I used to be the holier-than-thou type. My upbringing played a part. Sundays were meant for church and church alone. It didn’t change anything even if I’d decided to feign sickness. Church is where the healing is, anyway. My parents were staunch Christians. They kept on telling me that I should treat church as a dose of medicine. It might not be as cool as you’d like but you need it. And, they were right. For the record, I used to go not because I wanted to, but because I loved to.
I’ll admit it though. I kind of felt a bit caged. Sometimes I’d wake up in the morning and not feel like attending church. Other times it’s the secular songs that would play at the back of my head only to be drawn back to reality from my stupor by the morning sunrays. I had to go to church nevertheless. I couldn’t stomach the wrath of my parents. So, I didn’t have much freedom but when I got it, I made sure that I was free and free indeed.
The song kept on playing in my head. “Do sum’n do sum’n” (that’s the Jamaican pronunciation of ‘do something’.) It was the song that made people go wild in the dancing floors. My parents were nowhere close. I was fresh into college, free to do what I deemed fit. I was in D2. Room Number 209 to be precise. “Do sum’n do sum’n…” The music was loud and from the look of things, it was coming from the Nordic Hall. That couldn’t have been a student’s room. Of course not. Very few people had speakers of their own thanks to the ever delaying helb money. But then again, who in their right senses would want to compete against speakers that were loud four times as much?
It was freshmen night (fresher’s night) and the deejay was playing some very juicy jams. Perhaps that’s why my roommates didn’t look like they’d show up anytime soon. One of them was a rural guy who I suspected had never gotten into a club. I hadn’t, but at least I was urban. I could speak sheng just as good. He couldn’t. I reckon he found the Nordic Hall more fascinating than entertaining. Or perhaps a combination of both. Perhaps…just perhaps.
I was with a laptop. A priced possession then. It wasn’t even mine but I used to walk around with it. Just to keep the rumors going. “You know what, that kaguy has a laptop…” Very few freshmen had laptops. Those who did automatically gained an edge when it came to charming girls. I mean, you didn’t need to do much. Invite her over to watch a movie and then she was yours for the taking. Ha-ha I’m just kidding. But well…
The song persistently kept on playing in my head. Mix that with the juicy music that was coming out of the Nordic Hall, and I had a good concoction. A concoction any lover of good music could savor. I don’t think you can get a better sign than that, can you? I had to do sum’n. I clenched my fist then banged the table (I’m not sure if those wooden stuffs in our hostels qualify to be called tables), but that’s what I did. Luckily, there wasn’t anyone close to conclude that I had gone bonkers. Damn it! I started humming the”do sum’n” song like my life depended on it. Church from that day until someday I decided that enough was enough, was thrown to the periphery.
I shut down the laptop, got hold of the key, yanked the door open, then locked it and walked away-walked to ‘freedom.’ There were a lot of people on the pavement between D2 and the canteen. Most were standing. The noise emanating from Nordic Hall was overwhelming. As I walked, I noticed a couple seated somewhere outside D1. They were seated close to each other that’s why I concluded that they were couples. What else would I have thought? That they were brother and sister? Before I could even make two more steps, they started kissing. Only time I can remember me being jealous. I had never kissed before. I didn’t even know how someone was supposed to adjust their lips or mouth. In short, I was a typical and vintage freshman.
I ignored anyone else along the pavement and headed straight to Nordic Hall. I had a higher and greater calling- do sum’n. I was stopped at the entrance of the Nordic Hall before someone shouted, “Uyo ni fresher.” I came to learn later than it was so because outsiders usually pay up. Entertainment folks, comes with a price. If you’re coming to snatch our girls away from us then you’d better pay up. For some reason, I hated than name fresher. I’m yet to come across any freshman who loves being called that. I got inside cautiously. Someone paying close attention would have mistaken me for a CIA. I expected them to say something though. You know, “Welcome, karibu, jibambe, jinyc…” Isn’t that what they say at the entrances of parties? Perhaps they knew I wasn’t going to jibamba as such.
The air inside was saturated with the smell of alcohol and sweat. Some girl slapped one guy for…your guess is as good as mine! Girls were swishing their hips and bums. Guys on the other hand were slowing down the swishes by bringing their zippers closer. The interlock that would happen occasionally made everything sensual. I was somewhere at the corner leaning on a wall as I watched everything unfold. I found it fascinating. Partly because I was never used to it.
Girls were few. They are always few, unless you’re in Eritrea that is! It was like a vicious cycle. A guy would go in with his zipper onto a girls bum and withdraws when the heat becomes too much. Another one joins in, and the cycle continues. It’s unfortunate that it’s only men who bear the brunt of such dances.
Those who looked like they really didn’t give a toss, danced alone. In fact, most of the guys were dancing alone. Majority, holding a bottle of beer. Most people give the reason that they have to be intoxicated first so that they can make merry. Reason being; they hold the belief that they’ll have forgotten everything the following morning. A farce. Complete and utter dross.
Though not a fan of numbers as such, I stayed put and calculated my moves. I waited for someone to tire and then I hopped and brought my zipper closer to a girls bum. The next thing, I was on the floor, oozing blood. I had been hit. Hard…
You see those goats that roam the streets. Yeah, those ones. They also have owners. Do sum’n without a shadow of doubt, was the start of my indoctrination to coopa life. A campus located in the leafy suburb, Karen. In the green city under the sun, Nairobi.
Written/Edited by Okumu Kenneth.
Photography by IncSix Photography