Don’t Go There!

When I was still much younger with a lot of energy and time in my hands – and a kidney to drink TBL yote na vitongoji vyake, my friends and I used to go sailing a lot.  Yeah, the wind blowing through our hair, the wind was ruffling up sandy blond hair while the cool air gently caressing our faces. 

Bikini cladded tight assed beauties running around, kicking the golden sand, while some frolic with cigar smoking boys. The only thing is there were no cigars or bikini cladded tight assed babes and sandy blonde hair – only lots of sand in the hair.  But irrespective, darn, we were happy! We would start at the Yacht Club, have our drink, then head of to some island for more drinking.  Wee acha tu, those were the days.  Basi bwana, on one occasion, we drove into the Club, and we were immediately stopped at the gates by the guard.  His cap that was part of the uniform had seen better days, and the underarms, phew!  I was praying he doesn’t lift them!  There were some wilted flowers around, I’m sure they were from the kikwapa.  Anyway, my friends all looked at yours truly, after we were stopped.

                  “Whaat?  I didn’t do anything!  I swear!”  Nobody answered, but they all gave me that look that said what have you done this time?  Yaani having dreadlocks, a loud laughter and little people in my head imekuwa nongwa sasa – everything sasa is my fault.  I constantly have to cover my behind. So there was the guard holding this huge mother of a rungu, as if ready to pounce on us, as he glared at us.  I’m sure he got that rungu from a baobab tree.  Manake man, it was huge!

                   “Get back!”  He said, pointing the rungu at two of my girlfriends who were already out of the car.

                 “Huh?”  One asked clearly puzzled.

                 “I say get back!”

                  “But we are expected,” our gentleman friend growled, flexing his chest like a gorilla, showing his pack that he is the man.  Wanaume bwana, kwani what’s the big deal with being in the company of beautiful women.  The only thing he didn’t do was whistle like a wolf. 

                   “No!  You not wanted!  You go back?” 

                 “Who doesn’t want us?”  Brotha was now getting impatient, “we are expected by Mr Smith, Mr. Green and Miss Peggy – we were just on the phone with them!  Check your guest list.” 

                “No!” Again they all turned to look at me, as the serious look the guard was sporting got angrier by the minute.

                 “I swear I am not wanted anywhere!”  I think I should just get a lawyer awe ana ni-defend!  I’m tired of laying my own shrink and lawyer jamani!  Even with the help of the little people in my head, but nachoka! 

                 “Don’t go there!”  The guard barked as he saw the guy we were with moving the cooler box with our drinkls from our car.

                  “Why?  Is it closed?”  he asked now more confused than ever.

                  “You not wanted.”

                  “Huh?”

                  “You no go there?” 

                  “Why?”   Okay, I also agree, we were beginning to sound like two-year olds with the ‘whys’.

                   “I said you no go there!”  We couldn’t argue or ask anymore questions as a car had just driven through the gates and the guard had to rush to attend to the new visitors.  As we were left there hanging with our lips about to hit the ground, huku tumeachwa kwenye mataa, we watched the guard helping the new visitors out of their car and even help them with their luggage.  Though we couldn’t see them as the car door had blocked them, but their names confirmed our suspicious – Brown, Barclay ad Bart.  We didn’t need to turn to confirm that they are wazungu.  Hamna an African who would call himself a colour, a name of a bank or something that rhymes with ‘duuh! Ahem’.  And that nasal twang confirmed it all without turning.

Now this group had sandy blonde hair that would definitely get blown in the wind.  Anyway, there was no angry grunts, only a lot of “welcome Sah, thank you Sah, yes Sah!” with big smiles from his yellow-stained teeth.   This happened again about three times before the guard turned back to us, with the angry glare back on his face. 

I started scanning my head quickly, did the little people in my head entice me to take a souvenir the last time we were there.  No, they didn’t.  Sasa, what was going on?  We all had puzzled looked on our faces. Then it struck us, all the other times we were there we were in the company of white people.  This time we had gone alone.  No, mzungu chaperone!  For a minute there, I actually believed I was somewhere in South Africa – hell, I was in Tanzania!  On a Tanzanian ground jamani!  Not that we were trespassing, but the guard, a fellow black – African even – brotha felt we were of the wrong colour code.  Haya wee!  After a few tantrums and threats, we eventually got in.  Lakini jamani, such a treatment in one’s own country tena by your own brotha jamani! 

A few months ago, I went to Shooters with a group of girlfriends – a friend was moving to Nairobi, so we had the dinner in her honour.  The conversation was lively, there was so much laughter in the air, the food was delicious, drinks were flowing.  After a few drinks, the conversation turned to the drinks we were drinking.

             “Wameweka maji!” one shoga argued.

             “At least yours wameweka maji, mimi wameniibia!  Yangu hakuweka all the tots I had asked for,” another one was convinced. So we went on drinking the diluted-and-not-with-all-ordered-tots drinks with our voices getting louder and our laughter more cheery – don’t you just love alcohol!  After a more drinks, like good old alcoholics, we went through all the ten steps all good alcoholics do – signs of having drunk too much … … 

1.       Some totally forgot where there purses were.  2.       One believed that dancing with her arms overhead and wiggling her butt while yelling “woo-hoo!” was truly the sexiest dance move around. 

3.       Another shoga suddenly decided that she wanted to kick someone’s ass and honestly believed that she could do it too.  I don’t blame her though – the waiter was just too slow with our drinks.  He was supposed to keep them coming!  Asicheze mbali, ati!4.       We all started yelling at the bartender – at one point or another, who we believed cheated us by giving us just soda, but that’s just because we could no longer taste the booze.

5.       Another shoga came from the loo screaming!  She had realized that she looked more like a homeless hooker than the goddess she was just four hours ago.

6.       Another one started crying and telling everyone she saw that she loved them sooooo much.  Hivi wasn’t that me who did that?   Anyway, if it was, blame it on the little people in my head, bwana!  

7.       Then another Miss Thang got extremely excited and jump up and down every time a new song play’s because “Ooh my God! I love this song!”

8.       Another shoga, I will call her the Preacher for the purpose of this story, found a deeper spiritual side to the geek sitting on the next table to us.

9.       Another shoga failed to notice that the toilet lid’s down when she sat.  Don’t ask what happened after that – we didn’t either!

10.    At some point, most of us took our shoes off because we believed it’s their fault that we were having problems walking straight. 

A few left, since it was a week day – after attempting to walk straight.  The few that remained behind went on drinking.  Have you noticed that the more diluted the drinks get, the more thirsty you become?  So kama kawaida after a while our throats were dry.  Hey, what’s new?  So we ordered another round, but we were refused.  Apparently it was closing time – we were one of the two last groups remaining there. Anyway, we respected being “denied” of more drinks, however we weren’t warned.  Is it not common courtesy, tena after spending like we had done, for someone, be it a waiter or the manager to come and warn us – infact after giving us a complimentary shot or two!  I mean, akina dada had really spent some serious cash that evening!   Nobody had told us that after a certain time the bar would be closed. 

Anyway, being the nice ladies we are we left – very reluctantly.  Before we left though, we tried to argue our case.  The manager, a Chinese who believes he is a mzungu, ati kisa ameishi Sauzi, didn’t give us the time of a day!  He uttered a few grumbles than left rudely!  Seriously!  He just walked away!  We left anyway.

One shoga decided to have a word with the head waiter, a Mmandingo brotha.  She told him what anybody would have said “… This is not the way to treat a customer ,.. the customer is always the king … racist behaviour … blah blah blah …”  The manager upon hearing the word “racist” suddenly jumped in.  Now, as the shoga, our spokesperson, the manager and the head waiter were half arguing half talking, this white chick who was hoovering in the background clearing tables moved closer.  She hadn’t been there throughout the evening, by the way. 

Suddenly we see this woman jump on our spokesperson.  And I mean really jumped!  She had her claws all out ready to strike our spokesperson.  And we jumped in – ready to claw off the white skin off her face!  A row then started.  Sista were ready to fight!  Especially our spokesperson in this case!  Their beef ati was for being called “racist.”  Hmm.  Ours, for manhandling our spokesperson.  I mean, sista girl was having a DECENT conversation with the dude, the next thing she gets attacked.  Really!!!! 

Everybody was now screaming and waving fists in the air.  The little people in my head were so pissed they were doing karate kicks too!   So we told them that we were tired of this schitt!  We would swallow being mistreated elsewhere but not in our own country!  Throwing us out of our own soil?  I mean really!?   I felt like a yai viza – there you are all cozy, happy and warm with other eggs, ghafla unatupwa nje in a bin without a word!     Then the white woman dared go there!  Yes she did!  You know what her response was?  Are you ready for this?  Breath in.  Kweli!  You do need to breath in!  Okay, are you ready now?  She said ati “this is not our country!”  And I quote, “just because you are born here, does not mean that this is not your country!”     Now that got me mad!  Forget about the rest of my shogas

Before that a girlfriend and I had been holding back our spokesperson and another shoga was holding another angry shoga back as they were ready to fight, but after that comment we just let the “wild cat” loose!  How dare she?  This yai viza was not ready to go down silently!  Yaani I was fuming!!! We later learnt that she was from Romania.  The nationality might not be an issue.  But at that point it was.  I mean ‘a mere refugee and immigrant!’  Tena one who might not even have her papers right dared to say that to us!  She actually had the clout and confidence to say that to us – ???!  While pushing us out of the premises – ambazo zipo kwenye Tanzanian soil even jamani!!! 

There are so many of such stories happening at our own backyard – yes, schitt is happening around us.  From sistas – classy corporate career or successful business ladies even – being thrown out or denied entrance to some establishments, ati because they could be prostistutes.  While the very same establishments do allow their patrons to bring prostitutes – but let me not write about others’ experience, let them speak wenyewe.  Au vipi?  Anyway, if our very own brothas and sistas treat us like second class citizens, what is to stop these so-called investors ambao I’m sure hawana hata the right papers to be in the country?  And why do we take so much schitt laying down?   

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~ by saharasoulfood on November 12, 2006.

5 Responses to “Don’t Go There!”

  1. A liked your story, if thats really whats happening in nchi yetu…. basi tunakazi.

  2. Sadly, yes it does happen Ndabuli – I just added something on the last paragraph, “… There are so many of such stories happening at our own backyard – yes, schitt is happening around us. From sistas – classy corporate career or successful business ladies even – being thrown out or denied entrance to some establishments, ati because they could be prostistutes. While the very same establishments do allow their patrons to bring prostitutes …”

  3. Ughaibuni we get the same shit,hata nyumbani?? are wananchi reacting? Sandra,Any michapo about your dreads, I thing the sight of the dreads on the mans head comes with negative mtizamo but I wonder about on Sandras head any michapo about how poeple are classifiying you?… keep them coming Sandra ..(I mean your michapos)

  4. At the beginning when I came back I sued to get such stares, Ndabuli. In 1998, I came on holiday, then my dreads were pretty short – halafu blonde. Halafu si unajua wanafunzi, you were that same pair of jeans. Mbaya zaidi, my whole wardrobe was and still is black. Being an artist, kuna zile jewelry fulani hivi. I looked almost Gothic. Sasa picture hiyo. Some mothers walikuwa wakifanya the sign of the crucifix whenever they saw me. Lol. But I was and still am, expressing myself.

  5. Thanks for sharing this information. Really is pack with new knowledge. Keep them coming.

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