The first person to post a comment on this blog was Kevin. That was in April, two months after I started this blog. It was a big deal for me. I jumped in celebration as though I’d scored a goal and poured myself a glass of wine. I was elated and thankful and out of my skin like a kid who didn’t care for the falling rain but enjoyed playing in it. I couldn’t take that comment for granted. It confirmed to me that the comment section was working. I read it and said, Thank you, Kevin.
More readers have gone on to interact with me in the comments section, on social media, via email, on WhatsApp, through phone calls and some who know me share their thoughts when we meet. Some people come here to quietly read, then go back and return when the next post is up. I appreciate you all.
Kevin and I met at Wisemen Pub in Nairobi. I imagine the three guys (they must’ve been three guys) who named that pub sat at the counter weeks before it opened and contemplated on what to call it. They brainstormed.
“Let’s call it the Wise Bar,” said the guy who wore a suit to the meeting.
“No, my friend. Let’s simply call it The Bar.”
“The Bar? That doesn’t make sense.”
“Of course it makes sense.”
“But there’s probably a bar out there called The Bar.”
They nodded in agreement.
“So why don’t we name it Pombe Pub then?” said the one with a balding head.
They laughed at him and drank to that. They didn’t buy the name. After hours of deliberation, the one whose wife had sent a text to find out where he was said, “Look guys, we are wise men here. Giving a pub a name shouldn’t be something that takes an entire night. Our role is to make sure that people who come here don’t get wasted. They should be wise, responsible, and should take care of themselves and their families. They should be wise men, like us.”
And that’s how the name came to be.
Wisemen pub opens from 4:00pm to 11:00pm. It isn’t open to the general public because it’s at the KCB Leadership Centre. Kevin who is from Cote D’Ivore, myself and group of other colleagues from Uganda, Cote D’Ivore, Nigeria, Kenya, Angola, Rwanda, Botswana, Ghana and Zimbabwe sat around a table in that small and relatively quiet pub to get to know one another more, to discuss the differences and similarities of our countries. We talked about the diversity we have in Africa and the challenges of intercontinental travel for us. We spoke about our frustrations and the opportunities we see. And we stayed true to the name of the pub as we sipped away on Tusker, a brand of beer from Kenya.
In the five months of running this blog, I’ve seen my readership grow especially through this blogging challenge. It has grown from my close friends, family and workmates who’d read and send me WhatsApp texts to people I might never meet in person. I’m grateful to all of you.
Larry was the first person to subscribe to my blog. Whether he did it because he really wanted to or he did it because he was testing to find out if the subscribe function was working is something I haven’t yet found out. He’s got some utterly dark humour.
I called him up this morning. The start of our conversation went something like this.
“Yo’ Larry, what’s-up.”
“Tuaaaaps, what’s-up. I’m good.”
“I’m good too. I called to check on you, man. It’s been long.”
“Yeah. For all I know I could be dead right now. You know it’s been happening a lot lately.”
That cracked me up.
“Tuaps, I wish I could read your blogs. I see the notifications with some catchy titles but my eyes aren’t there yet.”
Larry underwent surgery on his eyes a few weeks ago. He’s recovering. I hope he gets his eyes back. Keep him in your prayers. Larry, when your eyes are back to full function mode, know that there was a tribe of readers of this blog who said a prayer for you and wished you a quick recovery.
To you my readers, I’m grateful. Thank you.