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From Togo With Love

The only reason we stay standing is because we are under the shadow of our mothers’ prayers. Every day our mothers wake up and put us in the hands of the Lord. And every evening as the light hands the baton to darkness they put us again in the hands of Jehovah. They bow and they mumble: “Dear God of Abraham, guide me with your spirit as I pray for my children according to your will. I release them to you so that you can accomplish your will for their lives. Keep me from binding them by my needs, wants and ambitions for them. Get me out of your way so that you can work the life of Christ in them and protect them in the city where they are. Give them grace and integrity and always look over them, Lord. I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.”

http://www.bikozulu.co.ke/from-togo-with-love/
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Ethiopia

 I once asked this lady I was interviewing what her definition of a sexy man was. She said that what she found sexiest was seeing him carry an infant. A grown man, with a beard and veins running down the back of his big hands, carrying an infant swaddled in a ball of clothing with only his pink helpless face peeking out. She said she just loved how men sit when they cradle an infant in their arms, as if they want to stand; straight back, shoulders squared out, a confused but conquering look on their faces, like they are carrying an unpredictable missile, but also a missile they wouldn’t mind getting blown up by. (Note: no relation to Bruno Mars’ grenade things). 

http://www.bikozulu.co.ke/ethiopia/
Last week I found myself at the African Union in Ethiopia, seated in a roomful of men and women who go to work every day with to save children
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Hookers

I once lived a floor above a hooker. She’d step out every night donning garish clothes, with painted lips and tottering on the highest of heels. Most nights, because we had perennial water problems, she would ask me to close the tap to her reservoir tank in the middle of the night when it was full. She never offered me sex. I never asked. But she offered me one vital thing one evening; a review of my writing.

I was a closeted writer back then, working in a medical lab, miserable, cornered by life and perpetually living in one dimension. I was unpublished, insecure about my writing and terrified that I didn’t have the chops for it. Then she saw something I had written as she stood at my door one night, smelling of cheap perfume, her lips red like a leopard’s kiss, and she marveled at what I had written. Her confidence in me, coupled with many other events, started a snowball effect that led me to where I am today, sharing an office with Fred’s rat-mauled stress ball.

http://www.bikozulu.co.ke/hookers/
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From the Equator

I don’t know what time you are reading this but right at this moment, as I bang this, there is a fresh-faced Form one sitting on his new unfamiliar bed sipping strong tea, his uniform still rigor-mortised from the muhindi shop. His metallic box smells of paint. He reeks of fresh idealism. He finds himself in boarding school; blinking wildly at the surrealism of it all, a boy in a black hole. At some point a Fourth former will sit on his box to test its strength, and his marauding mates will howl like a pack of predators if it caves in.
http://www.bikozulu.co.ke/from-the-equator/
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Hollow

‬ So there are two ladies. Vicky and Ciku. Very sharp chicks. Both ferocious readers. Vicky, an artists at heart, read The Road by Cormac McCarthy in three hours. She sniffs books. The only thing she probably spends more on – apart from shoes – are books. Her English is crisp. She is the kind of person who will finish an email by saying, and I quote “your magnanimous nature is appreciated and regarded with high esteem,” (roll eyes) only for me to realise later that it was a sarcastic jab at me.

http://www.bikozulu.co.ke/hollow/
So there are two ladies. Vicky and Ciku. Very sharp chicks. Both ferocious readers. Vicky, ... Read More
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From The Hole 

The response to yesterday’s piece has been surprisingly overwhelming. I have received – and still receives – a barrage of emails from people who are not only 28 but right up to 51. (If I haven’t responded to your email it’s because I haven’t gotten round to reading it, but I will and respond. Bear with me).

These emails were mainly from people who talk of their dead or dying dreams. People who whose ambitions have been slowed down by arthritis, accidents, bad decisions, economic factors, people who wish they had a chance to education, people who are financially free but whose financial freedom has killed their relationships, people who are stuck in Europe packing cereal in a factory but afraid to come back home because in their words they will look like failures amongst their family and friends and people who offered to pay for Tony’s counselling session to help him get back on track.
http://www.bikozulu.co.ke/from-the-hole/
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A Love Letter To Kidum

I have loved Kidum for years. Loved him because, for me, Kidum has always been genderless. Kidum, for me, has been a “thing.” A thing that brought joy. Kidum has always been a tune, a melody, a song of harvest. Of love. He’s a transcendent being. An extremely broad concept encompassing objective and subjective features of reality and existence. And his humanness, whatever that even means, has never been something I looked at in line with my own consciousness. http://www.bikozulu.co.ke/a-love-letter-to-kidum/ 
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Tamms Diary

One day the Missus said, “Did you know Tamms keeps a diary?” I said, “Yes, the school diary for homework.” She said “No, like a private diary that she writes her own stuff in.” I said, “No, but that’s nice.” Then she said, “You should read what she writes about her best friends…” and I said, “Whoa, wait a minute, you read her diary?” She looked at me ludicrously and said, “Uhm, yes?”

“Are you shittin’ me?”

“Language.”

“Are you kidding me? Why would you do that?”

“What?”

“You can’t read her diary!”

“Yes, I can, I’m her mother!”

“Oh so that comes with a license to read her private thoughts, because you are her mother?”

“She’s 8 years old! What private thoughts do you think she has?”

“Of course she has private thoughts. Otherwise they wouldn’t be in a diary, would they? And if she wanted you and the rest of the world to know her thoughts, she would have made a mixtape!”

http://www.bikozulu.co.ke/tamms-diary/ 
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The Social Media Playground

So Fred – my partner – finally hired Lucy, the obnoxious, always talking, smart but cheeky intern from JKUAT. Which means evil once again reigns. A truly sad day for humanity, but a much darker day for me. A millennial in my midst every day. Lucy is a handful – and that’s putting it mildly. She remains spectacularly oblivious of her position in the pecking order. She has no sense of diplomacy, says what she wants to say when she wants to. Which can be both infuriating and refreshing. Mostly infuriating. She often uses her witticism, not to spread love in the world but to bully and intimidate those around her. Especially me. Towards the tail end of last year, we were plagued by a rat problem in our office. A problem we didn’t have before she joined us. Now, I’m not saying the rat followed her. Wait, I am.

http://www.bikozulu.co.ke/the-social-media-playground/
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Brunching off at 360 Degrees

I get wildly excited by the prospect of going to brunch because very little effort is required on my part. All I have to do is eat; people watch, give and receive gossip.  I’ve called a friend to join me and she’s obliged without much persuasion. Folks, you need a sidekick like that, one who doesn’t need cajoling to do things with you. Her only requirement is that the restaurant serves mimosas. I think we can manage that. You want to be like the cool cats and girls who brunch, wearing oversized sunglasses, socially conscious tees that say things like “Hands off our Elephants” or “Free Tibet” even though you don’t know who or where Tibet is, flirty sundresses with sandled feet showing French manicured toe nails or jeans.
http://www.bikozulu.co.ke/brunching-off-360-degrees/
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Skydiving

Maina Kageni is a tortoise. That’s the analogy he chose to chicken out of a sky dive last weekend. He said he’s a tortoise because tortoises live for hundred-plus years. They live for hundred-plus years because they don’t go jumping off planes. Or from cliffs.

http://www.bikozulu.co.ke/skydiving/
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A Long Post About Life

 A beleaguered 28-year old chap emailed me saying (and I pull excerpts of that email that is relevant to this conversation), “…I used to read Oyunga Pala and when he stopped writing I stopped reading that column. But then Jadudi happened and I went to your website and read; thereafter I spent the next three days reading everything you have ever written on your blog, then I went to Mantalk and found you and you shamed me for being so wrong about you.  I admire you and how you have your shit [his exact word] together. [Then he talks about other things here]…so I’m at a crossroads, my career is stagnant, I can’t seem to find the right job, I can’t seem to find the right woman to be with and I feel like this is not the life I wanted to have because my friends seem to be doing better than I am. Also I have realised that to fill this void I go to the bars a lot with my pals to drown my sorrows, maybe one day we can share that whisky you keep talking about hehe. [hehe back]You are 38 so strictly you can offer me advice, taking note that I have…?” [OK, the rest isn’t too crucial for this conversation.]
http://www.bikozulu.co.ke/a-long-post-about-life/
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Bikozulu
Introduction
I'm Jackson Biko and I'm a writer. A lifestyle writer. I don’t write about politics or GDP’s. I write about people, and quite often, I write about things that define people. Like pain, or hunger, or joy, or beliefs, or stir fried mutton. I love words. I live for words. The power of words is grossly understated. If God took away words from us, we would turn into empty noisy vessels. Words open us to possibilities, and to a world that we sometimes choose to ignore.

Unfortunately, you won’t meet such gravitas on this blog.

Biko Zulu is a fluffy forum where I create characters, manipulate them and basically play god. Everybody plays God at some point, only writers often take it a bit too far.
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