Why I stopped mentioning people’s names in stories at public places…..

1 Mar

Come to think of it, I might have discovered where my penchant for nick names and pseudo-names came from after all.

Folks, it is a small world and that is not just an expression. It really is a small world. Ever heard of six degrees of separation? I believe that stuff. This is especially true if you live in an East African city regardless of how big you imagine it to be. African cities are like a village, everyone knows everyone or atleast a friend of a friend of everyone. Three major events come to mind when I think about this.

Back in 2005 or somewhere thereabouts, my memory fails me, I was a carefree campus student and had been “sort of” dating this amazing, working class guy for over an year. I say sort of because I have very mixed feelings about this particular relationship, I think to me we were dating but to him I was a special friend. At the time, I thought of it as a relationship and acted like it was one, but now that am older I see all signs of “clande” all over it. Oh, the stupidity of youth! Yes, I was once young and naive, too naive if you ask me. Anywho, I really liked the guy and he liked me too I guess, I saw him as often as I wanted to which was almost every week, he was very nice to me, he was a couch bum like me, he loved to read a lot and we often shared books, he was very worldly and classy and it fascinated my young mind to no end. He was much older (10years) and I guess that made him all the more appealing. Miss Random has a serious thing for older men :-). But I digress. So anyway, there I was, on an easy Sartuday afternoon at a friend’s house bonding over girly stuff with her, my cousin and her girls. I expected the man, lets call him M, to pick me up for a movie and our usual weekend thing so I was easy. Out of the blue, my cousin and I started discussing him in a general sort of way and his name and place of work are mentioned severally in the conversation. Thats when one of the host’s friends, goes like, “er M is not a very common name in this town especially one working in that company, I think I might know who you’re talking about. Does he live in X estate and drive a big truck?”. Am like, “yeah small world, how do you know him?”. “His girlfriend of 4 years is my pal. She was actually in town last week and we hung out kiasi”, she replies, casually dishing out info that cut my heart so deep and caused me so much pain. I was so confused. Gosh! Have you ever felt like someone punched you in the chest and sucked out all the air? That’s how bad it felt. I had been led to believe he was single before meeting me and my over-eager, easy-to-please campus self had swallowed that smooth lie hook, line and sinker. Lakini I was not going to show my emotion that easily to these girls that I hardly knew so I swiftly regained my composure, acted like I knew all that all along and kept up the charade. Luckily for me, my cousin had put two and two together pretty fast and she made excuses for us to leave so that I could go let it all out in the privacy of our own home die alone in shame and anger. Girls are stupid, coz later that night when he came to pick me up I still went home with him till Sunday evening when I confronted his lying, two-timing ass as he was taking me back home. The only way I can explain this behaviour is that I wanted to see his reaction face to face. I had to watch him flinch uncomfortably, struggle for a lie and then give up in shame like a child caught red-handed with his hand in the cookie jar. Nobody was going to deny me that small pleasure atleast. I won’t go into everything that happened later, but it turns out I had not masked my hurt very well and the same girl figured it out, went and told girlfriend number 1 the story and M was promptly dumped. Yeeeeiiii :-). Apparently it had been a very easy juggling act for him as she was studying out of town and I was in Nairobi, they had dated for 4yrs and we had been seeing each other for over an year (Me very faithfully by the way). He is now married to someone else though and we are good friends. I respect who he has become these days (and I sure hope he doesn’t read this)

Come 2009 and am perched on a bar stool at Serena Kampala with an old friend who I had happened to meet on the flight to Entebbe,awaiting to be shown to our table for dinner. At the time I was working in Dar es Salaam and had only travelled here on business. Luckily for me I met D at JKIA as I awaited my connection flight, we realized we were travelling to the same place, staying in the same hotel, for the same number of nights by the way (might that have been a sign by the way? πŸ˜‰ ) and he kindly offered to show me around since he had been here more times than me. So anyway, there we are sipping soft drinks and gossiping as Kenyans love to do about common people in our circles (we both work in telecoms). He started to tell me about a guy in a Kenyan cellular operator who had been spreading HIV to mamas, mostly his juniors, given his position of influence etc in great detail as I made all the requisite expressions that follow a story that juicy. Suddenly I noticed that the two gentlemen seated next to us were paying more interest than eavesdroppers should. Knowing they were busted, one of the guys quickly introduced himself and commented that they were interested in that vibe coz said guy was actually his immediate boss before he (eavesdropper) moved to greener pastures in Rwanda. He even went ahead to give us the true version (according to him) of the story. The other guy was also an old telecom hand who now plied his trade in South Africa and also knew the philanderer in question. What are the chances? Thank God it didn’t turn out to be the subject’s relative or something. Either way I was suitably ashamed. That particular event ended rather well as the two gentlemen joined us for dinner where we of course talked telecoms and gossiped about more people and later had an unforgetable night dancing away at Club Angenoir, where gentleman A actually bagged himself a chips/matoke funga for the night. But thats a story for another day.

My theory is further emphasized by Miss Bubby in this unfortunate, heart tuggging post which sounded a lot like something which would actually happen to me.

Moral of the story:
These days if I am in a matatu/taxi, in a public place, with people am not entirely familiar with, I will use a nickname, a pseudoname or atleast an alphabetical letter to describe someone especially if the story is as saucy as most stories are. You never know who is listening. Not at all. People keep secrets.

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13 Responses to “Why I stopped mentioning people’s names in stories at public places…..”

  1. Mackel9 March 17, 2011 at 5:18 pm #

    Buzzted!!! Matoke funga, now how does that taste like bananas? LOL

  2. bomseh March 6, 2011 at 9:11 pm #

    It has happened to me Zippy style. Talking about a white man’s body and he turned and shouted, wasenge nyinyi watoto wapumbavu, nkt. When he added the nkt, I knew for sure he was a really good swahili speaker. Turns out he was born in Kenya and his father was a teacher. He’d stayed in Kenya since birth up to 42 years. Advice to all, never use swahili ovyo ovyo, you’ll be amazed at the number of foreigners 9white and black) who are well versed.

    • not-so-little Miss Random! March 7, 2011 at 5:51 pm #

      Bomseh,

      Yaani he even knew the matusi words? Uuuwiiiii!! How ashamed were you? Man!! Lakini that one I also never do. Thanks for visiting by the way

  3. yellasoul March 4, 2011 at 12:52 pm #

    ….am laughing at the two random dudes who joined your table for the goss fest…eish!…lol…tabia gani hio??…hehehe..the total ‘vuta stool nikupe uhondo’ behavior…and while at Serena…ehehehe

  4. Mrembo March 4, 2011 at 1:23 am #

    “matoke funga” that was the best!
    Ati telcoms…woi, small world kabisa

    • not-so-little Miss Random! March 4, 2011 at 4:52 pm #

      Can they really be called chips funga in Banana-land? πŸ˜‰

      Do you mean to tell me you also work in telcoms? Small world indeed

  5. kbaab March 2, 2011 at 3:07 pm #

    Aha! I see it happened you too. I hardly ever mention people’s real names randomly. Ever. I am the queen of giving people nicknames. πŸ˜€

  6. Rach March 1, 2011 at 5:40 pm #

    So true……

    Mr. M reminds reminds me of anaa clande in campus who broke my heart lol

    I love your blogs
    Could you post 2 in a day ; – )

    • not-so-little Miss Random! March 1, 2011 at 6:42 pm #

      Rech,

      Yaani those clandes and campo chicks!! Nkt kabisa. But si it was good while it lasted?? And atleast you didn’t have a campo boyfie πŸ˜‰ you know?

      Thanks for the compliment, blushing mad here! Will try to blog more. I think the mojo is coming back πŸ™‚

  7. Zippy March 1, 2011 at 5:03 pm #

    Couldnt agree more, how about you sengenya a foreigner thinking he cant hear the Native language only for him to turn to you and answer in fluent same native Language.

    Washana~

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