Writing a book is like announcing you are getting married. People congratulate you and say they are happy for you, but deep down they hope this information won’t cost them money. So they treat you with suspicion. They make excuses as to why they can’t answer your calls or reply to your messages and they are also careful not to leave fingerprints on your Facebook Posts because you might see their name and remember they haven’t bought a copy yet. Haha. But it’s not all gloomy; here are 11 things I have learned from publishing a book.
- Kenyans Will Always Haggle
Is the book going for 1000 bob? Surely, Mbanacho, with this economy? Aiii, hapana, chukua 700. Okay, 750. Honestly, I don’t have more than 750 and if you don’t take it I am going to cry and accuse of you of calling me fat in front of all these people!
I have a theory if Jesus were to come and tell Kenyans, “Listen up, folks, you are all going to heaven today. Your sins have been forgiven and you no longer have to worry about going to hell.”
A Kenyan would raise their hand.
“Yes, Otieno, what is it?”
“Did you say that we are going to heaven today?”
“Why today? I mean, why not yesterday? Why not tomorrow? Is there any specific reason why today was chosen?”
“Is today a bad day? Do you have things to do? A Mercedes to buy, perhaps?”
“No, I just don’t understand why you thought today would be a good day!”
“Okay, you can remain behind, Otieno.”
“Excuse me, my name is Kipchumba. If Otieno is remaining, can I take his land in heaven?”
“And me his milk and honey?”
“What’s your name?”
Ho ho ho.
2. You’ll Be Accorded The Same Treatment As An Admin Of A WhatsApp Group Wedding Committee
When you are the admin of a Wedding Committee WhatsApp Group, you’ll be burdened with the responsibility of encouraging members who will be writing long Facebook Posts about why wedding committees should be banned, to contribute and honour your promises. Things won’t be any different for you if you write a book. Well, maybe no Facebook posts will be written, but you will have to get used to fake smiles and empty promises.
And there’s nothing you can do about it!
3. You’ll Get Into A Kasarani bound 14-seater at Roysambu that may or may not have Kunguni
While giving me directions to where I’ll find her, the lovely and beautiful Peggy Yule Wa Issa said, “If you’ll be coming from Juja, alight at Roysambu and board mat za Kasa Hapo,” she then laughed, “By the way, they may have kungunis those matatus!” Now I don’t know if you guys know what Kungunis are. If those things invite themselves to your house, the only way to break free from them is to strip naked, take a hot, very hot shower, and then run outside (still naked), spray your house with petrol and set the damn house with everything in it on fire. Let no one lie to you that there’s dawa ya Kunguni, those are cons. Kungunis fear no weapon fashioned against them unless that weapon is fire.
But luckily, the matatu I boarded had no Kunguni, though I sat in there like I was in a shrine and wondered how everyone else could just sit fwaaa with no fear of Kunguni!
4. There Are People Who Will Not Queue While Entering Heaven
Angel Theuri is one of them. When I delivered her book, I found her surrounded by mountains of files. She works for lawyers; that’s why. It was truly awesome meeting her. We chatted for a while then we sat on the red couch and chatted some more. Then when I was leaving, she walked me to the lift. If Angel were a man, I am telling you the level of chivalry in her would be unrivalled. I saw her again the next day because her copy had a problem and I had to replace it. Again, she walked me to the lift. And I will say this, I haven’t met anyone so far who hasn’t been nice. Everyone I have met humbled me.
5. Ruiru Is A Sleeping Giant
This phrase belongs to the beautiful lady, Annastacia Mwaura, who works at Equity Ruiru and who made me set foot in Ruiru for the first time. Not only was she gracious enough to tell me a little bit about Ruiru, she walked me to the matatu stage, fam. As in, seriously, we men need to up our game and treat our women better!
6. Your Mother Will be Proud
Yes, your mother will be proud. Your father will be proud, too. But it’s your mother who will take the 1000 bob you gave her after selling a copy in shags and take it to Church. I will not say much here. But God bless you, mum.
7. Many people want you to succeed
I cannot count the number of people who told me, “We must support you in this great initiative, baba. Keep it up.” And these are mostly people I wasn’t even aware were reading my blog. Ndilai falls in this category, and so does Simon Mwangi of Prime Bank (though I knew Mwangi was reading my blog.) Most of the time it’s easy to think of haters, and how people want you to fail. But I am not sure I can say I have haters. Those who haven’t bought because they are a little bit down with cash have been open about it and I understand. So whatever you do, do it knowing that there are many people praying that you succeed.
8. Centurion Hotel At Juja Is A Beautiful Place
I delivered a book to Peninah Ngatara, whom I believe is the one making sure that everything runs as they should, she offered to buy me food and I am a Luhya, I can’t say no to food. The hotel is nice. The dining area spacious. And the whole place screams of good food. Note, I haven’t been paid to advertise this place, sawa? Not as if it would be bad if I was. Haha.
9. 1000 BOB IS A LOT OF MONEY
I’ll explain. Okay, I will not explain. Just know that 1000 bob is a lot of money. Especially when we convert it to Ugandan shillings. When we were calculating with Mercy Twinomujuni how much she would have to pay for her copy, the amount rounded off to over 50 thousand Ugandan shillings and I almost collapsed in shock! I AM RICH! I AM RICH! COME FOR Bursaries! HAHA.
10. Write A Book; I’ll be The First One To Buy . . . uhm . . . LIE!
Liars. The moment the book is out they ghost on you. They don’t react on your posts anymore unless you are not asking them to buy the book at the end of that post. I have news for you if you belong to this category. Jesus is watching you. In fact, He is discussing with His father, The Lord Almighty, the kind of punishment you deserve.
“Will Kwashiorkor be too much?” Jesus asks.
“Mmmh, Kwashiorkor is too much. Can you think of something else?”
Jesus, playing with his beard, “For men, can they wake up with Soprano voice?”
“And women with base?”
“It’s brilliant, no?”
“I don’t know . . .”
“Or ask them to build an ark thinking it’s going to rain and wait for the rain till your Kingdom comes!”
“Haha. Call Angel Gabriel for me, he might have an idea of what we should do.”
11. Getting An Editor Who Understands You Is Key
If the book has any errors, it’s all on me. I had a kickass editor in Nyarinda Moraa. She was merciless with copy and when it seemed like I wasn’t effecting the changes she was suggesting, she would lose it. B, how many times will I have to tell you to read the damn comments on my edited drafts? Mmmh? Seriously, I will lose it if you use this underlined word again! Jesus! I will never thank Moraa enough for her selfless work. Should I tell you her nickname? Should I? Okay, I will not.
But seriously, no matter the level you are in your writing, find yourself an editor who will give you a kick in the ass and not one that will lick your ass because you are a badass writer.
12. Good Friends Will Come Through For You
It’s because of my designer friends, akina Dru Munene, Martin Mutisya and Kevin Mbugua that I was able to publish a good-looking book. These guys worked selflessly to help me achieve this dream. Find yourself the kind of friends who won’t get busy when you need their help.
13. Nothing Is Beyond Your Reach
When I announced I was going to publish a book, hard copy, I had a few guys inboxing me, wondering how I was going to do it because publishing hard copy book is an expensive and rigorous affair. I told them I was just going to do it, and I thank God I did it. You might be seated there thinking your role models did something grand to be where they are, while all they did was believe in themselves and took the risk.
14. All Women Will Go To Heaven
Don’t argue with me
Family Is Everything
I will not explain. Okay, I will. Every single member of my family got a copy. That’s all.
If you need a copy of After The Storm:
M-pesa 1000 bob to 0702300676
E-mail your location to email@example.com
Now, wait for your copy to be delivered the next day.