I was bbming my girlfriend Wanjiru ahead of my trip to Nairobi:
Chale I’m going through a major drought. I haven’t had some in months.
Seriously? I need to hook you up when you get here.
The hook up was Tom. He was part Kenyan and part English. A year ago he moved back home to Nairobi, after having secured a job as a correspondent for the BBC. He shared a 5-bedroom house in Westlands with a Swedish independent filmmaker whose documentary films were already winning awards at respectable film festivals around the world, an American correspondent who worked for Voice of America, a Kenyan computer programmer and my friend Wanjiru the writer. I met him on day 2 of my visit to Nairobi when Wanjiru drove me home after sangria and cupcakes at Artcaffe. The house was in darkness when we drove in, and a little terrier constantly yapped at my heels. “He’s harmless” Wanjiru said as she unlocked the back door and led me through the kitchen. I said hello to my fellow dreadloc’d brethren who sat behind his Mac in the small room just beyond the kitchen. “I’ll give you a tour but I don’t know how much you will be able to see in this darkness”. We walked through to the large living room where Tom and Fredrik were fidgeting with a tubular fluorescent type device. “Hey guys, what’s wrong with the lights”. “We’ve had this issue the whole day” Fredrik responded. “We’ve called the landlord. He says he’ll come over tomorrow”. “This is my friend Nana from Ghana” said Wanjiru as she pulled me forward. “She’s in Nairobi for a few days”. I said hello and followed Wanjiru as she continued to give me the grand tour. We ended up in her room. I imagined it to be the best room in the house. It reminded me of pictures seen of loft flats in New York’s trendy Meat District – the kind of trendy place that one of Sam’s transient boyfriends would have owned in an episode of ‘Sex and the City’. Wanjiru’s room was all high ceilings, expansive floors and a view for miles. Soon the cab driver Wanjiru had called arrived and I set off for the Crowne Plaze, my temporary abode for the next 3 nights.
So what do you think of Tom? Wanjuri bb’d the following day.
Ermmm. I don’t know. I couldn’t really see him properly. I think he was cute though. A bit fat … I’ve never really been with a fat guy.
He thinks you’re cute. He’s a really nice guy. He just broke up with his girlfriend. Shall I give him your number?
Tom and I texted intermittently during the day, “My friends and I are going to Carnivore for Naija night. Would you like to join us?” he asked. “Mmm, I don’t think I should. I’m delivering my presentation on ‘Social Media 101 for women’s rights organisations’ tomorrow morning, and I still haven’t finished preparing.” We decided to meet up the following evening, my last night in Nairobi.
I texted Tom: “I’m not really in the mood to go out tonight. Do you want to come over instead?” “Yes, I’ll bring a bottle. Do you fancy red or white?” “Red” I responded. “I’ll be there in about an hour”. I had packed earlier that evening. Well I had never really unpacked to begin with so I had rolled the dresses I had worn over the previous 5 days and stuffed them into the sides of the suitcase with the stack of conference materials I always seemed to return home with. I had a long hot shower and packed the rest of the minature shower gels and soaps into my shower bag. These always came in handy later. I didn’t want to look like I had made too much of an effort so I wore my strapless red dress with the ruching at the top. The ruching holds up my 32G boobs so there’s no need for a bra, and I never wear panties when I’m staying in at night. I let my hair down and wore my simple gold chain with the Akuaba doll. Sometimes I’m amused at my love for this fertility doll. People say in the “olden” days women who wanted children would carry akuaba dolls around. I’ve never really been the maternal type.
I hear a knock on my door. It’s about 11pm now. He’s half an hour late but that’s alright. I open the door and Tom stands there smiling. He’s much better looking than I remember. He must be at least 6 feet tall, has golden brown skin, and his neatly cropped hair gives me the impression that must have visited his barber that very day. “Come in” I say, and take the bottle of wine from him. “You can sit anywhere you want. I’ll just call for a wine opener.” Within 5 minutes the wine opener arrives and I pour for us both and make myself comfortable on the bed, leaning against the headboard. 2 glasses later we are swapping “returnee” stories and discussing the difference between Nairobi’s and Accra’s night life. I am jealous of events like “blankets and wine”, places like “Artcaffe” and salsa nights every night. He’s never been to Accra before and like everybody else has heard of the legendary Ghanaian hospitality. Suddenly he falls silent. His eyes darken and he looks at me intensely. “You look really nice”, he says. I touch my locs and smile. He starts to say something and fumbles. “What?” I ask. Nothing. We start chatting about his job as a correspondent and mine as a communications officer but the conversation is more stilted this time. He leans towards me, touches my left cheek gently and kisses me. We must have kissed for at least 3 minutes. “This is what I wanted to say” he says. I pull him back towards me and kiss him fiercely. It’s a hard comfortable mattress and feels good against my back. He’s hovering over me now and starts to slide the ruching of my dress down. I kiss him even more deeply. He moves his mouth from mine to my nipples. My nipples are really not that sensitive but I indulge him. He kisses his way down to my stomach. Ah! Now that feels better. I reach down and stroke his thighs. It’s too difficult to reach him so I put my arms around him and roll over to my side. He’s now lying on my right hand side. I sit on him and start to take off his shirt. I kiss his nipples. He has man boobs. I get the sense that he’s even more body conscious than I am so I slide down his body to his feet and start kissing my way up. My red dress is now bunched around my waist. I can’t help thinking that the one advantage of being with a fat guy is that I don’t feel conscious about my own stomach. I linger on his thighs and kiss his inner thighs. I can feel him tremble. I stick out the tip of my tongue and trace a path from the roots of his penis and circle around the tip of his head. I hear him moan and so I take as much of him as possible into my mouth. I alternate between sucking slowly and quickly. Cosmo has taught me well. He turns me over and reaches between my thighs. I am already wet. He thumbs my clit and I easily cum. He reaches for a condom from his trousers, which are now discarded by the bed, and puts it on. I can feel him nudging against my pussy. I stretch my thighs wider. I’m not the easiest person to enter. I’m sure my vagina is smaller than that of the average woman. He gets halfway in, and starts kissing me. I kiss him back. He’s still not all the way in. I can feel him getting soft. He’s still trying to get in. I kiss him harder. He starts kissing his way down my body and stops at my clit. I cum even harder. “I’m sorry. I don’t know what happened,” he says. “What would you like me to do” I ask. He indicates towards his now flaccid penis. I start to go down on him. I can feel him growing bigger in my mouth. I lick my way down to his balls and put one ball in my mouth and stroke the other. Then I move over to the other ball and repeat. I tongue the side of his penis whilst looking at him intermittently. The porn stars have taught me well. He starts to gasp and holds my head. There is no need for slow intermissions now. I suck harder. He goes ‘Ahhhhhh’ and cums.
My grandfather once told me about two of his grand aunts who walked all the way from Kumasi to Twenedurase to find husbands. I imagine my great grand Aunties leaving the war mongering Ashantis behind and starting an epic journey to the mountains of Twenedurase where the Kwahus decided to start a peaceful life on the mountainous ridges from where they could see their enemies and hail stones down on any tresspassers. They must have been feminists I fantasise. Who else but a feminist would decide to go and look for her own man when wars have decimated the men in her place of origin?
Her older brother says she must be 2 years older than him, which means she was born around 1918. Her father was a wealthy cocoa farmer who was carried everywhere in a palanquin by 4 strong slaves. He had 7 wives and each of his wives gave birth to at least 6 children. It made sense that only the first born son of each wife would be sent to one of those schools being run by the Obroni Osofo. He still wasn’t sure what sense there was in keeping his children away from the farm to spend hours learning the white man’s books but there was absolutely no sense in sending any of his daughters to the white man’s school.
When she was ready for marriage her brother chose his friend as her husband. In later years she told me:
“I didn’t love him but I had to obey my brother. But later I left that marriage and married a man of my choice. I loved my second husband. We had three children together”