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Home / My Man

Hoping Njaanuary will not have 92 days

My Man
By Tony Mochama | 5 years ago | 3 min read

‘2016’ has been branded The Year of Big Surprises in the world, beginning with that ‘Brexit’ vote that sent shockwaves through the world.

It was also the year, as the song ‘American Pie’ by Don MacLean says, that ‘the music died.’ Whether in lean times, or the few times of plenty (saa za ‘kukula nyama’), every year has its big lesson for us to carry forward.

In fact, every month has a lesson.

January and if as they say there are 12 nights of Christmas, then January comes with 120 days. There really is a day like the ninety tooth (92nd) of January, right after the ninety thirst of January.

The only lesson January ever offers us is the art of survival across long odds. And if you land on the shores of First February still alive, then you can handle the rest of 2017/8/9.

February is the month of loved ones and close folks. And I felt very lucky last February to be able to host some of the great people who bring you this magazine (though it might have forever cost me my ‘frenemiship’ with Beryl up there, who decided I may be nice, after all).

Beryl, I beseech thee, let’s rub friendship before I’m forced to send ye a Valentine’s Card (the way UK sent Millie M. a Christmas card).

March is a good time to begin that new project you vowed to, now that the year is settled down. We started ‘Reading In Unusual Places’ with the Goethe, and this February, we’ll be going to Langata Women’s Prison to share literature with the ladies there. (I’m thinking Fyodor Dostoyevski’s ‘Crime & Punishment.’).

April we launched ‘Modern Poetry for Secondary Schools’ with Phoenix Publishers, an accessible modern text for poetry students.

May is my birthday, which I long stopped celebrating; but it is also my daughter Chelsea’s birthday. She turned five this year. For those women with children, they are your most precious gifts. Celebrate them!

June together with Prof Wanjala and Khainga Okembwa & Co., we were at Mumias to spread the gospel of literature to schools and colleges under the PEN organisation. Join a group, church or political party, with a cause you are passionate about this year.

July is a great time to take a mid-year breaker (and since some of us just stay home in this season of Christmas) and so off to the Seven Islands’ resort in Watamu we went.

I know there are many urgent things in life, but do try and put aside, as a priority, a little something to give yourself a getaway treat.

August is a month of reflection and remembrance of those we lost, and the same way some people fast and others have Lent, have thirty days of abstinence and inner looking in any given year. Spiritual stuff!

September I went to Spain and saw many new things, cultures and met new people. In a coming year when some folks will not be able to see beyond the blunt tribal nose, remember it is still a big world, with billions of other people. Surely your ethnicity cannot be the best, and the other guy’s very awful.

October was the month I went home to Kisii for ‘Kistrech.’

November the world got one of its big seismic shocks (some would say ‘sick jokes’) when Trump was elected president of the USA. It just goes to show that, in this world, anything can happen.

December I paid dowry for a delightful lass. If you are over thirty, this is the year you’ll be asked – ‘Utaoa lini?’

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