Imagine you are in a matatu, headed to one of those outskirt neighborhoods that still pride themselves to be part of the green city. The characteristic greed that eschews all traces of sanity causes the matatu conductor to jam pack the vehicle. You are squeezed together like cigarette sticks. The sun outside is vane, showing off its baking skills. The air is appalling from the heated stink of stale sweat, and you pretend not to feel the girl next to you rubbing off her drops of perspiration on your skin. That is when you will realize that Nairobi folk have not fully embraced the art of bathing. They just spray themselves when they wake up and they are good to go for the day. Crazy people, the concoction of a body spray and a concentrated stench of fiery sweat is the ultimate solution to a bad cold. Who needs Cold Cap when you have a bunch of water repugnant clowns with a high affinity for some cheap toilet water?

It offends your nostrils and moves in swiftly. It violates your every sensibility. Hell, the damn reek can even break your heart! You won’t help yourself from reaching for the matatu window to let in a little breeze to remind you that you did not die, and became reincarnated as a morgue attendant. But even as the fresh zephyr storms in, you can still smell a whiff of the nauseating stench. The malodor leaves you scarred. Your feelings manhandled. Your life as you once knew it is gone. Poof! Lost like a fart in the wind.

Body sprays are good. They are a perfect addition to a person’s grooming culture. A good body spray (for men in general) if used properly, might be the only thing that sets you ahead of the rest. Let’s take Axe for instance. It’s an elixir of attraction. Their ads might come off as hyperbolic, but their point is ladies love a man who smells good. Long gone are the days when the definition of a man was founded on whether he has a baritone voice, thick muscles and a bass guitar. Today, especially in campus, an Alpha male is the one who looks and smells great. And ladies dig this kind of jazz.

But then body sprays are not an alternative for bathing. It’s July and the cold season is on its way out. Seriously, with all this heat, wouldn’t you feel a little compunction if you walked around smelling like a soiled diaper? A shower never hurt anyone.

There must be a law against skipping a bath something like disturbing the public peace, because I remember stepping out of that matatu dazed out this world with only three things in my head; the itch for soap, water and an Axe.


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