Msichana Mdogo

Short view on life and such…

Let Me Live

I grew up in an extremely protective family. The Kadzitus did things others never did. All 8 of us would clean up in the same bathroom. Some getting bathed as others brushed their teeth..all oblivious of our obvious nakedness and gender differences thereof.

The Kadzitu girls were most protected of all. There was no playing outside with friends..what friends? Your sisters are sufficient. Play indoors. Our dress code reflected the staunch Christianity and conservative Giriama-ness of our folks. Dresses. Skirts. Shop bought with frilly lace and floor sweeping hemlines. We were African-Amish. I exaggerate of course. The one rule that we sought with all might to fight was the “Pant Ban”. Kadzitu girls never wore pants. Not trousers,culottes,shorts..not pants of any kind. For sports: skirts.

Now having grown up that way and finally given the chance to dress as one would wish (albeit modestly), I cherish the ability to express myself in how I dress. I cherish the choice I have in dress now. It means more to me than you would know. My upbringing keeps me in check of limits. To this day, I have been unable to wear hot pants inasmuch as I have admittedly wanted to once or twice. Not even in my rebellious campus days,where no one from home would see me, would I dare.

I hope I am not losing you here. I need you to understand what growing up as a girl in a conservative African family then living as a grown woman in Nairobi (2014) is. My dressing isn’t a trivial matter. It’s a deeply seated part of me. It has become my identity. Jeans,short dresses and skirts (a couple of longs ones because a certain someone likes me in them) make up the bulk of my wardrobe.

Recently, I have trouble deciding what to wear. I am growing more and more afraid of the street bullies just laying in wait.

I am aware of their baiting mechanism: Catcalls, a greeting, a snarky comment about how I am dressed, veiled compliments like “Mrembo”. As if beautiful is the only attribute that can be assigned to me.

I am aware of the variant reactions that will set them off: silence, a look away, a look of utter disgust and anger -a true reflection of exactly what’s felt.

I am aware of the possible outcome: insults, jeers, shaming, stripping, assault,rape.

I am aware and and I am saddened by my present reality.

All because I am being me. More because I am expressing myself freely. Even more because I refuse to acknowledge leering and unwarranted  attention and aggression.

What is it about my 5ft frame that threatens you? Is it my soft,demure curves? What is it about my femininity that irks you so?

Why do you forget that just like you, I am human? Why do you forsake the fact that being human means I deserve life, in it’s abundance of rights & freedoms?

Afford me one thing: Let me live.

A Taxi, an Old friend & Valentine’s day

She hitched her skirt higher and put out her cigarette with the tip of her red bottomed heel. The nausea was finally passing. “Cigs always work”, she said to herself.Walking away from the stub, she replayed the scene from moments before.

It was as though he didn’t recall who she was. She’d recognized him the moment she lay eyes on him. He hadn’t changed much from the guy she sat next to in high school. Still handsome, soft eyed and white teethed.

She’d sat in the back seat of his taxi like she did in every other cab she rode. He kept glancing at her in the rear view mirror. She stared on. Touching up her lipstick.
“Do you mind hurrying up? I don’t want to be late”, she asked him politely when he slowed down unexpectedly. The ride picked up speed and she silently thanked him. Every minute counted,especially tonight.

They got to her stop and she got out. She strode over to his window and signaled him to roll it down. Her hand darted in and down the front of his sweatpants shocking the softness out of his eyes.

“Sorry hun, no spare change. I hope this will do for my ride”, she said. All the while, he swelled in her palm,barely leaving space for her hand’s motion.She looked him in his eyes, bewildered at how young he still looked. She felt him tense up and as though she’d planned it, said something he didn’t hear as he found release in her palm.

“What did you say?”, he asked, as she wiped her hand on tissues from his dashboard.

She exhaled saying,”I said, everyone needs a little loving on valentines day”

“Well, thanks ma’am. I could swear I have seen you somewhere before. I know! Your face was next to my dad’s high school yearbook photo”, he responded as he re-started his cab and drove off, leaving her mouth agape watching him leave.

Meanwhile, outside it was raining

She saw the marks the raindrops left as they fell on the tarmac, and immediately imagined how long it would take her to get home. It was on days like these that she hated living in a big city. Days like these made her wish her powers of telekinesis would finally kick in and she would just blink herself home.

Her phone vibrated in her pocket and she looked at the screen her heart skipping a beat only to be suddenly deflated. It was not whom she hoped it would be. This was her illicit lover, calling to find out whether they were “still on” for the hasty plans they made over a sext or two earlier that week.

“Yes we are. It’s ok, I’ll come to you”, she said.

She rushed across the street, her hair covered in a flimsy scarf; her umbrella poking into her ribcage from inside her faux leather handbag.

“Just a couple of hours with him should do; I need this” She told herself

Neither of them could spend the night out anyway. She admonished herself for being so shallow and encouraged herself for going for all she wanted. Just a fuck. Just someone to talk to . Just someone who wanted to be with her. Just someone.

She recalled the first time they had hooked up, just for the sake of it. Just for kicks, for fun. For the thrill. She remembered how she became hooked to him. How she wanted him all the time. How she wished he would just admit that he wanted her all the time too. It would at least mean something to her. Something more than what she thought of herself: a glorified whore used only for his pleasure and dumped and forgotten until the familiar stirring in his loins came again.

They drove in odd conversation. In traffic. They spoke of it. Of the erratic weather. Of his kids and how fast they were growing. She had congratulated him. They spoke business and how hard it was to find any honest and efficient suppliers nowadays. All the while she hated herself for being in that car. For feeling so excited. For wanting to fuck him right there like they had in their rabbit stage. Meanwhile outside, it was raining.

They got to the short-stay lodge that she had brought him to on one drunken night. He he took out his wallet and paid for their lust nest. One of the staffers walked them to it. The lady was too comfortable with him, as though they knew each other. Had he been here with someone else? He mentioned a new coat of paint on the walls He noticed they had changed it. She thought it looked like a hospital. He laughed. They walked in. Meanwhile outside, it was raining.

The first thing he did was to take off his shoes, like he was at home. She stood there and looked at the room. Familiarising herself. She would live here for however long he wanted her to. It was always his time they worked on. Had to be. He walked over to her and wrapped his arms around her from behind. He kissed her neck and caressed her tum and her breasts through her sweater. She chuckled. It was ticklish. He spun her around and kissed her on the lips. She kissed him back and reveled in the feeling. Her sweater came off from above her head effortlessly. Her bra flew across the room to the bed behind them. His shirt buttons were hard to open, her fingers trembled and she desperately tried to hide it. He pulled his shirt half unbuttoned over his head and let her take his vest off. He felt warm against her goose pimpled skin. They moved over to the bed. Meanwhile outside, it was raining.

Her jeans came off once her shoes were slipped off. Her shame fled and was replaced by wanton lust as he lay over her, his boxers jutting at his pelvis.

“I missed you”, he said.
“I missed you too”, she responded.

They rocked and rolled in the bed, Heaving and sighing. Moaning and grunting. Scratching and nibbling. All the while, she was thinking. What will I wear tomorrow? Will he drop me home..ha! He hasn’t since that last time we did it in the car outside the house. Where did I leave my phone? I bet I have a number of messages. He groaned and shuddered.He lay next to her, smiling.

It’s been a while, he said.

Meanwhile outside, it was raining.

They lay there, naked, talking about so many things and nothing at all. They spoke of people they knew and their relationships. They spoke of how funny it was that they ended up here. She laughed and smiled yet she felt hollow and used inside. Was this all there was? Was this all they were. Before she could formulate the words to come out of her mouth, he was licking her skin and spreading her legs. He wanted to go again. He was still soft so she touched him and felt him swell in her hand. He filled her up and left her emptier than she had ever been in her life. He came quickly, and said again how it had been a while for him. She wanted to be home now. It was all that was on her mind. He thought she was so relaxed. In her mind she was screaming. Blaming herself. She brought herself to him. She took him in. She came with him. She hated herself. Meanwhile outside, it was raining.

They took turns washing the smell of sex off themselves. Not wanting to touch each other again as if they were now in the contagious stages of a deadly disease. The thrill died that day and she knew it. She vowed that they would never be back here. As she looked at her phone, messages from an earlier expected sender put a smile on her face. Maybe now she would let him in proper. She hoped that he wasn’t waiting his turn for a quick romp at the lodge on the highway. Hope: It flickered. Meanwhile outside, it was raining.


Presumably profound proclamations, periodically plea pronouncement

Presently, preposterous presuppositions proudly peer

Precariously perched ‘pon psyche

Proving possible pathological pensive posing




They Know

My tears know the warmth of the sun
They know its glow
They know where it rises from
They know where it goes to rest

My tears know the bite of night
They know when it falls
They have fallen together
They know when it ends

My tears know where they’re from
Father pain and mother sorrow
They know the reason they’re born
They know themselves

My tears know for whom they are shed
They know the sting they leave behind
The headache, the soul ache dull and numbing
They know that they hurt

My tears know not when to hold back
They’re free
My tears aren’t caged

They know the sound they make as they leave
Sound of my soul letting them go
Sound of my heart…it cries
The sound of my mind’s scolding

My tears…they know.
They know.


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