Friday, October 21, 2016



In Kenya, and by Kenya I mean Nairobi (no offense) we love our food, music (whatever cocktail of West-African, Ugandan or DRC music it might be) and of course our colloquial fads. We started with the prostitutes-cum-students who claimed were divas looking for loaded chums to facilitates their suddenly insatiable luxuries at the price of (though not necessarily), a fresh cookie, if you know what I mean. Then we moved to the era of fisi. This was a major reference to greedy? No. Starved? No. Macho? Maybe, dudes who unashamedly admire or ogle at women.

It is common understanding that a man worth his salt should master his ego and testosterone with dignity or direct them to their legal or consenting liaisons. But, oh my! It is Nairobi! Manyakes in their sizes strutter through the streets daring a brother to embrace his already-suspected inner animal instincts. Men know beauty when they see it. They also know cheap. So, who won't look when a well formed (or self-formed) beautiful creature walks into the office on high heels, suffocating fragrance, an intentional cleavage and an accentuating outfit?

Men are visual beings, psychologists told us. They see, they want, they try to get, they get, or not, they see another one, repeat. The eyes do not have curtains (macho hayana pazia) said a kaya elder. It is only in the etiquette of reacting to such encounters can we sift through the good men and disgusting ones, though not completely. A fisi is not identified by their dress code, age, color, tribe or even money. They do not have the characteristic limp, not always. They do not sit at strategic corners. They are casual men. They have needs and goals that keep them going.

They are like iron fillings on the ground, you never notice them until there is a magnet. Suddenly, the temperature rises. He stops speaking and his pupils at stuck on the distraction. The business of the time is wrapped in Aladdin's magic carpet and transported to the subconscious. Everything seems to go in slow motion. His jaw drops slowly as his head zings. This momentary loss of coordination of some of common faculties is for the chronic starved types.

How ought a guy, normal and aware of this vagary of Nairobi streets, deal with this? Like madness levels, fisi levels differ and often lead to different reactions. Some have given up normal interaction with sensual ladies who are not family. Some have embraced the nature and owned it like the recent Mohamed Alfayo menace. Some have found alternate distractions that diffuses the effect of the moment. While some have become serial players.

Fisi-ism is just a misplaced sense of satisfying a fantasy whose true and only significance can be found in meaningful exclusive sacred union with one woman. However, it is still not as simple. Even with miss universe at your side; side-glances, occasional temptation to sample outside the vineyard abound. Socialites will always find strange new ways to pervade the imagination with new dimensions of erotic adventure or vain pleasure. In the end there is no ultimate satisfaction in the look, or the deed; just a distorted vacuum that needs a different flavor.

The real question is not whether I am a fisi, but how I creatively and constractively relate, understand and correct, if possible, the circumstances that cave in to provoke a colossal urge that has its appropriate role and time in the family and society. It is in admitting the oft instantaneous contorted thoughts that barricade rational action and attitudes, and deliberately taking control of the situation by either fleeing or resisting. Anyway fisi is just a word, the real deal has been there from creation: Lust. Listen. Learn. Run.
John Kalya
John Kalya

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