Why Lyn wants a Kenyan Girl

Why Lyn wants a Kenyan Girl

You can easily pick out Lyn from a crowd because of her standout features.

She is tall, slim and her head tends to be conspicuous whether in her trademark black Guinness golf cap or her fade-out hairstyle.

The latter is the in-thing among young people who brag about ‘liking my shit’, a college lingo for being cool.

If you are prone to naïve impressions like me, you’d be content with describing Lyn as a tomboy.

That would not be far-fetched considering her very masculine gait and a walk that sees her ‘Big Shoe’ hit the ground at an angle theta assuming a straight footstep was a natural Y-axis.

Her stooped shoulders, free-falling arms with a big watch on the right wrist and a tendency to regularly stroke an imaginary goatee below some thick lips accentuate the portrait of a man’s body ensnared in a woman’s frame.

But then, as my friend asked me when we were gossiping Lyn before she walked in typically and unapologetically late, have you ever wondered what tomboys become when they grow up?

Do they become ‘tom-men’? Is their condition, as the name implies, naturally outgrown; that once adulthood strikes, gender rediscovery occurs and yesterday’s tomboy mutates into a striking lass oozing feminity?

Lyn is from Nigeria. Being among four Africans in our group of 30, continental identity naturally drew us together, or so I thought. But she tended to be extremely aloof, nay cold, in our early days of interaction. She would feign not to have heard my cheerful greetings and when she couldn’t play deaf, reply with a barely audible, condescending mumble.

After a while, she must have grown tired of snobbery because she warmed up enough to ask me why Nigerian men particularly liked in Kenyan women.

My first assumption was that she was looking for fodder for the latest tweff – or twitter war- between Kenyans and Nigerians. While struggling to stay neutral, I was tempted to suggest ‘gullibility’ as the primary attraction by tapping into the tales of Kenyan women swindled off their lifetime savings by Oga lovers. Instead, I opted to confess both my ignorance and disinterest.

Lyn appeared to doubt the sincerity of my response before asking if it is true Kenyan women love deeply and unquestioningly. I cited my very limited international exposure as an obvious impediment to my ability to judge Kenyan women against international standards.

We were waiting for a lecture on dissertation when Lyn uncharacteristically dwelled on the Kenyan women and Nigerian men. I assumed she was probably thinking of a suitable research topic, something like: The effects of Nollywood on Kenyan women’s brains. Or, Naija thieves; how Nigerian men steal Kenyan women’s hearts and wealth.

The lecturer was walking in when I heard Lyn mutter: “Yes!” while punching the air with a clenched fist. I assumed she must have had her epiphany moment as I struggled to follow a dull lecture on quantitative and qualitative analysis.

Moments later, I saw Lyn breaking into an expansive smile.  I imagined she must have been thinking of data analysis from her research. How many Kenyan women, for instance, have fallen in love with Nigerian men in the last 6 months? Where five is the highest and one is the lowest score, how does the average Kenyan woman rate her emotional stupor over her Nigerian lover? I, too, smiled in vicarious appreciation of Lyn imaginary analytical capabilities.

But the real emotion behind the smile would become more apparent two weeks later. I was bored on a Saturday evening when I solicited on our WhatsApp group suggestions on how to kill time. Lyn was the first to respond with a lament of being equally bored.

I teased her by asking if she would be willing to buy me a drink at the local club. Her response was quick and brief: she only buys ladies drinks but she didn’t mind going dutch. We were both fine with the arrangement and two other colleagues agreed to join us.

The first thing that I noticed when Lyn walked in was her handbag. There was little lady-like about it. In fact, it was remarkable for its ugliness and its pronounced bulge that suggested a struggle to close it. For greetings, she gave her customary, boyish, gesture – a V-salute made by placing the right hand’s two fingers just above the left shoulder while leaning back and sideways.

I’m still struggling to practice the traditional British selfishness where everyone buys his/her own drink. So I asked Lyn what I should get her at the counter.

The offer was declined and just when I was about to feel snubbed or to blame it on the British culture, I saw Lyn looking furtively at the corners of the bar. She was apparently confirming no waiter was around because she quickly opened her handbag and removed a small green bottle. She used her teeth to remove the cork, gobbled the content and threw the bottle under the seat. She then innocently wiped her mouth with the back of her palm!

There were several small bottles in the bag and Lyn would repeat the ritual of downing their content at intervals while getting visibly drunk. At some point, she forgot to throw ‘away’ the bottle and a polite waiter had to warn her that she risked a heavy fine for smuggling ‘foreign’ drinks into the bar.

Save for isolated interruptions, the only person talking on our table was Lyn.  She was in a rumbling that had begun with a matter-of-fact confession. At only 24, She was a veteran lesbian with nearly ten years’ experience and a string of lovers. Mostly, she had been a closet operator fearing the 14-year jail that Nigeria laws prescribe for same sex liaisons.

She comes from a wealthy Lagos family that gave her excellent education at the international French school. But what could just have been curious tryst when she was 15 blossomed into a habit, a lifestyle. Along the way, there were many heartaches and bitter fall-outs allegedly including with her immediate ex who was admitted at a Paris hospital. She had reportedly slit her wrist after Lyn called it quits.

Lyn showed us pictures of a lady with a heavily bandaged arm lying in a hospital bed. Even in her garb, the patient was extremely good-looking. My first reaction was shock and anger. What on earth would such a gorgeous lady be doing with Lyn? What a waste!

Lyn had moved on, a ‘revelation’ she shared in a rueful tone of a pained inevitability. When she began to cry, I wasn’t sure whether hers were love or alcohol tears. I was tempted to laugh but seeing how the rest on the table were moved into silence by Lyn’s tale, I concluded this was no laughing matter.

That is how Lyn discovered interest in Kenyan women.

Apparently, she had befriended a Kenyan girl studying in UK. She met her through a Nigerian male acquaintance who was dating a Kenyan lady. Lyn had heard stories of Kenyan girls growing besotted with Nigerian guys.

Lyn believed what works for Nigerian men could work for her too. Could we help her cast the love juju on her Kenyan girlfriend?

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