9:12a.m Monday morning. With cameras flashing all around, you are assured of a free slot in the next day’s news; who knows, perhaps even the expensive and highly coveted front page in the dailies. You should even be smiling but here you are trying to salvage the last molecule of dignity left in your being by covering your face with your hands; which hands refuse to cooperate. You should be enjoying the free publicity. After all, no publicity is bad publicity. Ha, very wrong unless you are a Kenyan politician. It is your turn to take plea. The court clerk reads out to you, ‘(Insert your name) you are accused of murdering Eutane Astio. The particulars are that on the 15th of May 2021 at Rongai town within Kajiado County, you committed the said murder. Do you plead guilty or not guilty?’ You are perplexed. It all happened so fast. Take a pause as I walk you down memory lane.
Friday evening. I can swear the Friday atmosphere is different from all other days. It is that day when a three-letter-word text becomes the S.I. unit of bad decisions. ‘Uko?’ Immediately you get the text, everything else is automatically paused and shoes are worn before even replying. In typical Kenyan style of answering a question with another question, the reply is always, ‘ We uko wapi?’
‘Foundation in it 💉💉’ goes your WhatsApp status or something in the lines of ‘Tujenge mwili kabla twende kuiharibu.’ This is you laying the foundation for the ethanol that you are bound to imbibe. Simply put, your meal before drowning a few bottles of liquor. More often than not, this ‘foundation’ consists of meat either fried or roasted and corn starch (ugali) but the meat takes up the greater portion. A photo of this is posted on your snapchat and Instagram stories.
After laying this foundation, you head out to the local where your caller is. By this time he/she has already partaken of a few shots. Okay, let’s be real, a lot of shots ranging from whiskey, vodka, gin, brandy, you name them and probably there was a cocktail foundation. They order a ka quarter. ‘You want a chaser with that?’ your invitor asks to which you reply, “Chaser for who when I have facial expressions?” Did I mention that your invitor is not alone? Did I also mention that they had booked the corner VIP table with comfy couches in advance? Oh well, my bad. They are in the company of 4 other people. As you join them, gender equality is attained. Truly, it is drinks na mayengs.
With equality, comes pairing. A dancehall musician sang, 🎵every man to a girl, couple up, couple up.🎶 So, Kila mtu na wake is the order. Your quarter is drowned. You are tipsy but still, order a mzinga. Zimeriet! Physical contact with your person is now evident. The drinks bring out some insane kind of courage and boldness that your sober shy self could never. The music is also on point. A video of you rhyming and dancing to the deafening music finds its way to your TikTok.
A random stranger comes to your table and attempts to flirt with your person. Big mistake. No. To put it as it should be, BIG MISTAKE!! or in the words of a famous Dj, Makooshaaa! In your anger, you push them away. They come back and throw a few insults at you. Remember the insane courage that has been kicking in? It comes into action triggering adrenaline. Ok, I failed terribly in chemistry but hope you get the point. Moving on swiftly, you blurt out some unprintable words before your partner snatcher lands a hot resounding slap on your face. The echo from the slap is audible despite the music. “I’ve had enough of you, you stupid moth****” As you utter this, a heavy punch lands on your nemesis’ face. It’s about to go down…
A fight ensues. Blows right, left, and center. Your compatriots are cheering you on in their drunken stupor. You seem to be winning and in a moment of poor decision making, take up one of the empty bottles aiming it at your archrival’s head which you do not miss. The sound of shattering glass renders the air. Blood splatters all over including on your hands and clothes.
The next thing you can remember is a group of people around you as you lay on the ground outside the club. Some are loosening your tight-fitting clothes as others try to fan air around your face. Apparently, you had passed out from the pain from the confrontation and the liquor in your system only went all out to make the situation worse. At this particular point, you can feel that your face is swollen and the pain sets it. The alcohol had somehow made you numb. Your head is heavy and feels as if someone has placed the a huge stone on it. A bottle of water is handed to you together with some of your belongings that your mates had safely kept for you.
As you are still wrapping your head around the events that had transpired, a body bag is loaded onto the police van nearby. This doesn’t seem to bother you as you have a myriad of your own troubles to worry about. Amidst the confusion in your mind, the club bouncers and management hand you over to the Boyz in blue. Handcuffs on your hands, being hounded into the boot of yet another waiting police car. It is at this moment you know that you fuc*** up.