Forgive Leah if she still thinks that I am one of these men from Kamiti who call demanding that you reverse the money they just sent you by mistake. The ones who tell you “tuma kwa hii number!” explaining that the number they used to make the transaction has issues.
I was scrolling through my Facebook timeline sometime back when I slid into Leah’s DM to paint the vision for this story. I must have said something along the lines of “hi Leah, I would like to feature you on my blog…” She didn’t respond. Two hours later, still nothing. Refusing to assume that she had ignored my request while at the same time acknowledging the fact that Mbai is not one of those big names out there, I decide to resend the impetration. I convince myself that maybe she hadn’t seen the first one. So I attach some introduction to the second. It reads something like “…hi Leah, I am Alfred Mbai. I am a young blogger and would like to feature you…” on you guys know where (Please forget that you read ‘young’ somewhere).
“Hi Alfred” She responds.
“Hi too Leah!” I quickly respond back this time with the excitement of a farmer who just witnessed his first harvest. Then I wait for her to respond to the second and main part of my request. And while men are popularly not identified with patience, Leah humbles me into a stoical creature (don’t ask me what stoical means) She finally responds seeking clarity of my intentions and as you already know, a man’s motives are best defined by him.
There is something uniquely unique about Leah. There has to be. I mean, I don’t know how many ninjas find their way into Leah’s DM on a single day and am scared to think that maybe she has experienced some who are not genuine but truth be told, if someone called me today and asked if they could feature me on some story, regardless of where they want to post it – I am game. Let them write it in heaven or even down here on earth but I am game. The only thing I will ask is “Is it a good story?” If the answer is positive, I will ask if I need to sign somewhere otherwise, proceed. The economy is unfolding in a manner that you never know which employer is reading which page. And I know many beautiful ladies out there who would jump into visibility platforms just like I would but Leah is different.
Men will obviously look at her and admire the rift between her babies and her two wheel drive but that she says doesn’t make her who she is. I appreciate the fact that women have this third eye that easily points out the little pleasures of life. Women are in fact the reason we men believe that it’s the little things in life that matter. Women make the life puzzle worth cracking out. But even with such an eye, all a woman can tell from Leahs’ first sight is that she is an example of those short beautiful ladies who undermine the power of make up in preference of their natural outfit. Do you still want to ask why she keeps her hair short and neat? (I almost said short and sweet).
I recently heard a preacher say that today, it is no longer the physical being that makes a woman beautiful. And Leah agrees to that fact. Having toiled to get herself to where she is today, the short accountant with human resource skills has experienced more challenges in her life than she has had time to invest in starehe za plastic. So when the second born who is sand-witched between a first born girl and a last born boy tells you that she is not an easy puzzle, there is weight in her words.
“I couldn’t find a hero in my life, so I became one.” Leah tells me. “I am a product of hard work. I have toiled to pay for my school fees and I thank God I graduated from university last year.” She explains.
“You worked to pay your own school fees?” I ask
“Yes. I even paid my own school feels while I was in high school!”
“How did you do it?”
“I was born in Isiolo. My parents were not well off financially. My mum being a hard worker who wanted the best for me, she always tagged me along her mitumba business and whatever I sold, I used to pay school fees. So I had to really work hard.”
Leah’s story about having to work hard to pay her fees is not unique amongst most ladies today. People work hard. But when you are born in a community that you can get married off to an old man at any time, hard work is not an option.
“Do you ever get distracted?” I ask
“Distracted! Like, what do you mean?”
“Kama men teasing you around and wanting to sleep with you!”
“Men are always like that. But I don’t focus my energy and attention on men. Personally, I know what I want in life. I want to grow career-wise and as a person. I want to be someone young ladies can one day look up to” she responds. I can almost tell there is a smile on her after sending that response. The text comes with that emoji that kind of knows how to wink. I downplay the magnitude of the response for a commercial break.
“Uko na sponser?” I ask
“Ati nini?” she responds.
This time round, you can almost tell that the short beautiful lady who loves keeping it natural is not smiling anymore. If it were a physical interview, maybe Mbai would be nursing the effects of a slap from a girl born in Isiolo.
“No, I was just kidding!” I excuse myself
“I knew that had to come up!” she asserts
“But it was on a light note” I say
“Hard work will always pay off. A woman doesn’t have to rely on any sponsor to pay her fees, her bills etc. It only takes baby steps to make it in life” Leah explains.
So Leah and I have this beautiful conversation about love, life, friendship, the mitumba business and more general stuff. She tells me how she moved from Isiolo, where she was born, to a town in Ngong that she calls Embul Bul. We talk about her strengths and her weaknesses and while I do not ask her about her personal description on Facebook, one thing comes out clearly. That the character of most beautiful women is very normal but the nerves of men are weak. Not all women are easy puzzles to solve anyway.
Like money, women are known to make a man’s life beautiful. In fact, it’s said that all the money in the world would be worth nothing if there were no women. Men want to look good out there because they need to attract a beautiful woman. A woman like Leah. Question is, why then do men get put off by a woman who knows how to define her class? Why do men even conclude on most occasions that just because a woman is beautiful, she must have a boyfriend lover or a sponsor for that matter?
Leah tells me that like money, her beauty is like a puzzle. When you have it, it is upon you to figure out how to utilize it. I don’t know what she means. Perhaps that’s one of those puzzles that I too can’t crack. Maybe I just need to focus on the things I, like any man, can see.
“Why did you say you keep short hair?” I ask
“I wanted to try something new. Something natural.” she responds
Clear things like that response make sense for me. I was never good in algebra anyway.
“How do you feel when guys tell you you have a nice figure?”
“I do get a lot of compliments even from ladies themselves. It makes me feel amazing especially because I never work on getting it. It grew with time.” Leah responds.
I wanted to ask Leah many more questions, at least as long as we kept the conversation flowing. But not wanting to make her question my motives and once again get tempted to ask me “are you really genuine? You asking so much about me and I don’t really know you!” I decide to ask her to define a beautiful woman.
“A woman is beautiful when she isn’t afraid to be herself. When she is not ashamed of her quirks. If she looks like she doesn’t like herself, she will make everyone around her feel the same. A woman therefore has to be emotionally attractive.”