims… “Oh no…the battery…forgot to have it checked.” He opens the bonnet and looks at it and presumably fixes the problem. He comes back to the driver’s seat.

He tries the ignition a second time, a third time, a fourth time, a fifth time….I finally decide to suck up and rescue the situation.

“We can take my sister’s Vitz.”

I allow him to drive… I get my memory stick from my clutch bag and hook it on the player. I select some neo-soul to calm my nerves and to convince myself that I indeed made a wise decision going out on such a random date.

We get to the restaurant; it is a new joint on the other side of town. I like the ambience, the dim lights and the white and red roses decorating the table. We go to the reception to get our table; I rush to the bathroom to freshen up.

When I am back he is still talking to the receptionist and seems agitated…

“What do you mean you gave out our table?”

“I made a reservation the day before yesterday”

“Well, making a reservation requires you to pay the entire amount”

“You are being very rude…”

I try to get Seth out of the argument and we settle for a seat the counter…it is pretty uncomfortable and the high stools are too high for me considering I am in this short dress. We are seated in the only available seats next to the TV.

So I cannot have a decent conversation with Seth since the TV is showing some Premier League game and making noise over my voice. Seth is already bored and seems to prefer watching the game rather than trying to make any form of conversation with me.

When the food comes it is in a platter, we get a glass of wine as well. Seth starts with the wine and as expected barely touches the food we are supposed to share.

So for two hours I struggle to eat some chicken wings alone as I play angry birds on my iphone plus sending random tweets like, ‘This guy drinks like a fish’,  ‘I would have been better off sleeping’, ‘This is definitely Mr. Wrong’.

Seth on the other hand is downing wineglass number four and is talking with a slur complaining that his team has been fouled. He almost gets into a fight with one of the other fans.

In the end I end up dragging Seth to the car in a drunken stupor, my head is aching and its 2am…I struggle to get directions to Seth’s apartment and eventually drop him off at his door and make sure he is safely inside. I have a feeling he fell asleep at the doorway.

Me and Mr.…Mr. Wronggggggg….. I pick my phone and its small sis,  “Hey sis…yeah…I am on my way…let just say he was Mr. Wrong PROPER.”

So another valentine gone by…another wrong Mr. Wrong…Maybe next time I will get the right Mr. Wrong…


16 comments on “Mr.

  1. Mohamed Sheikh Abdiaziz
    February 26, 2012

    Oops. Real or Imagined this was a really well written story about a date gone south.


  2. Josh Mwaniki
    March 6, 2012

    Mmmh, not bad but not necessary to give the conclusion;let’s infer. Hence could have ended by ‘hey sis…I’m on my way back!’


  3. Annie Randall
    March 6, 2012

    I think writing has a long way to go in Kenya. Speaking as a well read person, I find this kind of writing a bit on the high-school-composition style. There’s lack of oomph in the usage of English. It’s like the writer was thinking in Swahili and translating it as she wrote. Very mediocre writing. This story may be shortlisted and (God forbid) win an award here but internationally, it cannot go anywhere. No, I’m not sorry, I’m just saying what I think. Look at this type of writing:
    Simple and you feel like you are the story teller.
    This above piece of writing, needs to go back to the typewriter.


  4. Bonnie
    March 7, 2012

    Nice (Magnum opus) piece. To those who feel its mediocre, well a toddler has to wobble and fall before taking the confident stride. ongera


  5. Annie Randall
    March 12, 2012

    The only way the toddler will learn is by being told the truth, not through flattering.


  6. Mohamed Sheikh Abdiaziz.
    March 12, 2012

    Hey Annie. I initially thought your comments were honest and even took your word for it when you direct us to a more “mature” type of writing only to realize it is just some crap being masqueraded as short stories. Please find other mature ways of advertising your blog instead of putting down other peoples efforts.


  7. Annie Randall
    March 12, 2012

    Mohamed Sheikh Abdiaziz, I have no idea what you are on about. I am a Storymoja reader simply putting in my two cents. This is a writing competition aren’t we allowed to have a say as to who is to be the winner?


  8. Mohamed Sheikh Abdiaziz.
    March 12, 2012

    Yes Annie. Please have your say by all means. But let us not be petty or abusive.


  9. bee
    March 12, 2012

    poorly written with emphasis and obsession with material stuff.


  10. Annie Randall
    March 13, 2012

    Mohamed Sheikh Abdiaziz, please tell me where I was abusive and petty and I will apologise. I gave a comment on the article written and you somehow twisted it to look like I was attacking the writer. I am absolutely clueless with what you are talking about and please point out what I have done to deserve your accusations. And what blog are you talking about? Are we on the same page here?


  11. noel lugusi
    March 16, 2012

    Yes Annie. you may not have been abusive , but I find your choice of words to be a bit derogatory. you seem to infer that here in kenya any crap can be accepted and that is not kind. may you need to do a little bit of some literary critisism.


  12. Annie Randall
    March 24, 2012

    For that I apologise. I didn’t mean to sound that way. By the way, I’m Kenyan. Thanks Noel Lugusi for pointing that out unlike Mohamed Sheikh Abdiaziz who sounds like a troll.


  13. Mohamed Sheikh Abdiaziz.
    March 25, 2012

    Hey Annie. Your apology is welcome. As for calling me a troll, I am not surprised because you have just lived to your character of being petty and abusive. But am not one to keep a grudge for a fellow art enthusiast. Besides I enjoy your photography. Keep the peace Annie!


  14. Patrick o ochieng
    March 25, 2012

    Wow! The Annie/ Mohamed exchange makes for a good story. What might ruin it is the happy ending. Never liked the – and they lived happily ever after ending. Just kidding. However, glad you found some common ground.

    But back to ‘Mr’. What Annie is saying isn’t new. The editor of this blog said just as much at the end of the last story call out. The latest post titled – Write right-the only way to write, is a wake call to would be submitters. Annie may have used strong language, and generalization, but i am certain her intent was noble.
    And now for some unsolicited advise:
    If you intend to stay the course, get yourself some tough shock absorbers. Criticism and rejection will be the order of the day. Some of it will make Annie’s comments sound like praise. Reel with the punches, and soldier on. Most important though, learn the rules and then write, write, write.


  15. Annie Randall
    March 26, 2012

    Mohamed, actually being called a troll is not abusive. It’s a compliment. Not many people have the skill to veer off the topic and receive much attention. Especially on a platform like this. It’s a skill that comes naturally. In fact, many natural trolls do not realise they are one! As for being petty, maybe but coming from a troll, it may not be true. Enjoy my photography??? Where are you getting all this info? See, trolling at it’s best! 🙂

    Thanks Patrick for your kind words. I believe in tough love. I find it hard to pet someone when I know they are not performing. It may be harsh and ‘abusive’ but it works depending on who the ‘victim is.

    I’m sorry Joan Kabugu, we have hijacked your page…..but I believe you can do better than this!


  16. Mohamed Sheikh Abdiaziz
    March 27, 2012

    Hahahahaha. Annie You really made my day. I have a genuine smile on my face!:)


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