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So I get a call from one of my girlfriends, in between sobs she mumbles something unintelligent.  After she hangs up I immediately call another girlfriend. 

                “Shoga kulikoni?” 

                “She is so strong, maskini!  Such a rough day she has hard!” 

                “Kwani what’s up?’   

“Wee acha tu!  Acha tu!!!”  I am tired of riddles!  Jamani someone tell me what’s going on.  Seeing that I was getting nowhere I call yet another girlfriend.  The little people in my head were also getting restless – wanapenda wambeya kuliko mimi! 

                “What’s happening, shoga?  Kimetokea nini tena?”  Uwii, at that point my hands are shaking so bad, you’d think nimeuwa mjusi!  This sounded serious!  Si umbeya wa kawaida huu – even kaka Dito couldn’ beat this! 

                “Haven’t you heard?”  She sounded just as sad. 

                “Nini tena jamani?”  

All I got was a tsk, tsk, before she disconnected me with, “I can’t talk, it’s just too devastating, I need a drink.” 

Sasa hapo I didn’t know whether to also go pour myself a stiff one or keep on calling other mashoga until I get to the bottom of it.  The little people in my head immediately answer me – and tell me to rush to our watering hall.  I must say sometimes wanafurahisha
sana
these little rascals.  Anyway, this watering hall is where we meet when up or down.  And surely enough, there they are.  With the ‘mourning’ girlfriend nursing a glass of gin and tonic.
 

I move slowly towards the small circle, careful not to make a noise and upset the already upset.   

                “Vipi shoga?” I ask the girlfriend nearest to me in hushed whispered. 

                “She is okay now,” she whispers back. 

                “Is it him again?’ 

                “Uh-huh,” she nods sadly, as she removes her glasses and whips an imaginary spec – dramatically – yeah, my girls are huge on the  drama queens department alright, “I have told her so many times to get a new one.  I have the perfect one for her, lakini dada kamng’ang’ania tu!” 

                “Maskini!  He did it again?” 

                “Imagine!  Utafikiri ana chochote kwanza!  Kila kitu kanyimwa na muumbaji!!!  Leaving her dry and high!”  She refills her glass, then angrily gulps down her moja baridi moja moto. 

                “He didn’t!”  I move my big ATM (African Trade Mark) closer so as not to miss a drop of the umbeya. 

                “Yes, he did shoga!  Yaani I would have kicked him to the kerb a long time ago!” 

                “Kweli shoga!  Sasa what is he keeping him for?  What good is he
kama he is always leaving her dry and high?”
 

                “Hata mimi sielewi!,” shoga turns towards our ‘mourning’ with the ask-her look plastered on her sad but fed-up face. 

Like a puppy who is being trained ‘mourning’ shoga quickly jumps at the cue – before she starts narrating the story, she wipes her eyes with the back of the hand – dramatically – yeah, my girls don’t do anything without adding drama to it.  It’s like kachumbari kwenye pilau. 

                “He was so cold to me today!  And the whole of last week, he hardly talked to me!  Halafu these days when I touch up, nothing happens!  I have tried everything even enhancements, lakini wapi!” 

                “I know he hasn’t been seeing anybody.  So why is this happening?”  Mourning shoga blows her nose noisily, making a sound like za feri mbovu za Kigamboni. 

                “Are you sure?”  I whisper as I hold her wrist, careful not to touch her hand – yuck!  Sitaki kugusa maji ya Kigamboni accidentally! 

                “The only person that has been coming to the house of late is the fundi…” 

                “Ooooh my Gaaaawd,” moja moto moja baridi shoga covers her shiny mouth dramatically, as her equally shiny eyes do this popping out of their sockets dance!  She is always been the quick one to uncover dirt – quicker than the little people in my head even. 

                “What?” 

                “You said the fundi has been coming?” 

                “Yes?” 

                “Do you think ni shoga yake?” 

                “Yeah, they have become friends.  He warms up to him.” 

                “No silly!  I mean, do you think he is …” 

                “Noooo!”  

After one too many stiff ones and moja moto moja baridi, and after a few more mashoga had joined us, we got to the bottom of the mess.  Never again will we allow our shoga alale mkavu hivi!  It’s not acceptable.  As we were vowing and banging our table – nearly spilling our drinks, a concerned gentleman from a table across came over. 

                “That man clearly does not deserve your beautiful friend!” 

                “We know!” 

                “Do you know of any good service provider?’ 

                “With no string attached,” he smiles keenly as he pulls a chair. 

                “Of course there are going to be conditions!’ 

                “Speed!  No freezing …” 

                “Yeah, I hate when that happens!” 

                “And this last guy didn’t have all these?  So what was she doing with him?  I can offer her all that and more.”  He rubs his hands excitedly. 

                “You can?  Are you a fundi or d you work for an ISP?” 

                “Fundi?” 

                “Yeah, her server has been down!” 

                “Server?” 

                “Darn, you are slow!”  Moja moto moja baridi laughs, “yes, she hasn’t had access to internet and she needs it fixed.” 

“You mean all this is for internet?”  Mr. Macho man looks lost and small. 

“Yeah!  Duuh!”  We reply in unison, as in ‘kwani, what’s so surprising?’ 

I am guessing na wewe uneshangaa!  No don’t – this is what we have become.  Kweli!  You know that saying, “kila shetani ana mbuyu wake,” I think our mbuyu is technology – the internet.  Yaani whoever discovered the internet, na ashindwe!   

I have a girlfriend who literary anapiga mayowe if she doesn’t get access to internet.  Last night my server was down, yaani I felt like it was the end of the world, as if something has been chopped off me.  It has become so bad that I just leave it on – like I do the telly – Yaani nijue tu that it’s up and running, then I’m content. 

While a few years back, the source of information was the encyclopedia or dictionary, I have another girlfriend whom I think very soon I will nickname Google.  I swear, akisema a paragraph or akitetea something without mentioning Google hell would freeze over! 

And how about those who have pet names for their gadgets!  I promise you I know of a few guys who have pet names for their IPaqs, IPods – and laptops even!  I’m not kidding you!  So next time you hear a man cooing and calling out “baby girl,” usipandishe mori!  He ain’t calling you, girl!!! 

Why and how have we become so hooked to the internet.  I had seriously thought, ours being a third world tungep-catch up slower kidogo.  Lakini wapi, some of us who have the luxury of being connected, we are as hooked to this new drug as the guys next door. 

 

 

 

 

               

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~ by saharasoulfood on November 7, 2006.

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