Monday, March 27, 2017

‘Alilo’ Trust.

noun: trust
    firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something.
    "relations have to be built on trust"

Image result for trust imagesI suck at swimming. It doesn’t bother me much because after all man was not meant to live inside water by any means. The holy book says God created the first man, Adam, and put him in the garden of Eden and not inside some pond behind the garden of Eden. That’s my succour whenever I sulk for not having a day that falls short of ‘fantastic, tremendous, the best, terrific, big league’. You’d think I put in a lot of effort to learn this rather amazing art of swimming having publicly admitted that I suck by alas, I don’t. My efforts only go as far as letting my friends try to hold me afloat like a log and watch me fail for the millionth time. Its normally a short-lived win before I sink. 

“Umecheki hio?”, I’ll ask Goddy, a colleague of mine that has a bias in ‘duff mpararo’. 

“Nini hio?”, 

“Naeza float sasa”. Sassy laugh. 

“Uko na umama sana”, he’ll jibe. He’s a hater.

“But at least nimeimprove”, I’ll say and go sunbathe the win for the entire afternoon.

Actually, when I say I’m going for a swimming session it means more like going for a ten minutes walking in the water, five minutes’ underwater swim and a two-hour juice-feted rest on the pool lounge chairs. 

I once considered hiring an instructor but then what’s ego and what’s too hard for a man to fix by himself? Floating? Tiny issue. Or so I thought. 

Why can’t I float? My umpteenth epiphany on this came at Utalii Hotel. They have a fabulous pool and good chicken wings but the salad needs salvation. And Samawati band plays there, alilo too close to the pool the guitarist can actually trip and end up in the water – akichezea chini ya maji. You see the kind of thing wamunyotas call moment of clarity between bottles of beer? I had that but I don’t think mine qualifies to be called a moment of clarity since there was no beer and no ‘shaking of tombo’. I had it in the pool’s deep end. Sitting on the pool-ladder I dared my butt to do a mini dive into the overly clear water and to let the water do the rest and boy wasn’t that a very stupid idea. Fun but stupid. I did not drown because duh…I can hold my breath for kedo 4 mins and swim like a motorboat in that span of time from here to Timbuktu. But still it was nerve wrecking. A spot between scary and sweet. I made it across to the opposite pool ladder but man, I was exhausted for days. That’s beside the point though because what I’m driving at here is that I lack the slightest bit of trust in water. 

They told me if a hippo could float I surely could float in a bid to build my confidence but then hippos have their thing going which perhaps its ancestral for them whist for me, I don’t ever remember my old man talking about swimming in any of his ‘siku zetu’ tales. Also, this was said, 

“Look Wesh, just pretend you are on your bed and let go, breath slow and be still”. 

Good thinking but dumb to me because, one, my bed is not made of water, and two, it would take a ritual, a meal prepared by that salt bae guy, a good bank balance and mutura motivation for me to let go knowing I’m supposed to lie on water. It’s just impossible. 

Some years ago, in Kisumu, under the scorching sun plaguing the city I exercised the easy way of finding if I could trust big water, which of course would be to lay my very lack of trust aside and give it a go. I was a Dunga beach, a popular place if you know your way around the lakeside. This was one of those random college plots that are drafted over the Saturday morning’s black tea and mandazis. I remember we visited a children’s home, they had one of the best swings I have ever tried. Bless them. Then off to the beach where a boat ride is 70 bob to and from a place I’d call middle of nowhere. 

Now here is the thing, the boat people, akina Otis, won’t take you to the middle of nowhere just to watch you and your college girlfriend’s play with water and not charge you. They charge for the wait and so being the broke college fellas we were, we told them to go back and come back after two hours. That immediately entered the book of dumb things I’ve done over my early life. With no swimming skills and water rising to the chest, we simply waded about like baby ducks in circles for two hours. Two freaking hours! While at it I thought why not try float like a pot. Another dumb thing if you’re counting. I drank enough water to last me a year without thirst even in the sweltering sun. When kina Otis came back for us we were all sulky and tired. They’re actually nice people because they never forgot to come back for us. Imagine the headlines had Otis decided he had made enough for the day and headed to the Dunga bar and lounge to drown away his frustrations? We’d have drowned along with his frustrations.

I know people abhor the idea of trust. I am one of them. Much that they cannot trust their own shadows at times. An African saying goes that ‘trust not a naked man who offers you a shirt’ and in all truth that is logical. 

'Me I say trust'.

With all my science knowledge, not a lot actually but enough, hours of NatGeo water documentaries, hours of YouTube swimming Olympics fails, and heck even live sessions of people swimming I can’t still find a way to believe water can hold me up like my bed does. My little cave of thought is that water is never to be trusted. Ever. A truth I manufactured to keep me safe from the scary alternatives. 

Quite the opposite I have learnt to trust people first, until they give me a reason not to trust them later. 

The whole reason I penned this down is because of everyone in my circle that behaves like everyone else is how I see water; not to be trusted. It makes more sense to not trust because less trust less disappointment. A little princess opened her hurt to a charming prince and he broke her hurt, he trampled on her trust and now all she does is update ‘men are trash’ on twitter and ‘MKZ’ (Mukuru kwa Zuckerberg or Facebook if you like 😊). A senior bachelor bet everything on a lady in red, she stole his heart but then she turned out to be into night running and now he calls all ladies witches. A guy building his fortune met an investment analyst who promised that a shilling today will be a hundred shillings tomorrow if tied to a piece of ‘buroti maguta maguta’ somewhere in Ruiru only to find the land is owned by him and forty other Kenyans. A streak of ills. Dark and gloomy paths of trust.

But wait.

Imagine the possibilities of trusting again. I might dive in the deep end and sink again or end up with a medal on my neck. Intriguing much, yeah?

It can’t be that hard to trust again, can it?


  1. I loved reading this Wesh (Wareru?)
    I can Identify. I have paid for swimming classes. I still cant swim. All I do when I get into the pool is to displace a volume of water equal to my weight (remember, Archimedes??) then splash the balance away. This line though... "we simply waded about like baby ducks in circles for two hours". I'm DEAD!
    You write well. Very well!.

  2. love your honest sentiments. But for the love of God, it can't be that hard to swim

  3. I offer you a deal. I am a decent swimmer. Not too good, not too bad, decent. I would teach you because, you know, you could find yourself in a capsized boat in the middle of atlantic ocean because God know what and you would want to swim to any remaining plank to save yourself. So I would teach you as a duty to God, ( and to my country). But why would you trust me? Because i promise to not pinch your skin in the pool. You know how your body gets really cold and numb from the cold water any kind of pain would last a lifetime??

  4. Hey Pete ☺. Its Bumble Bee, again. ( I guess Bees are actually a buzz even in real life 😉)

    I hope this comment comes with my email address. Or what's the worst that would happen if I posted it here?

    1. Nothing bad happens on this blog do no worries. Got it :)

  5. Great read. For me it is aeroplanes..... afadhali water you can touch it, air aka nothing?? My mind refuses to reconcile all that Physics manenos. I am usually an anxious wreck each and every time I'm onboard. We need a worldwide SGR :) But yeah not to lose your point... I agree 100% trust between people especially a couple is muhimu; not blind trust though, we need not continue trusting people whose actions contradict their words over and over again.

  6. This is my first time i visit here. I found so many entertaining stuff in your blog, especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your articles, I guess I am not the only one having all the leisure here! Keep up the good work. I have been meaning to write something like this on my website and you have given me an idea. daily boat excursion


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