Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Schizofrenetic Conundrum

More than once I have been asked why I started the Diary of a Serial Schizo. More than once, more than just many a times, the response has left many at pains to grasp their minds around it. Perhaps I should try key it down in some sorta logically aligned fashion that could help add some grain to the cobs and wipe away the webs. And to do this, I see no better way than to go back in history.

In 2008, The Pawns of Reality came to be. Not unlike many in a similar position, losing a close companion changed the essential mouldings of my future; the fundamentals, however, remained pretty much the same. I was lucky to grow up in an environment that was once classy but degenerated to void really early in my life. Not too early for the ‘bourgeois’ foundations not to take hold in me, but early enough that shedding them was not as difficult as it might usually be. 

Soon enough the only thing that kept me and my siblings in school was nature, for nature dictates that survival befits the fittest; and in the eyes of a dogged businessman turned educationist, we were indeed the fittest. That is to say that we stayed in school despite financial constraints because he was unwilling to lose his best students in our respective classes.

The school itself was situated in Central Province, what seemed a social desert juxtaposed to our former places of abode in the expressive jungle Nairobi was even in the early 90s. Quite an inconceivable contrast to my buzzing young mind; but one that allthemore presented an appealing challenge to fit into. Fast forward through the dusted days and grazed nights; we once again found ourselves flung into quasi-metropolitan bliss, in the way of an illustrious academy in Central province. 

The wont of many an affluent family is to buy the best education for their young ones, and this factor meant we got to rub shoulders with the allure of glamour once more. My eager mind now began to learn from them what rumours the new Nairobi had come up with; among them was something that sounded pretty much like Swahili, but had the knack to shock you every once in a while with something linguistically unseemly. Hence my first acquiescence to the acquaintance turned lifelong friend that is sheng’

I still recall wondering why they were calling me buda, which the kamusi aptly informed me was a term of respect for grandpas. Don’t even get me started on the phenomenal marrow, derived from murram to refer to Githeri. KuBielo, kuGoot kudinya...it was all Greek to me.
You can probably guess why we called it murram
These kids also introduced me to the idea that it was not the fact that you spoke English, but how you spoke it that mattered. For the first time I heard of shrubbing – better yet kung’oa and kushema. I had been good at writing the colonist’s language, but now I was informed that I had to speak like him too. By the time they called me to Starehe Boys’ Centre and School, I was rid of the rural influence in my language delivery; I still, however, had a shrub or two in me. Not the entire bush, but a few well-pruned branches still cropped up in some circumstances. 

Circumstance 1: A sneaky mate asks me who was famous for the Moonwalk. Eminem, says I.

Circumstance 2: Another sneakate mentions that his favourite part in ‘You are Everything’ is Ja Rule’s rap. Being an ardent Sisqo fan, I proceed to argue with him:

Shrub: Zi! Hiyo ngoma ni ya Sisqo! Ja Rule hayuko!

Sneakate: Ngebe! Ja Rule ndo hurap!

Shrub: Niko na tape ya Sisqo na hiyo ngoma ni yake!

He proceeded to explain to me a little foreign ideology known as a collabo. That essentially crushed my sterring swagger for a couple of days (sterring was a shagz mundez way of saying star, adapted from the fact that we always saw great actors’ names after the word Starring; ‘mi ndio sterring and later ‘mi ndio sterrow’ were thus common utterances).

Anyway, life in Starch was the usual, a story for some other day. Once I got out, however, I realized that I had two personalities fighting within me. The good guy and the bad guy; the Don Juan and the Don Quixote; the wit and the geek; the loud mouth and the loner; the conformist and the free spirit. 

I also realized that for me, rules were made to censor living, not regulate it. Religion became a rumour replaced with Rebellion in reason. Authority became a menace replaced with Autonomy in action. The only thing I chose to believe in was right and wrong, and my ability to know the difference.

Before Varsity happened, I also realized my affinity for women and their place in society; not every woman, but many a woman. The oppressed lot; the resilient kinds who stick by their brutes and hide behind the lilac embers of non-existent love, ignoring the grey ash grounded all around them. I was at a bit of a loss; I wanted to be that devious Casanova with a Gregory Housy MD in chutzpah, but constantly found myself dragged back by this ‘burden’; this conscience that made me wanna be the good guy. 

Fast forward through the trips and traps that the stupid little fat crimson imp masterminded to ambush my path, and you get to 2008. I had just lost my mum, in my first year of campus. And suddenly came the urge to write, to put the pain on paper and shred it up. By mid-2009, courage finally mustered me, and posted this rant full of bile on Facebook. Suffice to say that I never looked back.

It was only last year, however, that I finally got the jilt to diversify my audience beyond Facebook walls; a friend went through a horrid time, as chronicled in Mateso - The Prelude : R.E.S. Pia C. Maboy Tumekosa and Mateso: Aluta Continua. As an established Facebook note-writer, she turned to me for help. Yet even with my efforts to get her story out there and get the perpetrators of a heinous act of rape to justice, I found that I could not be of adequate help to her needs. 

Diary of a Serial Schizo came to be for that reason. I now have a mouthpiece. To channel my crazy out for all to see, and every once in a while, channel what needs to be said, but doesn't seem to be for some reason or the other.

I am the sober drunk, the clean junkie, the philanthropic robber, the romantic arsehole and the industrious vigilante all rolled up in one. A serial schizo.

1 comment:

  1. Depends, Ms Anonymous...coz my number one fan goes by the name Sonificent :) (^_^)


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