Sooo, I’ve been working on this for more than a year. Actually since I got into college. We have a two-week writing seminar thing before school starts, and one of the prompts is to write a poem “Where I’m From” modeled after one some fancy writer wrote. I hoped my class would get to work on the prompt but we never did – but I liked the idea and started writing but every time I wrote it, something wasn’t quite write. Safe to say I’ve been working on this since I was 18 – time flies… ha! ha! It’s as done as I want it to be. Had to stop myself – otherwise it would have stretched a bit longer – hard not to be brief when I want to write out an encyclopedia.
On the grand scheme of things, I would like to turn this into a photo-story, still working on that, but you are welcome to do it for me.
I’m from red earth, and spiny acacia
I’m from exhaust fumes and “beba! beba”
I’m from crazier-than-Chicago traffic when it is the end of the month
Crazier-than-NYC-traffic when it’s Friday, and it’s the end of the month
Crazier-than-LA-traffic when it rains, and it’s Friday, and it’s the end of the month
I’m from traffic violations and intersection obstructions
I’m from sun-kissed laundry and queen-of-the-night (Jasmine) perfumed nights
I’m from two-for-one pizza on Terrific Tuesdays
Two-for-one burgers on Wacky Wednesdays
Thirsty Thurdays at Sherlocks,
fast replaced by Bend-Over Thursdays,
cos “Thursday is the new Friday”
and more two-for-one Pizza on Friday
I’m from street-side meeting venues
And knowing a thing or two about the people walking past,
without receiving an introduction
1/3 from your ‘hood
1/3 from high school days
1/3 from Uni or someone you know in Uni
I’m from Floodies
And Safari Sevens
And Bamburi Series
And any other excuse to be on Ngong’ Road watching rugby over the weekend
I’m from Toy
and “Electric Avenue,”
I’m from South “B” which is across the road from South “C”
And Southlands which is nowhere near the two
And Nairobi West on the opposite end of town from Westlands
Eastleigh and Eastlands, which may or may not be across from Westlands
I’m from tribal, non-partisan politics
Yes and No, Orange and Banana camps and the Rainbow Alliance
I’m from KNUT – affiliated with teachers and not a band
and AA that has nothing to do with alcohol
From KPLC – which more often stands for Kenya Paraffin Lamps and Candles,
than Kenya Power and Lighting Company
I’m from 9 o’clock news bits that could be mistaken for Jerry Springer
and political rivalries that leave your head reeling.
I’m from Nairobi.
The place of cool waters.
The city in the sun.