That’s him in the picture when he was just a munchkin. Mark you, he’s got no tint whatsoever, even in his twenties he’s still holding forte as team light skin.
The lightness in his family has always been there, his mum was light and his dad in his heyday was super light. His paternal and maternal grandparents were light in their old age and guess what? his great grandmother from deep Muranga county was no exception. Even when she passed on at 120 years she was super light, all bent, blind and still full of funny bones.
His lineage don’t laugh through their teeth, they laugh with their teeth, when they stumble upon life’s humor they can’t seem to smile it away, their laugh like it’s Christmas, a laugh which has all their milk teeth out, not a care in the world about their laugh lines or missing teeth.
June is a significant month, it’s when he lost his mum, it’s also his birth month. Moms and sons have a special bond. He got just twelve years with his mama, but he made the most of it.
Always been that curious sharp kid growing up, we went to the same primary school. He was reading novels before he was ten. There was always rivalry between us, cemented with a lot of love and respect.
Trust him to steal the show any day of the week. Once when he was in primary school he caught the attention of the headmaster when he went to a class eight class and out shined everyone in front of his sister. The headmaster could not help but mock the older students.
“This short young boy has impeccable English, half of you can’t even express yourselves properly…”
I’ve known him for many years.
He’s actually four years younger than me. On his birthday for the last three years, I’ve bought him the same dinner at the same place just the way he likes it – pork chops and fries. Simple man to please, tries to be straightforward in his ways. That dinner place though, always puts a small dent in my purse. This December is payback time, it’s my birthday and I know he’ll make it special.
He’s always been a cheeky boy, one I've had the privilege to see turn into a man figuring out his life the best way he knows how.
As a teenager, he was pretty alone, he moved cities and lived with his Granma, went to a high school somewhere near the snowing Mt. Kenya. Then, if he’d pleased, he would have gotten into whatever trouble, but he preferred the road less traveled.
He tells me that straight out of high school, he moved back to the capital and started roving around crazy Nairobi as a young hawker selling revision books. He walked across suburbs and slums unashamed being a charming sales person. This did not bog him down. A man’s got to do what a man’s got to do, right?
It was around that time an opportunity in graphic design came by, it found him prepared, he signed up and excelled. He slowly turned a mustard seed into the mighty sacred Mugumo tree.
We are both in the creative arts, once in a while we get to work together. You should see me bragging in traffic, about this roofing Ad he’s done that’s on a billboard on Langata road and Mombasa road ….
“That one…the one that’s got the Game of Thrones theme going….he’s the brains behind it..”
He’s pretty special, we’ve become pretty close these last few years and we try and regard each other with respect, whenever things become too grey we try whitening them out, the rivalry still alive and kicking.
This new month I endorse my small brother Ken Gachihi as man of the month, he’s that guy, brilliant Ad man, great brother, works at being an awesome son and will be a better than most dad. Love him from the sun, to the moon and back.
As endorsements go, below is a cover photo with some of his work.