On Thursday, this past week — the week that The Pharaohs were sent home while still at home by Bafana Bafana— I had a banter over Money Heist (La Casa de Papel) with two coursemates.
—Nairobi is my favorite character.
—Why? Because the name is our capital city?
—Nooo…she is the one that holds the team together. She is the sober one in the group. And fierce.
—Berlin has to be the sober one. Nothing surprises him.
—Me I just want to hear Denver laugh again.
—Tokyo is a bitch. And then there is Rio…aki huwa ananiboo.
—But without Rio there is no communication. He is the tech guy. Hate Arturo not Rio.
—Yeees…Arturito. Huyo mtu ni kisirani!
—The scene that gets me is when Tokyo goes back to the mint after the arrest na nduthi. Yaaaani…
The only thing, regrettably, that was left out was the song — bella ciao. Then one of them asked me, “what is happiness? Like what is happiness to you?”
You see how, for example, you could be talking of the rare impact Bob’s life has made after his death and then one person, with no relation to what you are talking about, says, “aki niko na kaovaa kanusu kwa nyumba…ile njaa niko nayo…” Now you wonder, “we are talking of a man that has left an unmatched legacy in a country for ten years, an impact that no man in that country, Kenya, has made and you burare fakin you are talking of an avocado. A half avocado!” That is how it felt when I was, out of nowhere, asked what my definition of happiness was.
Coursemate: What is happiness? Like what is happiness to you?
Me: Happiness? Happiness is…okay…um…wait. Now what is happiness? Happiness is…
Me: I think it is when you are happy with yourself. Happy with your own company. Where you do not need to rely on anyone for you to be happy.
Coursemate: But isn’t that boring? I think happiness is when I do something for someone and that something makes them happy.
Me: But you cannot do that if you are not happy with yourself. If you keep on making people happy and you are not happy with yourself, you will get tired at some point.
Then this week on Tuesday, I came across this short video that a contact had posted on their WhatsApp status. It would make more sense if you watched it first because the rest of what you will read was inspired by this video.
We are drawn to things that make us happy. We are drawn towards events that make us forget how broken we are even if it is just for a while. You will go to a wedding not out of love for the one that invited you but because you have nothing else to do at that time and it is an opportunity for free music, free food and unsolicited gossip. You will go to a joint not because you want to spend time with your boys but to drink the free beers and eat choma or kuku platter offered by one of your boys. Most times people are selfish like that when it comes to their happiness.
And these selfish people are the ones you will find at weddings, bridal and baby showers, goat-eating, bars and clubs, birthday parties and graduations. But you will not find them when you are admitted in a hospital. They will come the first few weeks or even days and when you start to wither they disappear and come back when you are dead to bury you.
I do not get why two individuals can invite over a hundred people to their wedding. Who are these 300 people? Where did you meet these 500 people? What impact have these 1000 people made in your life?
The only conversation you have with the ninety percent of the people you have invited is BASIC! If it is not basic, it is business or career related. Politics or sports related. Gossip or gossip related. An obvious example is the people on your contact list. How many do you talk to, seriously talk to constantly? Most likely hawapiti watano. Ata watano ni wengi. How many check up on you? —someone reacting to your whatsapp status does not, at all, mean that they are checking up on you. Get the difference.
Someone: Unaendelea aje?
You: Niko poa. You?
Someone: Ata mimi niko poa.
THIS, as well, IS NOT CHECKING UP ON SOMEONE!
Hey, you do not have to talk to everybody on your contact list. Or rather you do not have to check up on everybody. Checking up on someone does not have to have a reason. It does not have to require you to think twice about it.
And you do not have to invite every person that has been in your life and moreso in your parents lives to your happiness. This is your life. You die once and live so many times. You have the choice to decide who comes in your life and who gets out of it. Find your people. When you die, whether twenty or a thousand people come to bury you, si ni life? Why concern yourself with matters of the living?
I prefer a small wedding. Emphasis on the quantity (number of people) and less on the quality (financial expense). A minimum of 25 people, a maximum of 50 people. Why should food have the highest percentage of your wedding budget? Why take a loan to finance your happiness? Why invite your maths teacher — a subject you failed terribly and if that is not enough today you refuse to give a tout 50 bob akupee 200 ndio akuridishie mia because you and numbers are not on one side — just because they are your neighbour?
Featured image courtesy of Pinterest.