Kevin Mwachiro

I miss the night.

I long for its nocturnal freedom. The cover of the twinkle and sparkle of the stellar blanket. Before you think that I can read constellations, let me just tell you, I’ve only just learnt to pick out satellites and occasionally spot a shooting star, if it’s lucky.

I miss the freedom of the night.

The liberty to roam and rave under the moon’s gaze. I long for the time when I could toast away the day and roast a friend. Sundowners seemed eternal. The guilt of drinking on a school night now a memory.

Does the night miss me?

I almost feel like I’m birthing a poem with this piece. But the long thoughts seem to be aborting that. I wanted to be known for my rhymes but now my prose hits the audience on the nose. Nonetheless, this ode seems odd. But so do these shackled nights.

I still miss my nights.

This curfew however has birthed memories and taken be back to August 1982. When we heard our first and only coup and my seven-year-old ears picked up the word curfew for the very first time.

I miss those nights.

When we were a family. I got my brothers, baba, mama and me. Baba was home by five, dinner was done by seven and we played Ludo, Monopoly and were taught Kenya poker. We watched the news trying to understand what was happening beyond the black and white world. Fear had made the world lose it colour, but we were family.

I miss the nights.

When you knew that tomorrow was uncertain, though planned and chiselled. Now, tomorrow is pretty much like today, that is certain. Motionless nights, a reminder of the unknowing nature of life.

I miss the freedom of the nights.

Though curfew is revealing new delights. Our new normal divorced from old ways. We’ve embraced some certainties in a sea of uncertainties. Questions that don’t have answers are birthed every day.

How I wish the night could shed some light. 


Kevin Mwachiro has over 18 years of broadcasting experience under his belt. He has worked as a broadcast journalist and producer in Kenya, Uganda and the UK. Kevin is now building a career for himself as a writer and podcaster. In 2017 he launched a story-telling podcast, called Nipe Story, which produces audio version of short-story fictional stories from the continent. He was the editor of the Invisible: Stories from Kenya’s Queer Community was part of the editorial team for Boldly Queer: African Perspectives on Same-sex sexuality and gender diversity. His first play, Trashed was published in Six in the City: Six Short Plays on Nairobi and his poems are published in the Pan African queer anthology, Walking The Tightrope. Number Sita is Kevin’s contribution to the recently published Nairobi Noir anthology. His writing can also be found on The
Elephant and on The Medium. Working in collaboration with the Gay Kenya Trust and the Goethe Institut, Nairobi, Kevin is a co- founder of the Out Film Festival which is first LGBTI film festival in East Africa. Kevin currently serves on the board of the LGBQ coalition, Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya - GALCK.