When I was in class 7, I wrote my first rap song. I forgot the lyrics to the whole song, but the first line was “Tunapenda kuruka spika ikiraruka, na ngoma ikishuka tunaimba Kapuka…” it doesn’t make sense now, but when I sang it in front of my class one Tuesday morning when we usually had class meetings, I mesmerised everyone, especially one. My classmates gave me a new nickname, “50 Cent” and most importantly, I won my first girlfriend, who also happened to be the fan most mesmerised. Sheila Kilonzi was her name. It’s a beautiful name, you must admit. It rolls off the tongue like vanilla ice cream and makes you peaceful for that one second after you pronounce it.
Sheila had large eyes set upon a black face, they were the most beautiful eyes ever made. That discovery dawned upon me that Tuesday. Sheila’s eyes were like 2 moons lying side by side on the dark mattress of the night. To this day, I have not seen a dark girl as beautiful as Sheila. And to this day, I am still looking for Sheila, we lost contact after primary school. Sheila was without a doubt my first muse.
That Tuesday, at break time I was seated in class alone as the boys broke their legs playing chobo ua. I guess I was reading Barbara Kimenye’s: “Moses” of Mukibi Educational Institute for the Sons of African Gentlemen. I was seriously envying this prankster and wishing I could live his life for a day. Moses was my mentor and hero. The boy leading the fight against evil headmasters. Anyway, Moses was devouring me whole that break session, my mind was in MEISAG with King Kong, Itchy Fingers and the crew. I don’t remember all the details but I remember I was brought back from Uganda by a tap on my shoulder. I turned to see a smile that I instantly knew had made it’s debut showing, I knew it had never been shown to anyone else before me. Sheila then sat next to me and joined me in the adventures of Moses. I remember the exact perfume she had worn that day. That perfume tortures me to this day when I walk in the middle of a crowded street and it happens to tingle my nostrils. The scent follows my trachea settling in my chest where it hurls several sharp hooks at my heart. Every time I smell that perfume, I see Sheila sitting next to me in class. As she sat there, all I could do was smile shyly while staring at the tiny book that served as the calyx that held the flower blooming in our souls. Sheila went ahead to place her smooth right hand on mine, she looked at my face, I looked at hers and suddenly the warm gel melting in my chest assured me I was safe. At that point, I stopped envying Moses and all his escapades, the last few minutes of our non-verbal exchanges had given me a girlfriend, Moses didn’t have that.
So I wrote more songs dedicating them to the love of my class 7 life. I might have become a poet then, but poetry had delayed arriving and it was stuck in Form 1. One song I sang went like,
“Girl every time I go to sleep, it’s you I see in my dreams,
and every night when I’m awake it’s you I want to be with me”
I guess I was improving no? And my artistic endeavor prospered for the rest of my primary school life fueled by the seed sown by Sheila. Sheila has always been my muse, but chances are, at this moment as I write this Sheila is someone else’s muse. Maybe some poet somewhere in Umoja who sees heaven in Sheila’s big eyes. One of these poets who will one day win Slam Africa or Kwani? Spoken Word, because Sheila’s muse is that powerful.
Last month, I met another Sheila. I met her in one of those Whatsapp groups that every person feels obligated to open these days. This one was made for artists in my campus. Like every guy out there, I scrolled through the profile pictures to see if anything would interest my beastly senses. This new Sheila did, and I hurriedly put on my combat gear. To be bluntly honest, there are very few beautiful brainy girls out there. When chance and fate place these girls with these ideal virtues within your eyesight, you don’t blink, you break bones, break teeth, break heaven and get the prize. Brainy girls are rare, most girls I know only read for exams, and even that is an assumption I’m making. This Sheila was the complete mama. She read classics, wrote deep poetry and had an opinion on everything. She was unconventional, argumentative and intelligent. Her kind were the misnomer on God’s earth, the kind that have Mozart, Beethoven and Bach on their phones. The beautiful blemish. A welcome disruption from the pizza-loving, weave-hunting, materialistic female segment that mostly won’t read this post up to this point. Unfortunately, karma is the lead bitch of the Sheila-like regiment. Sheila happened to be (still is) bisexual but with a bias for the female gender.
Over time, I have realized that this Sheila inspires something in me, death. She inspires the death of my life. My life is art. Sheila is too intelligent, she humbles my gonads because she has bull balls. She’s sharp, she’s eloquent, she’s artistic, she’s unshakably opinionated and least importantly she’s beautiful. My ego has met his reflection, but a bit bigger and brighter, such that my ego becomes the dull reflection. This Sheila is the killer of my muse. She is killing the muse that was midwifed by the other Sheila. She makes my muse feel wobbly and weak. My muse feels inadequate and underdeveloped. So my muse is dying, and my art with it. As my art dies, “razbliuto” becomes the one word that feels adequate for it’s eulogy and epitaph. My art is dying, soon it will pass away to Art Heaven and I will stop seeing the poetry in the bushes I pee on. My guitar will not strum any sensible melody. Words will not stand next to each other to give my thoughts meaning. My muse will die and only the future will mourn. Sheila giveth, Sheila taketh, it’s never more karmic than that.