The Oterosexual Manual


Growing up, several things were ends that were given; A boy grows up to be a man. “Boys will be boys” meant just that! Now you can’t even say that without giving exceptions!!

Somehow somewhere, things changed and now a boy can grow up to be one of several options: the Trans i.e. a woman, the un-straight, the bi, the Metro-sexual movement (check this post by Chiira ) a trend that, in Kenya at least, seemed to blow up in 2010, and there is, of course, the traditional man (which is the focus of this post).

I’m not sure where all this is headed but clearly one has to belong in one or the other, scary as it may sound.

A good friend of mine, Michelle , coined the term Oterosexual to describe the man who is & works hard not to be remotely confused for the other categories. It was, thus only logical to use this name to refer to the “Traditional man” for this article.

Walking along the streets, I can’t help wonder what some really intend to imply by their demeanor. Grown men make me turn, not out of admiration but amazement & wonder and sometimes just fright & horror!!

Below is basic manual for the Oterosexual man.

  • No skinny jeans. I don’t quote him much or ever but Jay-Z once said; (Paraphrase) “if you wear the same pant size as your wife then who’s really wearing the pants in your house!” Unless you are putting on biking, swimming pants, or you are Michael J. Jackson (which you obviously are not!) tight-fitting pants don’t really make Otero-sense! Fit into your clothes don’t let your clothes fit into you.
  • The hairdo… Mohawk is a no go zone! Sure you look hip, Goth and the in-thing but you also look like a cuckoo bird! And this fake dreads made of knitting thread (not sure) just looks bad across the board! A fade, Afro, corn-rows (sometimes) or even well maintained dreadlocks will do just fine. Leave the hair-glo to Drogba!
  • A man purse! Seriously?! This won’t even be discussed!
  • Little, very little to no pink! Keep your being colorful to a minimum; it’s the ladies, who are referred to as ‘flowers’ because they attract with their beauty! Basic test; if a lady tells you, “You look cute”, change how you dress! If she doesn’t particularly like it …., good! Keep it up. Think about it, a lady likes something that they relate to i.e. dressed like them!!
  • I understand many guys iron their socks, t-shirts and even jeans. I personally don’t. I believe casual means no strings attached, in this case, no crease un-creased. A little history on the origin of jeans: When the American workers were getting uncomfortable with leather pants (especially the cowboys as the story goes), a dry goods merchant by the name Levi Strauss & his tailor friend, who became his business partner, came up with what we now know as jeans that was from then on embraced as working wear. I doubt ironing was part of the whole idea! That’s just me!
  • Another “just me” issue is the shoes. The colors of shoes do not go outside the basic shoe colour scheme of Black, White and brown! All these greens, yellows, purples as shoe colors coupled with matching t-shirts, skinny jeans, maybe add the Mohawk & glasses – that a lot similar to the 3D glasses – just make guys look like some marvel comic super hero!
  • Manicure, pedicure, facials, mascara, nail polish are not to for you! Full stop. Massage is acceptable, depending on whom the masseuse is. Makeup gets a nod only when it’s a job thing, going on TV or the like otherwise NO! Why make yourself pretty? Be rugged & by this I don’t mean dirty & not presentable; I mean manly.
  • An artist (musical artist), actors, footballer (in the pitch) or a clown; these are the groups that are allowed to dress in anything no matter how impractical it looks.
  • All those fashionista shows, the likes of America’s Next top model, Project Runway etc that recommend hideous clothing as fashion are not for you. You DO NOT follow fashion, to borrow from the greatest of them all – Makmende – Fashion follows you! You have style that is unfazed by time or passing fads and crazes!
  • Have at least one sport you ‘religiously’ follow. Know the stats (basic or otherwise), buy a team jersey, flag or even key holder or something i.e. be loyal to a team; sometimes even irrationally support that team. Be willing to die for the team. NOTE: Be willing to but DO NOT die for the team. If it gets to that point of dying for a team, it’s ok to run – like a scared little girl if you have to!!
  • You don’t get hooked on senseless Reality TV shows! TV series like soaps, Glee, Gossip Girls and the like should not even matter to you.
  • Have at least one lady TV host/personality with whom, to you, any show is 5 star rated! For many it was Esther Arunga before she was ‘fingered’ out of the equation! Currently, for me, it’s Teroo & Isha Sesay. Enough said.
  • Never concede that another guy looks handsome… wait! How do you even get to gauge that another guy is handsome?! On second thought, don’t answer! I don’t want to know!!
  • That “Get in touch with your feminine side” Oprah & Tyra stuff, forget it! You have no feminine side! The only feminine side you may have is your wife or spouse or sister or mother!
  • Justin Bieber, & boy bands are taboo – ok, some like Boys 2 men & greats like the Commodores, Earth, Wind & Fire (if you can call them boy bands) get a free pass. No explanations and/or reasons needed here!

To be continued… on the comments posts!

 

 

Drugs….hmmm

This excerpt is borrowed from the blogger’s pseudo-journal. It was originally written in May 2010 on the back pages of the said, fake journal. Why the blogger decided it’s time to air out her ******* in the www remains a question never to be answered (so is the fact that the blogger is referring to herself in third person…hmmm).

Caution: You will notice that there is no particular flow of thought in this piece. Also, the over-usage of certain words. The reason is revealed somewhere in the middle of this rather unnecessarily long blog. Please do not think any more (as opposed to less) of the blogger as such is kind of person that she is.

Date: May 7 2010

Time: 1.56am (GMT +3)

So, I can’t sleep. I just stupidly wrote an inbox to *Stantlaus. I hope he still has his sense of humour and won’t read too much into it (please! please God!!!). I have currently woken up (got out of my bed), taped papers on top of my door frame so that no one can be disturbed by light from the room. And if someone gets curious and actually comes down, they will stumble on to the chair at the door giving me ample time to duck into bed and pretend I fell asleep……with the light on. Current track playing on my phone is Broken by Lifehouse. You gotta love rock. It’s so on point.

The last time I actually wrote was I think back in high school. When I was cooler and actually had a head on top of my neck. I feel empty these days. I have no more care for the world. Most of the time I’m like a zombie. I am purely existing. I’m not living. I guess when you keep all your issues bottled up, if it doesn’t explode one day, then they start eating you from the inside. I think that’s what is happening to me now. I haven’t had my moment of bursting out with pent up emotions since the last time I stole my mum’s phone in 2003 and I managed to link all that to my fear of failing exams; amidst crying and torrendous flow of mucus. haha

ok, he's a bit over the top

If I don’t go to sleep tonight, I’m gonna research on the effects of Panadol Extra and Mara Moja cuz I am the Queen of  Sleep. It has never evaded me!! Ama it’s tryna be a Makmende? Ngoja. Itajua nani ni Makmende.

you really don't want to mess with this guy

I actually went out of my way one day and bought a journal. It majorly was cuz halfway through my Mizizi class I realized people really did take the whole “write in your journal” directive in the Mizizi book quite seriously. So I went and bought myself a really fancy and expensive journal. It was all for bragging rights so that it looks like that I too, was with it. If you could see the journal now, I have started writing from the back; song lyrics, places I’d like to visit; things to do (when i can still remember where i wrote them). Just basically non-feelings stuff. I’m not really good at documenting my feelings of a class. I really do not give it much thought. Throughout the class, I’m probably daydreaming and wishing the class would end. So asking me to write about what I felt about the class, I’d probably have more to say about the people in the class and my opinion about them. Not what the class was all about. This also happened when I did my I Choose Life thing. The only time I wrote in that journal was when they said they’d collect them the following day and it had to have something. I quickly picked random dates and wrote 2 lines on each page, jumping like 3 pages to look like I really did write them in different days….with different colors of biros!!

It’s now 2.18am, 22 minutes late. No sleep, no phonecall from one Stantlaus who I was hoping for some reason, he’d see my message on FB and actually pick up the phone and call me. OMG! Girls can be soo ahead of themselves. To begin with, Stantlaus is not an FB addict. He checks it once every millenium and even if he sees the message now, why would he call? I’m not his chic nor his love/lust interest. In fact according to him, I’m the most don’t care person in the whole planet. The other night I told him I do have a heart and emotions and he scoffed. Yes! Apparently Africans do scoff (I used to think it’s a white man’s thing. We miros just click (nkt) and move on). But I have a problem. There was this book I read once (fiction) and the heroine of the book is quoted saying “I’m so desperate for intimacy, I could date a tree”. You know, if I don’t watch out, I will be seen somewhere at Uhuru park, with two cups of coffee. One in my hand and the other, I would periodically pour on the roots of the tree. Yes. We willbe on a coffee date and I will be having a conversation with it. I think I should go to the Arboretum…you know, expand my options….(Please note that I am not desperate for intimacy. I love quote though)

But seriosly, I haven’t been in a serious relationship in almost 3 years now. In the begining I was still healing from my last relationship(I broke up with him but i’m still scarred by it. Long story for another day) and I’ve been using that excuse for soo long it’s now 3 years. But i think i’ve just become lazy. Loving someone can be effortless, but the committment to the love, well, that’s the mother. I’m not ready for all that hullaballoo…read, I’M VERY LAZY. So, these days if a man captures my eye, I’m busy imagining if he’d make a good husband. If you don’t look like husband material, you’re out. And these assessments usually last for as long as 10 seconds. Yup. That fast. It’s a bad thing, I know. I should probably give the guy a chance to properly introduce himself, get to know his name at least then dismiss him.

You have to understand where I’m coming from. Everyone my age is busy poppin babies and getting married. I am under A LOT of pressure here! There’s is no time for long term relationships. You’ve got only 10 seconds to make it happen and boom! onto the next one. Too many clocks be ticking. Eggs will be drying up soon, time waits for no man/woman and quite frankly, I am not going to allow myself to be a spinster while everyone else around me is married. Then I’m left there to compete with beautiful youngins in campus who are all that and a bag of chips. I happen to be well aware of the fact that the beautiful ones have already been born and they are waaaay younger than me and so the competition is so on!!!. Hold up! Need an FB break. Will be right back.

 

i’m supposed to compete with her….? give me a break!

 

Ok, NO MESSAGE! That boy is clearly very much asleep. So back to my story. If I could just meet someone right now who is perfect for me, and I for him, I’d be a content girl.

 

he...would be fine

But apparently you don’t meet such men on the rave. My gal told me that our age, we have already met our husbands. When I look back and think of all the menn I have met in my life, I’m a bit worried for myself. She should have told me this when I was 12. I would have travelled all over the world, busy meeting men, just to ensure that I have literally covered all corners of the earth and kept my options wide open…and vast ;)

I’ll stop here. Lemmie listen to some more rock. Maybe sleep will give up on being so macho and come home. Plus I’m soo hungry. Well I do hope I can pick this up someday. I really enjoyed this though

Time: 2.49am

i probably looked like this in the morning but i didn't check to confirm

*not his real name for, well….obvious reasons. We can however question my choice of name

Other posts by the  author can be found at http://pre7amer.wordpress.com where she pretends to blog.

Help Needed

Caroline Ngina was somewhere last week and was touched by what she saw. I quote her from now henceforth:

“I was at The ‘Nyumba ya wazee’, the one run by the Municipal Council of Mombasa in makande (not the one at Tudor). The 50 or so old men and women desperately need your help as all their needs cannot be catered for by the inadequate council funds….
I am urging and begging each of you to please please help out these old people.

The home needs

  • *Underwear for both men and women
  • *A Dressing tray with instruments
  • * Bed Linen and Pillows
  • * Socks
  • *Bathroom Slippers
  • *Other essentials such as foodstuffs, soap, toothpaste, milk, clothing etc

This looks like much but it is not, if we all pledge something small. Everything there is very essential but cannot be procured by the authorities. Most of these things can be found from your own homes (linen, pillows. slippers, socks)
the rest, has to be bought. I kindly ask that you help these Old Men and Women in whatever way. If you also know any organisation that can assist, kindly let them know so that they can help.”

Please contact CAROLINE NGINA on 0721785260 for more details on how you can assist.

The Unspoken Rules Of The ‘Kalocal’

Lately I have become a local fanatic and am starting to think I have outgrown the idea of organized rave…. if there is anything like it.  I totally love the idea that everyone knows each other at the kalocal and those that don’t can get introduced because they came with someone that knows the other person…… and the way the men show their love by the ever so fascinating shoulder bump. (The idea never seems to rub off on the ladies)

An old friend of mine once showed up at my local in the company of one of the usual ladies. We exchanged niceties and to save him the hustle of introducing the lady, I volunteered that I had met her before. She retorted in near disbelief vehemently denying that she had ever seen me and demanding to know how I knew her. At this juncture I almost mentioned that I had seen her on numerous occasions exchanging hands among the men owing to her seductive dance moves. Instead I chose to withdraw my previous comment and apologized saying I must have confused her for someone else. There really is no moral to that story but I realize that when you sit at the counter you observe a lot of things. My observations have led me to add five more rules to my unpublished rule book.

1. There is nothing wrong with the guy in bathroom sandals.

Indeed the word local is pretty relative. Picture this…The guy in sandals had probably decided that he won’t be going out and was indoors watching movies with his girlfriend until around 10pm when he runs out of smoke and needs to rush to the shop to restock. Unfortunately it is closed and he has to go to the shopping center. We all know that the music is usually hypnotizing and he decides to pass by and check if any of the boys is around. There are plenty of them and he is convinced to stay for a pint. Of course it does not end with a pint and so that is how he ends up in shorts and sandals in the pub with no track of time. Such species have become pretty common…. they haven’t made their way to Westy yet though. Makes me think dressing up for the rave is completely over rated.

2. Do not pick fights if you are not in your neighborhood.

The word local (once again) is pretty relative. If everyone would make rule number two their thumb rule then the era of bar brawls would be shadowed into oblivion. Some weirdo once made a derogative move towards me at my local and I wasn’t too happy so I told him off. I guess he was one of those people that make it a point to pass on their discontent after two beers because he did it again. I was boiling with rage but before I could act on my anger the guy had been thrown out and banned…..need I say more? Usually you cannot tell whether the person you are picking on buys the each of the bouncers a GK in turns and has therefore earned their unconditional favor. Tihihihihihi :D

3. Let the guests do the entertaining.

There is really no point of drawing attention to yourself if you frequent the local. If the barman and three other people know you then please keep off the microphone on karaoke night unless of course you can sing better then the karaoke host and the dance floor if you have taken more than five beers. They see enough of you when you are heading to the shops in sandals and that old coca cola t shirt so do not draw more attention to yourself….. and trust me no matter how suited up you are on Monday morning the guy that is staring at you awkwardly at the bus stop is doing so because he can still picture your sweaty self dancing to ‘’get down’’, toppling over and showing the crack of your butt to everyone who cares to look.

4. No intimacy.

Ladies please refer to the unspoken rule ‘’ Men are all the same” You both visit the local so chances are he might want to slap some arse. Keep them gawking…….it guarantees that your head will stay on top of your neck. The conversation at the local is as local as the customers. It will dwell on the new flat that is coming up, the hot lady that just moved in next door, the new barmaid, so and so’s new car and other local news. Trust me the fact that so and so chips fungad so and so may inevitably come up and am not sure anyone likes to be associated with such a topic except for the ever so malicious men that see it as an achievement. The moment you give it away you will no longer have a face at the local and this takes away the privilege of having a good time without worrying about where to get a cab home or drinking and driving.

P.S. Relationships are out of questions.

5. No hard feeling…..company is company.

Refer to rule no 4. If one time you have the privilege of sharing a table and I don’t do tables with the cute guy that sits next to the DJ do not lose your cool. He will, like any other man be trying to flirt with you (refer to the unspoken thumb rule)You will soon see him in the company of some beautiful young thing clinking glasses and staring into each other’s eyes. The green eyed monster will begin to show up and the only way to banish it will be to remind yourself that it was just company. So smile, wave and mind your business.

The list is still open so i may be adding more rules as i visit more locals…..that is why you should subscribe…………… Trust me you need my advice.

Copy and pass “The unspoken rules of the ‘kalocal’ ” around to your heart’s content, but always post my Copyright notice above, correctly, both as  courtesy and as a legal necessity to protect any writer. Thank you.

Find More Writings by Dyiembo here

Trust by Alffie

In one of my favorite movies-The Italian Job-Donald Sutherland’s character always said this one line that has stuck in my head ever since:

“I trust everyone; I just don’t trust their demons”

The Russians on the other hand have a saying;
“Trust but verify!”

 

Looking at the world right now, you have to agree with me that trust is one thing lacking in almost every sphere of our daily lives.

 

Allow me to cite several things that have come to my attention to support this notion:

 

  • There was one a time when restaurants offered tomato sauce for free…but nowadays, well let’s just say you pay for everything!

 

  • Sticking with food; French fries a. k. a ‘chips’ are eaten with toothpicks! You could think the Chinese are not only flooding the country with their products & services but now even attempting to bring in their ‘chop-stick eating culture’ (starting “toothpick” small I suppose) but no! The reason is that, simply put, no restaurant is willing to risk buying forks every waking day!

 

  • And just to rub it in your face that they don’t trust you, you have to pay first before you eat…seems we all have the potential to run without paying our bills!

 

  • To say we don’t trust our politicians is a foregone conclusion yet somehow we trust them enough to keep voting them back in every other time!

 

  • The Matatu touts can’t afford to let you ride first and pay when you get to your destination; there was a time this was possible but not anymore!

 

  • Need to rent a house? You have to first pay a 2 and sometimes 3 month rent advance! I guess the landlords have had enough of people deciding to move out at night to avoid paying rent!

 

  • And just recently, the technology revolution just took this to a whole new level-an earth’s core low-level!! In comes Juju where you can spy on your spouse’s cell phone communications. Protecting your “investment”? I think not! Just another lack of trust scenario!

 

  • And the cheating in schools by young minds? Well, in a bid to ‘curb’ (read ‘we don’t trust these students/pupils’) we now have exams in the mornings only and education made ‘less tasking’ by allowing use of calculators and reduced subjects to study!!

 

All these measures will in no doubt continue so several questions arise:

“Where did the old fashion trust go?”

“Are these measures a consequence of our untrustworthiness or is our continued untrustworthiness a result of these measures?”

 

The answers to these and many other questions may never be conclusive but this one thing is certain trusting anyone, or anyone trusting us may be ill-advised! So to rectify this as Mohandas K. Gandhi said
“We have to be the change we want to see in the world”.
Or as one of my favorite artist DJ Nicholas puts it:

 

As a big automobile starts with key,

And Paul & Peter start with “P”

A revival (read ‘a revolution, change’) starts with (you and) me!!

 

*( ) my added interpretations.

What these men are saying is simply to bring back this virtue, don’t ask of it from another person before it’s in you first!

Be trustworthy!!

 

Find More Writings by Alffie here

 

This is why I Blog by cdohnio

So this is my first post on The Alternative Focus. Wow!! Awesomeness!! Why? Well first of all I haven’t been blogging for to long, about 10months, so to be asked to be part of a team was a heady experience, despite the fact I’m the “oldest” blogger here in that I started earlier than every one else. Second I’m the youngest here so being asked to join with adults…that heady feeling. Also, though I’m not sure this was considered, that someone actually thinks my writing is good enough to be part of their team…well you know…heady feeling 😀

So I agonized over what I’d have as my first post here. Perhaps a description of me, the blogger, and how awesome I am? (Thus giving away the size of my ego) Or maybe I could port one of my more sensational posts here to get people talking? Or I could write about something I’ve been thinking of for a while: Why I started blogging and why I keep doing it.

I wrote this post for my own blog but thought that it would be a good one to have here first

I started blogging first of all to prove that I could. A friend of mine started a blog and flossed about it to me, how he was “ahead” in these things. I told him starting a blog ain’t really a big deal and immediately went out to prove it. My first blog was on Opera (No you can’t read it). I’m rather proud to note that my friend doesn’t blog anymore while I still do.

I started blogging because I wanted to be in the paper. You know for the celebrity. No, really. The first blog I saw, or rather noticed, was @savvykenya’s Dairy of a Kenyan Campus Girl. I saw her blog featured in one of our Friday magazines and thought ”I wanna be here too” While my work has been featured in the paper (the same one) my blog hasn’t yet.

I blog because I have something to say. I write about anything and everything I feel about. I use my blog, and now this one, as part diary, part soap box, part venting spot and part noise making joint. I write about the stuff I hear and see, that I feel and experience. Some things maybe stupid, nonsensical or just plain boring but I always feel that you need, or may want, to know about it.

I blog to entertain. I don’t know if I’m a writer, I don’t think I am. Calling myself that feels like being a pretender to the throne or something. You know like a wannabe. While I may not be a writer, I’ll always try my best to write stuff in a way that makes it worth your while reading, in a way that entertains, keeps you at the edge of your seat and all that. I do think that I’m getting better with each post. I read on writing skills and stuff when ever I can. I also read other people’s blogs to get a better feel for writing on the web.

I blog because it’s fun. I like writing. I never thought that I could write stuff, didn’t like composition much in high school, but here I am one like my 50th post or something. I like that you read what I write. Every time I go check stats on my posts I see digits, not high ones but digits non the less, and that gives me massive high, a thrill that you care enough to check out what ever I decide to write for you( BTW since I started my blog, about 10 months ago, I’ve had over 5000 hits and about 1000 visitors, yay me!!). So I expect the same here. Okay, really I’m hoping for the same here.

I blog because you care. There’s once I asked if you really gave a damn about what I said (among other stuff) and the resounding answer was yes. You comment on my posts. Because you care and I don’t want to disappoint you I blog.

I blog to learn. Really I’ve learnt so much from here it’s staggering. I’ve learnt about several new things I wouldn’t have know or bothered to find out if I wasn’t blogging. I hope to tell you about them with time.

I blog to meet new people. While this may be more because of twitter than blogging I doubt that I’d know half the people I do know there if it wasn’t for blogging. I’ve made several new friends because of it. I could even be adding you to the list soon.

I blog because it enables me to do awesome stuff. I can’t really explain this one but I’ve done some things I wouldn’t have been able to with out being a blogger. Really.

There several other reasons I can’t really think of now but are still there. There was time a while back that if someone asked my profession I’d probably think, not say never say, blogger because of all the time I spent thinking about it and writing.

So know you know why I do this. I think that was a better than trying to describe myself or rewinding a sensational post, right? But don’t worry I’ll do those another time. This was more insightful, right? In the meantime let me end this post in a non-selfish way and thank @greatrnk for putting all this together and for asking me to be part of the team. It’s really awesome to be part of a team, isn’t it? Let me know what you think in the comments, talk to me. Peace!!

Find More Writings by cdohnio here