• The Girl in Blue-By Edward Maroncha

    This Wednesday as I was heading home, my mind was preoccupied with this week’s post. I had a couple of ideas, but I wasn’t sure any of them could be made into anything worth reading. And since I was going to Kajiado on Thursday morning, I actually toyed with the idea of postponing writing until after the road trip, in the hope that I would encounter something write-worthy (hehe) in the dusty town. I was so lost in thought that I was caught by surprise when the conductor asked me to alight. I looked around…we were at the ABC Place intersection, not at Westlands, so why was the dude asking me to alight? Well, I soon found out that everyone had alighted from the matatu, except three of us. And since there was a crowd going the opposite direction, he wanted to “sell us” to another matatu and do a U-turn. So I alighted. The driver turned the matatu while the conductor negotiated with his colleague in the other matatu. But they disagreed and the other matatu sped off, and this conductor had to return part of our fare so we could board another one.

    It is during this transaction that I noticed her. She was wearing light blue trousers and had a blue shawl covering her torso. She had white flat shoes and a white handbag hanging from her left shoulder. She could have been anything between 24 and 29 years. There was nothing outstanding about her, except the blue color. Okay, her gaze too. She was steadily gazing at me. When I noticed, I looked up and gazed back, straight at her eyes. No, she did not blush and look away. She held the gaze. We looked at each other for about a minute, then I looked away to scan the on-coming vehicles.

    Hapa tutapata gari kweli?” She surprised me when she spoke. It hadn’t occurred to me that she could talk. I mean, she had just been standing there, like the Statue of Liberty. I turned to look at her. She was now looking at the road. There wasn’t a matatu in sight.

    Hapa inakuwanga tricky, juu hata ikikuja watu watashuka halafu ipinduke kama hiyo tumetoka,” I replied. And so we held a discussion about matatus. Finally, an old matatu showed up from around the corner and I flagged it down. It stopped and one person alighted. The matatu was full, and the only vacant seat was the one the guy had just vacated. I hesitated at the door, to allow the girl in blue take it, before the other characters at the stage took it. But she hopped in and squeezed herself at the back. And so I took the seat.

    I alighted at my usual spot opposite Parklands Baptist Church, so that I could walk towards Sarit Centre and take my next matatu there. The girl in blue overtook me just after I crossed Ring Road, but before I crossed Waiyaki Way.  She was walking briskly but with a sense of self-assuredness. Now, let me rope you in into some small secret peeps.  I don’t like crossing highways. The idea of competing for road space with moving metal doesn’t appeal to me. That is a soft way of saying I am terrified of crossing any road with many speeding cars. And Waiyaki Way is one of them. There was a crowd forming, so I went and stood at the edge, hiding behind people. But the lady in blue walked up to the front. Then she started crossing, as the rest of us followed lamely like sheep. The speeding cars came to a halt, to allow Her Royal Blueness, and by extension us, pass.

    I was obviously intrigued. This girl had a sense of authority about her, yet she did not rub it in. In fact, she was very subtle about it. From my conversation with her, she was very pleasant and down to earth, yet she had an unmistakable aura of power and authority about her. I wondered whether she considered herself a feminist, and if so, what brand of feminism she practiced. The girl in blue could only be a type-A feminist. Nothing else.

    Now peeps, when you spend close to six years in law school, you meet all kinds of feminists. There is the type-A feminist, the ones who are genuinely interested in the empowerment of the girl child to level the playing field. These ones actually rarely do call themselves feminists. They just do their thing. Then there is the type-B feminist, the type who have scores to settle with men for whatever reason. Those ones who think or rather say that all men are dogs. The ones who dedicate their social media accounts to insulting men and everything masculine. Then there is type-C feminist, the type who are very vocal about feminism yet they do not have the vaguest idea what that word means. They imagine it is a cool title for modern women, but they are not even sure what the term ‘modern woman’ means. They are just a bunch of clueless noisemakers, who are in it mainly for the show, especially the selfies with feminist hashtags. Of course there are those who are a compromise of any two of these types.

    I think I should marry a feminist peeps. Then we can spend the rest of our lives developing pro-feminist literature. By then all my hair will probably be gone, and I will be rubbing my bald as I churn out article after article hitting back at male chauvinists.  My feminist wife will be making lunch and snacks as I type hard at the computer. Wait, that is against our ideals. I will probably be the one doing the snacks, the heat from the oven accelerating the balding process even the more.

    The only problem with this plan is that all the feminists I know have friendzoned me. I am not sure why, considering that I see myself as a sweet jamaa who supports girl empowerment. Wait, that could actually be the problem. When a feminist says you are a sweet guy, that cannot be a good thing at all. Because male chauvinists have a peculiar record of winning feminists’ hearts, especially the Type-B feminists. Yea, these ones who hate men with all their nerves. I  note the peculiarity in that they are the most vulnerable to the charms of chauvinists. They cook for them, wash their clothes, get insulted, get cheated on, and sometimes get physically beaten. Yet they stay. Until they finally get dumped, then they get fresh motivation to insult men on social media. So they come back to the world, guns blazing to announce their new discovery that is critical to the feminist cause: that men are not actually dogs. They are an abominable crossbreed of dogs, hyenas and werewolves. And they keep up the campaign until the next chauvinist dog…sorry man comes and sweeps them off their feet. And the cycle repeats itself.

    So obviously, one way to win a feminist’s heart is to turn into a chauvinist. But I doubt that would work with me. First, because I have a very expressive face. So if I inflict pain on her, my own anguish will show on my face. And that is not good for the chauvinistic cause. You don’t show emotions to women. Second, I can’t stay coldly silent for long. I will probably crack a joke somewhere along the way, and spoil the script. Because the feminist will laugh at my joke. Which will encourage me to crack another, and another. Then we will laugh, and laugh and laugh. And by the time we finish laughing, I will have cemented my place in her friendzone.

    But all is not lost peeps. I have another card I can play. There is another category of characters with an impressive record of winning feminists’ hearts. Even better than the male chauvinists’ record. Nigerian Pastors. So I can become one. But I need your help. Just organize yourselves and buy me three shiny suits, two pairs of white, sharp pointed shoes (with the noses pointing strategically to heaven), a gold chain, a massive gold ring and a massive silver watch. I will get myself the cologne. I will also teach myself Igbo accent and Pidgin English from Youtube. By the way, from now on my name is Pastor….sorry, Apostle John Obina from Enugu State in Naajeria, but I love (lawve) Kinya.

    The only problem here is that only type B and C feminists are likely to come to our church, Divine Fire Crackers Int’l Ministries. And I suspect that what I really need is a type A feminist. A girl who is genuinely interested in the best interests of both girls and boys. A girl who sees affirmative action as a tool for empowering women, not disempowering men. A girl exuding confidence and power, without being arrogant and snobbish. A girl who is self-assured, but at the same time pleasant. Just like the girl in blue.

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