But if there is one thing you should not believe is people who tell you you are funny.
I fell for the hype, saw myself as a funnier Dave Chapelle. Lo, Lol!
It was December. Friday the 13th. I should have known—it was right there in the date. A night of comedy—I was the only fresha in the line-up. Ambitious? Yes. I wasn’t even attending classes. Msanii. Msanii was prepping for a show. I even had a promoter!
The show was sold out. The who’s who of campus were there. Msanii was ready. It was the era of the sweater tops—if you never wore a sweater top there’s nothing you can tell me about life—inside I even had a vest—because, you know, the show was bound to get hot. I was bringing it.
With razor sharp lines, I was going to make sure there is not a single dry eye in that arena.
Being signed to Galaxy Arts Theatre literally made you an instant star, pun aside. It was akin to a pupillage from Universal Pictures, who was at that time Tony Irungu, who now peddles his baritone voice at BBC.
Anyone who was anyone in campus was a member of Galaxy Arts. Usha Jose from Uganda, who every man had a crush on, except me, because we were in love but she never admitted it, was also there. If Usha Jose called you Peter and your name is John, your name is Peter. True story.
A hullaballoo had ensued that week after highly volcanic research material was leaked from Margaret Thatcher Library—the biggest library South of the Sahara and North of the Limpopo. The dossier claimed that if you drink everyday you might be an alcoholic. Thank God comrades only drink at night.
Being a first year, I was thrust first on stage, lunged into the furnace to test the heat of the audience. My whole life was leading up to this moment. The VIP was full of beautiful ladies—yellow yellow babes who might have been arrested after the show because they were dressed to kill.
Fourth years of that time were wanaume wenye miraba minne, goliaths with voices deeper than the Limpopo river.
“Hi guys..” I begged meekly, my tenor II voice floating in the air. No one stopped talking.
“When I was little boy I told everyone I was going to be a comedian,” I mourned pleadingly to the audience, “..but everyone laughed at me. Well no one’s laughing now…”. Crickets.
Ama they just didn’t get it? Tough crowd. You know I’ve always been a comedian’s comedian.
I went in again.
“Comrades riah! Labda the reason God doesn’t answer your prayers is because you support the Red Devils..”
My life flashed before my eyes. I was balancing tears. I could feel the Monsoon winds landing on my face, sweeping my lines away. I just wanted my mummy, where is my mummy? Mom?
Probably, I figured, the mic was not working. These jokes were landing in my head bana. It’s the mic, sindio? Si it’s the mic?
“Mnanisikia kweli?” I whispered mercifully.
“Toka! Fresha! Toka! Kwenda!”
The wrath of the comrades was on me. Till today I do not know how I got to my room, switched off the lights and converted to Christianity.