Lately I’ve been meeting a lot of Maryannes. And I don’t get it, what’s with the name? It’s two names in one like a supermarket promotion. Like you’re buying detergent and getting a bar soap. There’s always something extra about them.
I met this particular Maryanne at a writing seminar. They called it a workshop. She walks in to the room. Half huffing and puffing half smiling. She’s a tad late so you can see she’s been hauling ass. She doesn’t have that apologetic look. Like she acknowledges she’s late. Ah uh. Her she wears a look of “I’m finally here.” It’s kidogo smug but I like it. I know she’s going to be interesting peoples.
She sits down and the only thing that’s more tired than her is her a laptop. An archaic machine that whirrs and tweaks when she turns it on. You almost feel like it’s going to take you back in time. The poor thing has outlived its processor and through out the seminar I make jokes about it. She acts like she minds but I know she doesn’t; if her laughs are anything to go by.
She also has short hair that’s cut to fit her face. She has a square face. And a cowrie shell right in the middle dangling at her forehead. She wears glasses and has a gap in her teeth. You see her and you want to ask her to introduce you to the cowrie shell. On her it looks more than an accessory , it looks like her best friend. Like they’ve known each other for years. You wonder if before she sleeps she talks to it. Actually everyone does. Her face introduces her before she even speaks. You don’t forget a face like that.
Her gap? Magical. Okay only when she smiles or laughs. But everything about her laughs and smiles. Her eyes. The way her cheek bones are raised when she’s excited. How her fingers dance across the keyboard when she’s banging out copy. It’s just an air about her. And it’s also in her voice. She has those voices you’d not want to hear sing but you’d love to hear. Even if it’s saying random things like Sally sells sea shells by the sea shore. Or Pass me the mints. Which btw she gobbled down every minute. And you’d think she’d have had enough of those seen as she’s not from the city. You know how they sell them in dozens and herds in those up country buses?
Her. Me. We hit it off. Maybe it was because she said she liked my blog. Actually it was because she said she liked my blog. And how she said it. Not with the emptiness that comes with compliments. Like ladies meeting and going on and on about how they love each other’s hair or shoes. No. She was sincere. She liked it. Made me blush a bit. And today she’s here. Ready to woo you with her charms and humor.
Guys meet Maryanne and her cowrie shell hehe.
We, the people of concentrated melanin, we of appalling Sudanese semblance, we whose skin color is all the mortein doom needed to scare live cockroaches from your kitchen have noted with great concern the creeping unwelcome yellow-yellow invasion in town (amazing how that rhymes with maji-maji rebellion). It is a cry of alarm for us, the maji-ya-kunde folk walking the streets of this not-so-maji-ya-kunde (read green) city of the sun. They are here, there, everywhere. They have gone viral, spreading faster than ebola, ghafla!news or salon gossip. You will see them strutting their stuff in town, lips popping in catastrophic amounts of lipstick enough to enable all Matiang’i candidates this year to pass with flying colours. Oh they are yellow! Yellower than the bananas from Ukambani, and we all know how akina Mutiso from down there can get yell(y) with yellow. It is paramount that someone speaks up for the rest, the ‘others’ and in that regard, to my utter surprise, I nominate myself to be a voice for the voiceless (big surprise,huh!). Some of you that do not believe in my #iamWillie initiative will ask, have you championed for any rights before? Started a revolution? Been a Nyanya Owino of something? To them I will sigh deeply and copy-paste a bad Mugabe joke on whatsapp before answering. Just recently I coerced a friend into not bothering about i-tax, because, well, taxes are boring. Now he cannot apply for a job because, well, compliance does not care. So yes ,I go against the grain. I’m not a band-wagoner; there’s a Njoki Chege in me. Stay with me.
First off, I have nothing against girls born light-skinned (underline born). If anything, I am jealous. Not the bad jealous that made Cain murder Abel, that was really bad. But rather the ‘good for you’ kind of jealousy. Healthy constructive jealousy. I hope I get light-skinned tois myself, never mind my color is not a living testimony-not supporting my quest at all- but again, faith. Mr.Hubbyman I’m talking to you, you better be white or white (did I hear someone say sponsor? Stale story you someone, hehe).
Now I might be light-skinned-tolerant but not yellow-tolerant. Call it uninherited color-blindness. There’s a gigantic ridge from here to Timbuktu dividing born naturally light-skinned and just being yellow. The former is gene/God-given, the other is just being fake. Pretty hurts but fake hurts more. I even went through the pain of counting and realized there is a whole twelve alphabetical letters between L(ight) and Y(ellow). Now for those of you that never got around basic arithmetic, or arithmetic basically never got around you, twelve is a whole load of numbers. That is how much difference there is. Twelve cows can get you a wife. Twelve G’s can get you a nice Tecno phone that can get you a mushaino girlfriend from Othaya who could end up being your wife. Twelve baskets of food remained as left-overs after Jesus fed five thousand ninjas. Twelve is the time I start feeling hungry. Twelve is… let me not even go on. It is extremely disturbing, an eye-sore to say the least, to see a girl so yellow on the face, perfect hue, only to notice her feet are dark as history itself. In this day and era, ladies out here should be proud of their natural skin and work it, as opposed to trying to fit into a class whose basis I’m yet to understand. And now I am starting to sounding like a freedom-fighter, a Dedan Kimathi of sorts…
Speaking of Kimathi, my sisters from other mothers (read dark-skinned chicks) and I are planning a meet-up at an undisclosed location somewhere along Kimathi Street to discuss operation yellow-yellow must go a.k.a Okoa #teamnatural. We’ve already formed a task-force spearheaded by Akothee herself, well, we could not afford Lupita… And our slogan is, “Rangi achia Peter Marangi”. Our Mpesa paybill number is scrolling down on your screen, in case you are a brother who feels the black spirit, tuma na ya kutoa. This task force will sit in four sittings and form a commission of inquiry to probe into this matter of (in)security. The commission might or might not give a report, but there will be demonstrations for sure. Dialogue will fail. Dialogue always fails in this country, unless money is involved. There’s no money. There’s always no money in this country unless corruption is involved. We do not support corruption, so we will have no choice but to march the streets down to River-road where it all begins. The bleach industry go-downs lie there. We will burn them all to the ground, march towards Anniversary Towers chanting “Kuna nuru gizani” (a demo is not complete until it ends at Anniversary) and then a few testimonies will be given by dark women who have suffered under the craze of the yellow-yellow uprising sweeping this town like yellow fever.
The first testimony will be given by Adhiambo from Nyanza. She lost her boyfriend of three years to a new ka-yellow-yellow intern who with a short dress here and revealing cleavage there promised him a ‘bright’ future, different from the dark agonies of Adhiambo and her accent. He had called Adhis one Friday evening (worst day to break a Luo’s heart) with the classic “we need to talk” que. He then went on to monologue about fate and letting the ones you love go and the need to ”rediscover” himself. She cried, he hung up without a sniff. The next day his instagram was flaring with steamy about-last-night photos of him and the yellow-yellow at a Sauti Sol concert hashtagged #unconditionallybae. Sad sad Adhis.
The crowd will roar with anger. Someone will utter profanity in Dholuo. Mother-tongue profanities are the worst. Translate “sura ya malenge” to your mother-tongue to know what I mean, not so pumpkin-ish now eh?Anyway, a stone will be thrown. Maybe two. Then Akothee will belt a tune to shush(or completely fire up) the crowd. Time for the second testimony…
The second testimony is for you to find out by attending the okoa #teamnatural demo whose date you will be notified of by the darkest dark-skinned chick near you. Give her a hug. These yellow-yellow divas are giving us a run for even hugs, and the way July weather is coming unto us. Eii baba.To all our yellow yellow dadas, salimia watu, bleaching factories hufungwa (did this joke make it?No?Too bad).