First Crush

Asiyewai kuexperience having a crush on someone hajawai kuexperience youthful abandon, expectation, viewing maisha through rose-tinted spectacles, nearly hyperventilating at the mere mention of the crush… Why do people stop having crushes when they grow up? (or they have them less? Ever heard of a pensioner having a crush on someone?) Adulthood involves the risk of defeated hopes, resignation to a reality of 9 to 5, acceptance of an existence that is mundane, with severely trivial, petty rules/concerns (anyone watch that movie – Office Space– whereby the main protagonist gets harassed at the office for not having read the memo about putting a yellow cover sheet on invoices instead of the pink cover sheet blah blah it’s too mundane to recount, and the protagonist eventually goes on a rampage ‘cause he finds it all so mundane he’d rather chew his own tongue. Hah-hah-hah but that movie ended weirdly though).

Anyway, having a crush involves idealising someone who can realistically be idealised (na kina Jungians wanaweza kuadd eti mtu huproject their idealistic expectations onto the person they’re having a crush on). Lakini when you become a mtu mzima you’re like pinned down by mundane stuff hata if you were nearly about to have a crush on someone you’d probably balance the pluses/minuses of it on Excel.

Mnakumbuka that movie Camp Cucamonga? That was the epitome of the crush culture of back then. Steve Urckle was in it and he was bila specsi or mazguembe (like in Family Matters) and he paired with that dimple-smile chick who later sang in a Fanta advert. Aww. Also, remember that episode of Fresh Prince whereby Ashley went on her first date (with Tevin Campbell!!! Auuuu karibu chicks faint, everyone had a crush on that guy). In progis like Saved By the Bell, there were similar crush-culture representations – those ones of: “can I buy you some fries and a soda?” and “did you get my card? I made it in Art lesson” and “can I walk you to the bus-stop?”

There was this guy in primo who, as we chicks could clearly see in advance, was a good catch, so me and this chick kubalianad ati we would be his two wives when we grew up, then we went to tell the guy and he was like “sawa.” Hah-hah, polygamy in advance, maze what’s that guy up to siku hizi?

Lakini my first crush was a different dude that I met outside chuo and he was the hunkiest guy I had ever seen or heard of and I don’t think I’d met a nicer, more innocent, more kind-hearted guy (tumieni thesaurus) before or since. Ohh he had eyes that were just wow and he was gorgeous as in ouch-hot. Double-auuu. Maze that guy had sijui how many chicks tafutaing him lakini alininotice and I was like… wow.. you know those guys that are hunted down by those Beverly Hill 90210-type chicks (called Larissa or something) lakini he had time for homegirl.. woooiii if I heard that guy’s name I would get all jittery, if I saw him my heartbeat would get aggravated sana sana, and if I met him I’d manage to appear calm (or so I thought) lakini my heart was pigaring fujo karibu it jumps out and ketis chini to pumzika. Aah this guy was quality – forget crème de la crème this guy was:-

[√crème de la crème + ∑{(Quality – Hype™) ÷ time} + (ZZ + Й)] = this guy

(whereby ZZ is the estimated time spent dosing in class whilst thinking about him and Й is the time spent doodling his name and Hype™=the contagion of girls saying ‘he’s so fine, he’s so fine!!’)

Heh-heh, blame Microsoft word symbols facility maze you can get carried away! The last time I ever saw him was on a mat; I was with my big cuzo going into town and he just happened to board the mat. The guy looked so good mpaka my mdomo was agape like a samaki. When the gari fikad tao he asked me to wait for him outside whilst he spoke to someone in the mat, so when my cuzo and I got out I asked her to chill kidogo. Wapi? Cuzo was like no we have to go, so we went, and I didn’t get the chance to say ‘bye and I know it sounds petty but that bugged me for years. Kuna mambo mingi I would have liked to say to him. I still have an idealized vision of him, and I hope he didn’t sahau me, and to this day I penda guys who are sweet/ innocent/ shy-ish, sio wale cynical and hardened kama chapos bila mafuta.

Siku hizo Nai guys used to buy flowers, chocolate (kumbuka Bourneville or Old Jamaica), cards (“roses are red, violets are blue..”), na walivaa old-fashioned cologne (kama sailors or sea captains). Pia hawakuwa na ill-intentions. Leo hii it’s misogyny and onaing women as objects (what happened to the soul-mate theory??), au are the kinds of guys that chicks had crushes on back in the day still representing? Maze these teenies of today should be pigwad viboko if they’re vandalizing the concept of crushes; it should be about dreamy-eyes and doodling their name, sio ati “tukutane huko Carni” wehh! Mariza daraza ya vorm 4 gwanza!

One time a teachay caught me with a couple of stickers (remember the mania for stickers, which people put in books and on desks?) that had love-hearts with phrases like “thinkin’ about u” on them and I think I planned on giving one to the ‘this guy’ (equation hapo juu). Woi woi that teachay made me get chongolewad ‘cause of those stickers. What would you say to your first crushes, people??


At 4:40 pm, Blogger nick said...

ok confirmed you are my soul mate:
1.u remember club cucamanga...i loved all those summer camp movies...damn ur making ME remember-ur good!!!!
2.the fresh prince with tevin and thet went out on a date when ashley turned 13 and they played tetris and ordered pizza....auuuuuiiiiiii...that was so sweet and he sung for her happy birthday....

Crush:imagine we still get them but not with the same intensity as we did in youth. I'd hate to bring up a discussion..but crush is almost like what we now call lust when we grow up. as in lust can be roughly described as a crush with immoral intents...crushes were pure and moral and noble.

i've had crushes on so many people...classmates,teachers,heck even cousins(kwanza first),tv characters. in primary school we'd play ati which chick do u like...and funny thing is we'd be discussin fellow classmates sister..lol.

Nice post memoire

At 7:53 pm, Blogger Afromusing said...

Heh! i am thoroughly smiling at remembering how we would pause the tevin campbell vid just so we could stare at his face alittle longer! Yani Tevin became my SI unit for cuteness hai! Am forwarding this to my best friend ASAP. Loved the Camp Cucamonga movie! I guess the cool thing about crushes then was the innocence of it all, the googly feeling much more than anything. Maze thanks for a great post!!The equation is bananas! :)

At 1:36 am, Anonymous Mama JunkYard said...

This is 100% the BEST ever post I have read. That equation was fantastic and the line ya "chapo bila mafuta" LMAO.

I too remember the Litte T episode of Fresh Prince...haki Tevin..he used to be so cute.

As for crushes:

I like crushes. I can average about 6 in a year. The great thing about crushes is that in most cases it has nothing to do with the other person. In fact the best way to ensure that a crush maintains it's innocence is to never ever let your crushee know that you have a crush on him/her.

I have discovered that once you tell a crushee how you feel; the innocence is lost. It ceases to be a crush.

My craziest crush was on one of my closest male friends. What so annoying about this crush was that I spent a good part of the year thinking this guy was the best thing ever. A month after I got over him, he then developed a crush on me. All this came to light years after when we were discussing our teenage years. We still laugh about the silly things we did to each other during our respective crush phases.

At 1:14 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey memoire, the joy about having a crush is one can let their imagination take reign and imbue the crushee with all manner of implausible traits and qualities. I agree with MJY about not telling the crushee about your feelings - the magic is instantly over. The imaginary picture in our heads can never be matched by reality.

My first crush was with someone who was clearly unattainable but absolutely gorgeous. Oh how I dreaded and looked forward in equal measure to seeing him:)

At 1:16 pm, Anonymous mshairi said...

Don't know what happened but the comment above was MINE - not some anonymous person!

At 5:34 pm, Anonymous Msanii_XL said...

[√crème de la crème + ∑{(Quality – Hype™) ÷ time} + (ZZ + Й)] = this guy

lol^^^this was crush alright

my first crush..a whole five years from std 4 to std 8.. Remember seeing her when i was in high school and feeling nothing

At 6:01 pm, Blogger Adrian said...

i remember the way chiles used to be into tevin campbell.

i think i even got a "BOX" haircut cause of him - unfortunately it didn't have quite the same effect :-)

At 7:21 pm, Blogger KymmBr. said...

ma yu chille yu are just a classic vibaya. hehehe am laughing my way to bed like a stupid dude. anyway, yu'r crush musta been a super one if yu can even come up with an eqaution even after all those years.
btw it was all good..azin having em crushes and the feeling of utter helplessness when yu are with yu'r crush. si i hated those moments vibaya...when yu just can't even speak coz yu are so blushed (donn call me shy..lol)

At 3:03 am, Blogger Cirdan said...

yes, those were the days...

At 10:50 am, Blogger Guessaurus said...

That equation is deadly LOL

Yes, I have had crushes - I think I still do sometimes, but I am too chicken to even try to tell the crushee. Most of the "magic" happens in our heads, and hearts fluttering and breathing - ok, this is getting out of hand.

My first crush was on my sister's friend, who was older but the finest dude I have ever seen - I lived and breathed him :) - Throughout high school I didnt have a boyfriend because no one else could match him.

At 1:55 am, Blogger Wassapangaz said...

My first crush was serioous he was in form 4 me in 2 i had a whole exercise book full of poems of him.Interesting i need to find the book kwanza it was covered with a newspaper article of some Engalnd Rugby dude whose name i dont remember.

At 9:59 am, Blogger M said...

LOL! I remember beginning work early with a little lady called Elizabeth when we were both in kindergarten :)

At 2:25 pm, Anonymous Ms K said...

That equation has malizad me kabisa! Aauuuuuuuuuuiiiii Memoire, that was too much!

My first crush was so bad I only got over it a few years ago. And only when I saw him dead drunk and not looking too hot! Oh the joy of crushes...........

At 3:31 pm, Anonymous Memoire said...

@ Nick: aiyaiyai you had a crush on your cuzos! True about crushes being innocent back in the day

@ Afromusing: hah-hah ati SI unit, yep, but Tevin seems to have changed sana siku hizi, apparently he's toured Africa, has anyone been to a show of his there?

@ MJY: wooii 6 crushes a year, that sounds exciting; yenyewe so true about the miscommunication thing that made crushes go haywire.. or also misunderstandings.

@ Mshairi: Yes indeed, the mystery and anticipation seem to be sweeter than the actual getting together.

@ Msanii_xl: woah! from std 4 to 8, that must have been some crush! Crushes also seemed to end very abruptly

@ Adrian: oh yes box haircuts (esp with a kaline or words shaved in) were the diggity all through the 90's, even siku hizi they are still there in some form or other.

@ Kymmbr: I kumbuka being spellbound sana, yani those ones of babbling or not saying anything of maana

@ Cirdan: ah yes, the innocence was the key to that crush culture

@ Guess: did you ever let him know you had a crush on him? Yeah, that idealising thing is so strong lakini sometimes a lot of the idealising is based on fantasy

@ Wassapangaz: aww, when you find the poetry book, will you let us read some of the poems on your site?

@ M: hah-hah, bet it was worth going into school early!

@ Ms K: thanks on the equation, I'd love to see y'all's versions. So true how a crush can end suddenly like boom..

@ _ _ hope this post didn't make you jealous nani kama wewe :-)

At 9:23 pm, Anonymous David Miller said...


Sorry to post here; I couldn't find an e-mail address so I figured I'd just post a comment on the blog.

I'm a producer for a new radio show called Open Source. Our goal is to apply the idea of open source to the radio in a kind of experiment in citizen media. We'll be soliciting ideas, written and audio comments, and interesting sound from our listeners via our blog (www.radioopensource.org -- still a beta blog very much in its infancy -- the site will look and be quite different in a month or two). We're also hoping to find story ideas and guests by reading as many blogs as we possibly can. In other words, we aim to be the sound of the web on the radio.

Anyway, I'm getting in touch with you because we're doing a show about Kenya next week, and I'd love to talk to some Kenyan bloggers about what's going on in your country, what the mainstream media isn't covering but should, who else we should be talking to, and more.

You can reach me at david@radioopensource.org.


At 8:46 am, Blogger Prousette said...

I still have crushes and serious dry mouth, heart fluttering ones which are not very good for my sanity ; I'd never tell the crush'ee but the day I stop having them my life would be bila spice

Really nice post as am having a terrible crush right now and I do not know if I will live through it!

At 12:09 am, Blogger Migz said...

Kweli this msichana had a crush for maajabus...mpaka an equation? Wah, thats mad (woi ay, can I geek on your equation and you might have wanted to square crème de la crème and not root it - for a greater value?...but I digress)

That Tevin guy put the bar kidogo high for us brothers back in the day...I had my last laugh on him when he came to Kenya for a concert in 2002 (like a decade too late, dude!) and he was kidogo washed up and like he tupad that bar he set up in the 90s..mpaka he was getting dissed left right centre...kwisha kabisa!

Sorry for the rambling...again, deadly post!

At 12:24 pm, Anonymous Memoire said...

@ David: thanks for your station's interest in doing a feature on Kenyan blogs

@ Prousette: tell your crush!!! You've got nothing to lose, at least you'll never wonder what if..

@ Migz: ah but see the cube root represents the source of creme-de-la-creme. Kumbe TC was in Kenya? haiya it must have been low key

At 8:50 pm, Blogger Adrian said...

Pole for having to do this, but I'm here to pass on a movie tag. You've been tagged!

(at least you can get away by saying that this has nothing to do with nai memories :-)

At 10:46 pm, Blogger WM said...

At we're supposed to stop having crushes when we grow up? Why why why am I always the last to know these things? Now you tell me!
BTW-lovely post

At 12:19 am, Blogger Poi said...

uuiiiiii! i bet you my life this is the MOST HILARIOUS post i ever, ever read.
I donn think ahve ever bn to ur blog, ever but vile nafeel hii post if yu keep those posts coming am hooked up bana!

Ok crushes? yu bet me ahve had lk a zillion, i once met this guy i felt the same way about as you described in your post. Yani i felt so attracted to him, i was in my own world. Dammit! life, then it jus ends like tht en am like ala iz-of-how?hahaaa

Enway am totally witchu the equation(yu r crazy!).The issue...'old jamaica' now i wanna go back to kenya for jus a minute, the cards uuuiiii! life was good.
Am with yu on having their asses whooped for vandalising crushes.

At 12:19 am, Blogger Poi said...

uuiiiiii! i bet you my life this is the MOST HILARIOUS post i ever, ever read.
I donn think ahve ever bn to ur blog, ever but vile nafeel hii post if yu keep those posts coming am hooked up bana!

Ok crushes? yu bet me ahve had lk a zillion, i once met this guy i felt the same way about as you described in your post. Yani i felt so attracted to him, i was in my own world. Dammit! life, then it jus ends like tht en am like ala iz-of-how?hahaaa

Enway am totally witchu the equation(yu r crazy!).The issue...'old jamaica' now i wanna go back to kenya for jus a minute, the cards uuuiiii! life was good.
Am with yu on having their asses whooped for vandalising crushes.

At 3:35 pm, Anonymous Memoire said...

@ Adrian: hiyo tag nitalenga for that very reason, that this blog is dedicated to Nairobi nostalgia only :-)

@ WM: Maybe mob people still have them tho..

@ Cillia: it's very true that crushes can end as suddenly as they begun!

At 5:36 pm, Blogger Aziz said...


Sorry for invading your "Comments' box, couldn't find an email address.

I'm looking for people who love writing and want to take part in a collective novel. If you like the idea, take a look at http://the-end-of-the-rainbow.blogspot.com. If you want to spread the word, that would be good too.

Either way, I'd be interested to read your feedback.



At 7:56 am, Blogger gishungwa said...

Mama, you win ebu those crushes, i had on on my brothers friend wewe too much i would go all gooey when he is around that time am in class 5 and he was in class eight now. Told him about it the other day and we had a ball remembering the akward things i did. How oh How can you forget 3Ts wewe, you know how luscious(sp) they were and all those to boys in the hood who chapad me as a sign if affection ati niingisheni game they kataa yet he is the only one allowed to chapa me. Cha baba and cha mama , memories, when men were men and women stayed at home.
thanks too dedly

At 7:58 am, Blogger gishungwa said...

forgot to include the song camp cucamonga oh yeah oh yeah (repeat to infninity).

At 3:04 am, Blogger Acolyte said...

It's a shame how the game has haribikad nowadays.It has become mambo of bling bling and kifua.No finesse, what happened to the days of getting to know the gal pole pole, laughing together, shared blushes etc.Oh well the good old days.

At 11:31 pm, Anonymous chickidee said...

Oh my goodness, this blog rocks..back to the days of major crushes...started in primo, one guy in some really clean and crisp khaki shorts..mmmhh I bet those things are illegal in some places...and yes Tevin...mmhh that song "Can we talk" used to make me feel top of the world...you can just imagine a cute teenie katiaring you like that...Kwanza did meet a singing guy at carni once, was singing some major sweet songs and the voice!!! So miss thing over here was madly in love..forget the crush, this was crazy in love and you know what..did something stupid..told the dude...I guess the feeling wasn't mutual so there went the love...Had several other crushes in my life..Richard Gere..Mel Gibson and the kawa unreachable ones....Lakini crushes are great..I have been married to my last one for the last 3 yrs. Went to a club in texas (of all places) and the guy was a bartender...me and my girlfriend see the dude and we both flip out..gorgeous dude, great smile, looks like a million bucks and of course all the chics at the bar were drooling over him...I dismissed him as an unreachable, until the guy decided to ask for my digits...long story short, we dated and got married after 3 years of dating (he had to quit bartending b/c I didn't want to go there everyday and do some unthinkable things...) So keep having crushes, dreams do come true sometimes...good luck y'all.

At 2:22 pm, Anonymous Memoire said...

@ Poi: werocamu sana, karibu. I really appreciate all y'alls encouragements na pia please share your memories too

@ Gishungwa: oh yes 3T what happened to them? They were like 3 Michael Jacksons in his hey-day

@ Acolyte: bling mania has haribud it for sure, I feel sorry for jamaas having to deal with that pressure

@ Chickidee: awwwww that is soo sweet, I love romantic happy endings (or beginnings) aww congrats .... see people, keep having crushes and tell your crush how u feel!!

At 12:33 pm, Blogger Samborera said...

You like sweet/ innocent/ shy-ish guys? There are loads in Nairobi. I know some. I'm rather shy-ish. Innocent and sweet, I don't know. I thought most chics prefer the excitement of bad boys.


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