Happy

Our math teacher we called wise man for reasons I’d rather not get into. He was, and probably still is, the typical math teacher. The mwalimu niachie huyo kind. Clean shaven head, nerdy glasses, plaid shirt tucked neatly into his khakis with a belt, some ugly loafers and there was always an unmatching over-sized coat hanging over his shoulders.

Anyway the man used to say there are two kinds of people. The ones that find security in the comfort of knowing tomorrow will be just like today. These find the predictability of everything rewarding, and the other kind that find it boring to be stuck in the same routine everyday. He always claimed to be the latter. He was divorced, which led us to believe his wise words applied to relationships and marriage.

I asked some friends and acquaintances what kind of person they could see me with, and the answers were, well, answers.

“Artsy, anime-loving, socially awkward bookworm with glasses.”

“Three words; short, cute, light skinned. I know you and short shawties.”

“Your type is, in your words, the arrested for possession with intent to distribute ones. The tipsy by 3pm on a random Friday type. You know what they say about opposites and attraction.”

“Probably studying law or architecture. Maybe medicine. You know super smart, crazy-ish like tattoo on her shoulder or something. A little irresponsible but generally a great and amazing person.”

My response to all that was, “Whatever she’s like, I just want to be happy.”

Nobody really asks if you are happy. That is other than the ex you are trying so hard to move on from. Gen Z’s will break your heart then check up on you. Have you all like I should be mad at you, but no I haven’t eaten yet. Even life roughs you up and will never take a moment to ask whether you are okay, whether you are happy. African moms would beat you senseless then ask nani amekuchapa babaa? And you would shamelessly shake you head and say it wasn’t them, all while your tears are saying something different. Talk about mixed signals.

Sometimes they’d even go further and say it wasn’t you they punished, si wewe nimechapa ni hio makosa nimechapa. So understand the confusion when a little boy grew up thinking the soft round part he sits on is called makosa in Swahili, and the further confusion when the DJ Afro wave hit and his famous makosaa had the same child chuckling mischievously every time it was uttered. I probably understand where some of you picked up this thing of giving mixed signals. From kuja sitakuchapa and other stories. Our parents.

Hell sweet potatoes do so too. They shout healthy eating, healthy breakfast and three bites in an attempt is made on your life. Ngwassassination I call it. I wanted to eat healthy to live longer, not die on the spot!

However despite all the food related death threats, beatings and stuff, you have to agree we were genuinely happier when we were kids that we are now. The little things made us happy. Happiness was sijakula sukari with evidence all over our cheeks. Happiness was sleeping on the sofa and waking up the next morning in your bed. Happiness was brikicho banture… ameua nyungu! Happiness was playing in the sand right after a bath and a stern warning not to do so. Happiness was chapos and kuku over Christmas. Happiness was so many things.

Today, happiness, at least for me, is niko kadi. Happiness is 4.4 litre twin turbo V8 with 625Hp and 750Nm of torque. Happiness is tutembee ama tuende na gari? Happiness is Bikozulu just posted. Happiness is uko? Happiness is your scheduled post is now published on Manenoz. Happiness is what you make it, with whoever you choose to. So get up, get out there and make memories, happy memories, and when you see me out there offer to buy me a coffee. That always makes me happy.

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