The Singlehood Series: Of Radio Voices and Huge Disappointments


“Sasa mrembo, hujalala bado?”

His voice was a gift from heaven, I think. Smooth, deep and melodic, with a heavy Coasto accent thrown in. No wonder I couldn’t fall asleep, I wanted to talk to him for hours and hours. This was the kind of voice I wouldn’t mind walking up to for the rest of my life, that’s what I thought at the time.

We had ‘met’ on Hi5, a dating and social networking site from back in the day. I don’t remember why I joined the site to begin with, but I guess I was curious and bored. Back then I wasn’t very particular with my men, as long as he had a pulse, I was good. From the minute I heard him speak, though, he was beyond even my wildest expectations. When he suggested we meet, I couldn’t agree fast enough.

I had classes that day, so he would meet me outside the uni building in tao. I had gone to great lengths to make sure I looked smoking hot that day as I wanted my potential soulmate to be blown away. I had this vision in my head of what he would look like- tall, maybe dark, definitely handsome, in a fitted suit and shiny shoes, smelling really great at the end of a long day (a weakness of mine). He wouldn’t hug me, not at first,  but take my hand and hold it a second too long while he greeted me with that heavenly voice.

He would have already planned for us to go to a nice place to have supper, where the restaurant has semi-private booths, no loud music and the wait staff anticipate your every move. We would order our favourites, and sample from each other and a dessert to share. We would talk about our childhood stories and our dreams and laugh all through the meal. He would wrap his arm around me, and I would let him, as he walked me to my stage on the other side of tao. Now he would hug me, as his eyes told me all he would rather be doing to me if we were behind closed doors.

If I’d seen a picture of him first, I wouldn’t have dreamed up such ridiculous fantasies of how he looked. When I saw him for the first time, the disappointment was so keen I almost cancelled the date immediately. The first thing I noticed about him was that he was short. Not as short as me, but not that much taller either. He was dark but handsome he was not. I mean, you could say his was a face only a mother would love. He was dressed quite simply, in a T-shirt and shorts. He was wearing men sandals and looked like he was just going to the shop.

After all the effort I made to look good, it really pissed me off that he looked like he had just rolled out of bed. It didn’t seem like he knew or cared about how awful he looked on a first date. His voice was still the same, though, and it was the only thing that kept me from curling my lip in distaste and calling off the date. Well, that and I figured the least he owed me was lunch seeing as how he’d disappointed me so far.

That was just the beginning. He took me to a fast food restaurant, which I hate, and proceeded to order for me as I wasn’t standing right there.

Cuzo wangu anaishi Lavi na hayuko. Si twende tukakulie huko?” He asked.

I was determined to eat so I said yes and off we went. We didn’t talk at all during the mat ride. No one would have thought we were even together. At the time I had never been to Lavington or its environs, but I knew what it was supposed to look like. When we alighted at a place with many shanty buildings and busted sewage pipes, I was like, IS THIS YOUR LAVINGTON?

Still,I wanted that soggy chips and chicken so off we went again. I’d worn sandals and it was a struggle to keep them dry while trying to avoid stepping on broken glass, syringes and used condoms. We finally got to a house that was just next to a sewage river, and he opened the door and ushered me in. It was the typical bachelor pad, with a bed, a sofa chair, wool carpet (for some reason) and a state-of-the-art sound system. At this point, I had hardly spoken, choosing to show my disappointment in shrugs and noncommittal one-word answers. He didn’t seem to mind it much, and we ate in silence.

‘’Heh, si kuna joto!’’

This he said when we were done eating and had run out of the obligatory small talk. While I was busy trying to think of a polite way to excuse myself from his company, he got up and put on some music. Not just any music, but baby making 90s RnB. I was seated on the one sofa chair thinking, What the hell? On his way back, he removed his T-shirt and started doing some lame dance moves. I guess that was my cue to laugh or something, but all I could think was that he actually thought that that move would work on me.

‘’Kuja tudance,’’ he said.

Nope. Hell no.

‘’Ai, kwa nini unajifanya hivyo? Kama unataka kwenda, si uende!’’

I was gone almost before he finished talking in his beautiful voice that hid so many flaws.

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The singlehood series is a collection of real-life stories and opinions from different people. It looks at the current world of dating in Kenya and experiences that people have gone through. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the contributors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of