Folks, I am told that writers are born and not made. I mean that good writing is 90 percent training and 10 percent talent. It won’t matter if you perfected your writing skills and drawing graffiti, albeit obscene ones in the school toilet walls like I did.
That is why you are reading this column. If you doubt this, ask my learned drinking chum Winchinslauss Rwegoshora (PhD, MA, BA, Dip UDSM, the man whose name alone is a tongue twister. He is the bloke famed for having ‘eaten’ more books than the entire Uswaz put together.
He avers that William Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde, Franz Kafka, David Thoreau, Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, Thomas Hardy and a host of other great writers of the yore never spent their lives at Mlimani cramming how to put one word before the other.
I also cannot recall Leonardo Da Vinci, Picasso and those artists ever wasting their time at the university learning how to draw.
There is no academic proof to support this assertion but to me, I religiously believe that it is true that talent is born with the bearer – sort of genetically passed on. To prove the point, as I said earlier, mine came like a premonition. Be warned however that there must be an ‘initiator of the themes’.
The architect was my late Uncle Martin (RIP). He set off the theme by forgetting the most sexually lurid stuff under his mattress – stuff of the nature of Play Boy Magazine and other stuff that would have turned the devil green with envy.
He made me practice poems and lyrics, not for examination purposes, but with which to woo girls. He also introduced me to the joy of sipping frothy Ilala liquids and their cousins. Whenever I was not sure of what to tell a girl, like a good tutor he was, I would go back to him for further consultation.
It is at an age when my gender was doubtful that my career subtly kicked off.
When I discovered that I could write as well as draw, I got into it hammer and tongs. I found a pastime that kept me glued on the school toilets at the expense of my studies in that while the rest of the school was busy in the class, I would lock myself inside one of the toilets and draw away.
I drew nothing but people in awkward sexual position. Like an errant medical student, human anatomy under the skirts and trousers interested me even most.
Enthusiasm peaked. I became bolder; I would write something nasty about the school headmistress. I did not spare the school deputy either.
I wrote away - about the discipline master, the school captain, the class monitor and other characters I did not like.
Whenever I was in ‘love’ with a girl, I would write tributes to her beauty on the wall. When I ran out of space in the boys’ toilet walls I shifted my attention to the girls’ toilets.
They say that a thief has forty days and had exceeded mine. The headmistress created a team of Mossad secret service to investigate the scriber who was practicing his ‘journalistic’ skills in both the boys’ and girls’ toilets. I was caught red handed.