He inboxed me and said, “Biko, I’m graduating with an MSc in IT on 29 June from Strathmore University. The only reason I have emphasized the MSc is because I come from Chocolate City. Most of us from there don’t come this far. This is a dream for me so I want to buy Drunk as a graduation gift to myself. My only request is that you autograph it. You are not too good to sign a book for a boy from Chocolate City, are you? Oh, and I’m also an alumnus of Maseno School.” Then he put a smiley. Like it’s a subliminal message for any old boy.
I Googled “chocolate city.” The results brought up a 2015 movie. Then I tried “chocolate city, Kenya.” Up came stories of a music label called Chocolate City. I turned to Fred and said, “Freddie, [that’s the male version of ‘dear’] do you know where Chocolate City is?” And he said, “Isn’t it where chocolate men come from?” And he chuckled merrily at his joke. Sometimes people are too happy with their own jokes. You have to let them. You never know how these people woke up in the morning.
So I responded to the guy from Chocolate City, Humphrey Owuor, and asked him come to my office: “I will sign it while you wait.” When he came I asked him where Chocolate City is and he said, “Kibra! When you go through the southern bypass you see the brown tin roofs?, that’s where the name came from.” Aaah. Octopizzo’s hood. In that case I’m buying you my book as a gift and he said, “No, no, I want to buy it myself.”
He bought it because in Chocolate City nobody hands you free shit. You earn it. You work for it. You take it. They might try reduce you to flying toilets but you remain proud. You stay dignified. You rise.
See bio for details on how to purchase your copy