Dear #KenyanMen

First of all, I have been dying to put up this rant. And I’m not going to go on about how dishonest, lousy, emotionally unavailable or immature Kenyan men are. Because many Kenyan men are honest-to-God, wonderful, emotionally intelligent, sensitive, mature and hardworking human beings. My issue today is with those who manage to piss me off whenever I have to take a bus or matatu.

Why the heck do you sit with your knees so far apart?! I am not a touch person. Meaning I don#t like touching even the people I like needlessly. So imagine how much less I want to be close to a man – or woman – that I don’t know! And I’ve heard that you need to keep your berries well ventilated, but do you really have to do it at my expense? I have knees too. And thick thighs. Sort of comes with being a woman. Add to that that I’m black and we have a real problem. I’m not asking you to squeeze the life out of yourself (ha), but do try and share the space. A bus/matatu is a public means of transport, after all.

I like big guys. The fit kind. Broad shoulders, muscle, etc. Like aerobics instructors. I just don’t like sitting next to most of them in a vehicle because they still expect to fit snugly into a seat that obviously cannot allow us both to rest against the back of the seat. I’m not asking you to deflate your arms before you sit next to me. I’m only requesting that you don’t fall into the seat, often sitting on a small pinch (literally) of flesh on my thigh and shoving me against the window. If you pick the window, you sometimes leave me sitting on three quarters of my butt cheek – with my shoulder open to generous bumping from anyone using the aisle. So for goodness sake, please lean forward or rest your arms on the headrest in front of you or let half of your butt cheek hang out. I assume that all that muscle you’ve been building can handle the strain.

Stop yelling across from me to your buddy across the aisle. Your breath is okay, but there’s something invasive about having someone lean too close so they can make small talk with someone else THROUGH me. And when I let you sit with your buddy, don’t give me crap about it. I’m being nice, not a spoiled brat. I would mind if it were a woman doing the same, but there’s that weird part where you’re a strange guy in a woman’s personal space so there.

About that personal space thing, though. How about you don’t sit funny so you can nap on the ride home and wind up falling against my shoulder. That is awkward and uncomfortable and awkward some more. How about you sit up straight so that you feel as if you’re about to fall (on to the aisle instead of burdening me with your dead weight) so you’ll wake up? Because I’m all for being nice and considerate, except for when it involves letting a guy I don’t know lean against me while catching a few winks.

In summary, keep out of ma personal space and we’re good.

Have a nice ride home, will you?


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