My food app reminds me to buy one get one free, my supermarket app points out at offers ending soon, my Zoom notification pops a reminder of a meeting happening in the next 30 minutes, my health app nags me to walk around to attain the the10,000 steps. All the while my screen management is past my daily threshold, I am yet to write 1000 words a day and the work-related assignments are drawing nearer.

The advert on my current phone had assured me of convenience as I wriggle through the worries I face every day. The apps I own…

A line art drawing of face outline from Adobe Stock

The thing with bad dreams is that you may die halfway or scream like a knife has ripped your wrist, but the worst is that you may end up peeing on your bed. Each time you experience it, it feels like something bad, deep guilt weighing you down to the point of feeling as if a stone had been placed on your chest in sleep.

Nowadays you can sit through a Zoom meeting, and randomly remember a dream you had years ago. …

The story of Nicho

When my son was five, I was promoted from being a security guard to a supervisor. A supervisor in a security guard firm is like an army colonel. They salute you. You inspect guards of honour. You tell them to pay attention, notice the glimmer of light on their shoes, the crease on their uniforms and can recommend their transfer at the stroke of a pen. It allowed me to pay my son’s tuition in good time. This spared me the early morning visits to the school headteacher who never liked me very much either. I could tell by the…

I tripped my foot thumb on a stone and fell. I reached my arms out to a crawl, but rolled in pain. I started wailing and calling out momma. They laughed at me, saying I whimpered like a little girl who had forgotten her doll while looking for firewood or fetching water.

My aunt came around with a lash , it was more of a rod from the harvested stem of pigeon pea plant. A Scorpio like sting injected through by buttocks ,penetrating the chapati like patches on my shorts. …

I sip my ginger tea...I call it chai masala but the waiter insists that it is chai tangawizi. I can barely tell the difference perhaps because my palate is being fed by a different type of book, When a Stranger Called by various Kenyan Writers. An anthology of short stories about, pain, pleasure, expectations, and disappointments.

I love rebellious and memorable stories like the one where a KDF soldier held hostage an Uber guy in Nairobi. "Around Nairobi in one night" by Charles Chanchori. He is one of the contributors. I feel Ivy Aseka’s rebellious spirit, writing taboo with such…

When Mbilia Bel sang Nakei Nairobi. She mentioned that no matter how badly life had treated her childhood friend in a foreign land, Duni was still close to her heart. She then goes on to invoke the Harambee spirit, which entails the sharing descended from Kenyan communities.

Albeit, this first song in Lingala was about a childhood friend who emigrated to Nairobi, while the second rewritten in Swahili by Tabu Ley was about coming to perform in Kenya. Mayonde has recently done another song for Nairobi which celebrates the City, it always pops up in the blaring woofers and glaring…

The bulbs in the living room were flickering. The shadow of objects they illuminated turned hazy.

The can stand stoically as the froth of the fizzy drink which had he had been drinking dripped by the side and spread forming gargoyle-like spots leaving a smell of sweet malty freshly baked bread. He had picked the 6 pack can in anticipation of her arrival, but his hope of seeing her dwindled with every sip. Like their relationship, the drink was foamy and whizzing at first. Bready and sweet at the tongue tip. Then rolling on to a tinge of orange peel…

every storm runs out of rain they sang
a quarry also runs out of ballast
mine runs out of gold
beehive runs out of honey
well runs out of water
a calm ocean has no waves or tides
a philosopher runs out of words
every pain runs out of cause

In A Natural History of the Senses, Diane Ackerman describes violets as smelling like "burnt sugar cubes that have been dipped in lemon and velvet".

In the All Night Sun, Diane Zinna, asks about a door "The purple door of her family’s country house—did it smell of lavender?". Colors smell: yellow has the smell of mango juice, orange smells of oranges, dark brown is the smell of coffee and blue is the smell of royalty, of class, of wealth and elegance.

It is not easy to tap into your sense of smell, especially since your eyes do all the feasting…

One accusation I have heard about Nairobians is that we listen to the same radio stations, dance to the same music- "that’s my jam" is everybody’s jam. We also watch the same movies, read the same clickbait stories, and lack creativity in naming our children. The saddest of them all is that our book recommendations are alike, chances are if you are to ask for top 10 book recommendations from bibliophiles,5 of them would be similar. …

Sam Mutisya

All my stories in one place:

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