I used to lie to myself my upbringing didn’t bother me until I met this girl, let’s call her Lily. Lily is charismatic, bold and filthy rich. Of course I know what being worlds apart means but I was oblivious of how deep it could go here in our country.
I guess one of the few perks of being a journalist is you get to meet people from all walks of life and this is how I met Lily. It was one of those prestigious events in Westlands and who would pass up a chance to eat some free macaroons and wine?
As usual, my outfit would betray me as a common ice breaker. It’s always the same questions: Are you a designer? Are you a stylist? Did you make that? Which I always proudly reply – Yes!
We discussed plenty of stuff with Lily especially about this event and the biggest revelation was that we had no idea what we were doing there.
Perched on our seats for almost two hours at this rather boring event, we exchanged numbers and went our separate ways. She promised to get in touch later on but I had heard that line one too many times.
Well, I’ll be a monkey’s uncle! Lily actually called! And that simple gesture breathed life into our weird friendship.
Lily is friendly but naturally cautious and curious of the people she lets into her life, a trait her father calls a survival tactic. It took a couple of weeks for us to get comfortable and once we did, the words kept flowing like Niagara falls.
Lily grew up behind the great walls of Runda. Like you saw it coming, she went to one of the few international schools our dear country had in the 90s, no wonder her Swahili was so shitty.
And when she asked where I studied, I didn’t bother to mention my primary school but instead floated around my high school name, thinking it would make a difference being a national school. “What country is that school found?” flew out her response.
Country? Was she pulling my leg? I must admit even though I was a little hurt some part of me gloated to imagine Lily thought I had studied abroad.
Remember back in the 90s when our parents owned bicycles and probably broken down pickups? Lily’s dad had a Mercedes or as well call it, an Otieno. I am picturing a S-series, which I thought was pretty cool. He probably owns an helicopter now, who knows, I didn’t bother to ask.
My favourite part was when Lily admitted she had never taken a matatu. She was right, why would she need to take a matatu? She had a personal chauffeur driving her everywhere, which were very specific btw: School-Church-Tennis.
On the other hand, my whole existence has depended on public transport, literally. I hate it but what option do I have? I can neither afford a car nor take an Uber daily.
Lily says the only time she has ever been alone was when she was in the UK, furthering her studies. But even then, her dad ensured his friends popped in weekly to check on her.
While Lily had been chaperoned all her life and groomed from childhood to be the person she is now, I was traversing this world alone. As early as six, the only things that were watching over me were Jesus and Diana, our dog.
Diana was pretty popular amongst the neighbourhood dogs. I always had a pack of over five dogs escorting me to school, the shop and everywhere my tiny legs could take me. And not once did it ever cross my mind how dangerous that was.
Lily says she is grateful for the protection and her upbringing but she would have rather scavenged the world with dogs like I did. Well, it came at a price my bottom had to pay every evening but what does she know about corporal punishment?
While Lily was shipped away to the UK to further her studies, on this side, I was struggling with attachment so I could graduate. Did I mention Lily has never been an intern? You see daddy knows people, big people and they have been quite helpful.
Remember that time after campus? That time after graduation when quarter life crisis was kicking in and you were worried about being jobless forever? That time you probably developed ulcers from all the stress? Lily was on a break, fresh from the UK, waiting for daddy to wave his magic wand.
Here’s the thing, while you are binge watching in your bedsitter apartment feeling fulfilled after sending 50 job applications and crossing your fingers to get at least one response, Lily’s dad is having dinner at home with two or three CEOs. The CEOs you are hoping to tirelessly work for, or is that just a lie you plan to tell during the interview?
And as you wait all week for the weekend to drain your sorrows with some cheap liquor and set ‘standards’ on social media, Lily is training. She has a tennis or maybe golf tournament with the CEOs where they’ll talk about a job that is already hers.
“I have never written a CV before, do I need it?” She innocently chuckles. Ha! Of course not, what is a CV when your family friends own half of this city? Or maybe daddy has somebody doing it for you sweery.
Currently, Lily’s on her third job and she hates it. She is thinking of starting her own company. Let it be clear that I said company not business.
Daddy supports her and asked her to write a proposal, which she tells me she already has a professional working on.
So, food for thought, as you blither away with people you call friends, do tell me, how’s the future like for your kids?
Anyway, this outfit was inspired by Lily, after all it was the reason we became friends in the first place and I thought why not?
Outfit and styling: Rage Craze
Stalk me on: Rage Craze