I have spent a lot of time dreading a day like this. A day when I do not have anything to report because everything went as planned. Everything. All the shots that have been lined up for the day were executed in time. There was no trouble, other than after the night had fallen and we could not find a nice place to sleep in Mtwapa and Nyali. To say that how we drove around was such a hassle would be impetuous, inflammatory and most of all a lie. Oz and the rest of the team relished it. We mostly cracked jokes and even considered going to catch a movie as a team. By the time we got to the hotel, had dinner and settled down, it was already late.

I hate such days when everything go as planned. I do not know if it’s the artistic mien in me that is always looking for trouble. Deep down, I long for the thrill of something going wrong. Now what am I supposed to write home about today? That everything went smoothly for everyone? Where is the texture in that? Where is the grit?

I started fearing this might happen when we were at Rea Vipingo sisal plantation. That is when it occurred to me that there was no story for me to tell. Part of me wanted to spice things up. Starting with, say Emmanuel’s food. I considered putting in a little laxative in his water. That way at least, when everything starts going south real quick, I would capture the moment here and make all of you laugh.

I also thought of bursting one of our van’s tyre. In the middle of nowhere. I would do it in such a way that Muiruri would not link it back to me. I would take a sample of Fortune’s fingerprints, put them on a rusty nail, and then stick it under the van’s back tyre.

Or maybe steal the fortune in Fortune’s pass. She has a bundle of notes that she uses to pay for our daily expenses. When you come to think of it, nobody would suspect the only Luo in the company. Not when it is full of okuyus like Thuo, Muiruri and Macharia. Especially Macharia. Macharia sounds like one of those people who would grind a bottle of Krest and then sell it to you as Green Garnet. Or one of those makangas who play around with your head when it is time to refund your balance. Those touts who, all of a sudden, turn simple arithmetic of addition and subtraction into calculus. The fare is 30 bob. You give them 100 but instead of refunding you 70 bob, they start telling you to add them 50 bob so that they can give you 110.

I wanted something. Nothing showed. I wanted them to miss that sunset shot at Rea Vipingo so that Oz could sulk and sulk until kingdom come. You should see the way he looks like when he has missed a shot. The way his face drops. I swear there is nothing funnier than a man the size of Oz sitting quietly, mulling over what things could have been, waiting for someone to console him saying ‘there there, next time baba’… yet nobody comes through. Nobody calls him baba. Considering how big he is, we should probably be called Baba Yao.

I know now I can make fun of him and the way his squared face looks like one of those old Omo packets because he is happily sleeping over some good shots that he has confidence in. Believe you me, I could not do it on day one. He would have conspired with Muiruri so that I am abandoned in the mining fields of Wundanyi, where I would spend the rest on my life with Wai Wai in search of green gold.

I envy the other bloggers. They sound like they have a lot to write about. They are the ones who got to go far flung areas, some of which are still under creation. We have a WhatsApp Group for the Capture Kenya Bloggers only. We have our own peculiar conversations there. Gossip that we do not want project managers and photographers to listen to.  Today I tried to convince them to join me in boycotting storytelling for the day. Not ati because the teachers on strike are a bad influence on us, but because I had nothing useful to say.

They refused.

Owaahh has a lot of stories to tell. Which does not surprise me because on a normal day he talks as if he is on batteries. I envy him because at least for them, they got to experience the outdoor life. They got stuck in Chalbi Desert at night. Can you imagine that? Their van got stuck for kedo one and a half hours and by the time they got it out, they were covered in dust (or was it mud? Wait, there cannot be mud in a desert.) Anyway, they looked like they were too late for a circumcision ceremony. Lucky bastard.  Read that story here. 

the MagungaEat dust, Allan Gichigi!

Then there is Ndinda. She too could not join my strike because she had a juicy one to tell. I do not know whether she plans on telling this story. How they spent the night in a motel in Pokot (the best they could find) which had beds that smelled like chudex. It was so bad that when they woke up in the morning, the ladies in the group were advised by their chief photographer to get a kit to test whether they are going to be sick for the next nine months. Inasmuch as I hoped none of that was necessary, inasmuch as I prayed that they slept with crossed legs, I still envied Ndinda for she had a story to tell. I swear if she does not tell the complete story, I will.

It is 1.25am now. I am typing this from the sitting room of a swanky furnished apartment in Nyali. Everyone is asleep in their rooms, oblivious of my tribulations. Well, everyone except Fortune. About an hour ago, she called me to say her door has jammed and she wanted to pee urgently. All that tea that she takes has come home to roost.  I couldn’t open the door. I wonder how she is holding up in there – whether her River Nile has broken it’s banks from El Nino raging within her bladder. Poor woman.

I have already spent over 1000 words already telling you a story about how I do not have a story to tell today. If you are reading this now, please pray for me. Pray that something drastic happens to our team. Note please, that I said drastic, not tragic. It’s not ati I want someone to get maimed or badly sick or anything. Just something small but fun, you know? Pray for me. Intercede for me before I am declared redundant. Langata Road rent is not paid in cents.  Ask your higher power to give me something. Let him not forsake me. Not at this hour of need. If it is a burnt offering you need, I can organize for Emmanuel to send you a sample of his cooking.

In the meantime, dear Osborne, do something. Tumetoka far brathe. There is only so much I can say about how beautiful our coastal bit…sorry, beaches…are. So let something out. Even if it is just a fart. You can make it that loud, boisterous type that would make Muiruri check his van’s engine sign. Or the sly, silent type that slips out into the air the way a crocodile slides into the water when it spots an antelope drinking from its river.

Whichever you choose, my dear photographer, just give it character. Make it memorable.That I can work with, trust you me. I will turn those backdoor acoustics into a story. I will spin it like a record on a DJ’s decks.

Give me an inch and I will take a mile.


P.S. See what I found at sweet Watamu earlier today.

the Magunga

…take a closer look….

the Magunga the Magunga

Believe it or not, they are roots from the trees in the Mangrove Forest of Mida Creek.


Cover Photo: Mangrove Forest of Mida Creek in Watamu

Images by Samsung NX300

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  1. Man! You must be having a good time. It takes a creative mind to write on how you have nothing to write home about and yet the nothing comes out so nicely. That is the beauty about writing. You can always make a story out of Oz’s fart you know. I bet it must be one thunderous hell of a fart.

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