Opondo Suwali

Do you guys remember the 2017 IEBC radio advert? Habari njema kwa wakenya wote, kuhusu tume mpya ya uchaguzi, isiyoegemea upande wowote. Yaliyopita si ndwele tugange yajayo, kura yako ni siku zako za usoni. Chagua Kenya utakayojivunia! IEBC …..lalala IEBC…. something something. It was very catchy right? That composer must have worked hard on it. Of late this advert has been ringing in my head and I don’t know why. Honestly, I don’t know what was wrong with me. Who wakes up with an IEBC advert stuck in her head? I think wachawi wapo, na wamenifanyia mambo yao. Pray for me, please.


A while back a certain writer called Brian Mbanacho (I am such a fan), asked his fans to share photos of themselves and he would write something about them. Being the groupie I am, I sent him this email:

“Hello Brian, (or should I say Mr. Mbanacho?)

Hope you are doing good. I refreshed your page a gazillion times hoping to get a new post for this week lakini wapi? The torture of suspense cheeeii!! Anyway here is my photo, I want to know what you think when you see it.

N/B Keep writing (I know you will, I mean writing is sort of addictive hehehe). I am such a fan.


I know, I know, nilijirombosa sana. Brian being the celeb he is, didn’t reply to the mail. I am sure he was busy doing writer celeb stuff, but he did a small Facebook post about me, and boy oh boy! I was overjoyed! I never espered it!

In the post which you can read by clicking here, Brian described me as a happy soul who jumps in lifts, and tickles people as they wait for the door to bing open hahaha! Come to think of it, that post made my day. 2018 was a shitty year for me and this was among the few things that put a smile on my face. I was offended that Brian thought that I was a person who jumps in lifts and tickles people …………….because I really am like that hihi!

I am the type of colleague who will call your phone extension just to remind you of a meme or walk to your office just to annoy you. I think being a vexatious colleague is in my DNA. It is ordained by the gods. My ancestors must be proud of my annoying ways and hope that I pass that special gene to my offspring. I can’t help it, just ask my former office boyfriend John Muchai, I would call him a thousand times a day just to remind him that he was a rat on de haiwei. Like most annoying people I do have a partner in crime, Dada Betty. Together, we have successfully deployed long-lasting nicknames to a good number of our colleagues, our latest being Chinkororo 001 AKA Acting Cheyaman, hi Eric?

For those who don’t know, my partner in crime Dada Betty, and I have held each other down for the longest time. She is one of the coolest peeps I know. During my free time, I compose songs for her. Because she is so hard-headed, she always shoos me away every time I try to perform for her my masterpieces. Inauma but, itabidi nizoee. Dada Betty, one day Beyonce will be blown away by my amazing singing and songwriting talent and she will sign me, na utanikumbuka. Apart from giving people nicknames, Betty and I also specialize in inducting new staff into the office culture and are highly proficient in annoying them, ask Chinkororo 001. All I am saying is that a good laugh is essential for me to be a productive employee. I seriously don’t understand how people stay serious the whole day. Bank tellers, how do you survive?

With that said, today’s post is about my colleague Davie. He works in the finance department and was brought in from the CBD office sometime back. Davie had a permanent stern look plastered on his face the whole day during his first few months. In fact, I highly suspect that Kanye West must have been his icon because I could count the number of times that I had seen him smile. He would strut majestically into the office, nose in the air, chest-high, while flaunting his tall frame looking all serious and stuff. He rarely spoke and for the longest time, I thought that he was studying people before aligning himself to the culture of his new officemates. But his silent phase took a little longer than usual.

In the mornings, Davie would walk past my desk and mutter a greeting before proceeding to lock himself in the finance office. Finance guys tend to be snobby. By the way, is that part of the curriculum in finance school? Hebu tell me! Sasa juu mnahandle pesa mnaringa? Nyenyekeeni! Yote ni mali ya dunia. After watching Davie, his silence and stern face for a while, Betty and I awarded ourselves with the tender of getting under his skin. And because Betty’s line of work involved interactions with finance through Davie, we thought it was wise for her to spearhead this project, and boy oh boy! She outdid herself. Within no time Davie was smiling at least once a day to our silly jokes . He would even hang out with us over the lunch hour and we soon discovered that we used the same route to home from work.

There are certain things about Davie that make my day, the key one being his high-pitched infectious laughter. I even discovered that he has a dimple that only forms when he laughs, seriously why would one hide a dimple in a stern face? John and I call him our mentor just to annoy him. Davie is the only person in the office who calls me by surname, Opondo. He always reminds me to be proud of my roots and offers dope advice when we are not joking. We have loads of inside jokes and he sends me memes on WhatsApp too. He is sort of a workaholic so I have taken it upon myself to remind him to take breaks and go home on time. Davie is always making fun of my height, tall people act like they are guaranteed tickets to heaven. New flash hunnies, mbinguni tutapewa mwili mpya! Mscheeew!!

I find his heavy Dholuo accent very fascinating, probably because it reminds me of my late father. Every single time I walk into his office annoy him; he squints his eyes before quipping:

“Opondooooo suwali! I have a deadline.” Or sometimes he will say “Opondoo suwali, what is wrong with you?” before proceeding to giggle at my jokes.

And that always makes my day.

Don’t hold back do what you gotta do, take some love and give it back

Savara Sauti Sol