The Leather Jacket…..”Hauski Joto?”

(Photo Courtesy)

By Tabitha Makumi,

There’s something about a leather jacket. Something totally badass. Something which oozes of vibes such as “Don’t mess with me or I will cut you deep….” Someone says leather jacket and the first that pops into mind is those tough looking Texas Bikers or close to home, those Nduthi guys who sit in the scorching sun along Tom Mboya Street. I am always tempted to ask one “Hauskii Joto?”, and maybe I imagine he would respond, “Joto ni wewe madam”

So I bought myself a leather jacket. Just in case my enthusiasm wasn’t captured in the first paragraph. First one of many to come. It was end month, I had this few cheddar in my hands and I wasn’t thinking straight and there it was. “C'mon, try me on,” it beckoned. What’s life if a lady can’t buy her first leather jacket? 

The thing is, with a leather jacket on, people look at you in a different light. (Let’s make that a few people) Sam, a brawny looking guy I met at Brew Bistro- Ngong Road a few weekends away took a
look at my leather jacket and thought that I ride.

“Ride what?” I asked

“A bike…you know, the jacket and all”

“Aah no….I don’t think I can afford it or have the stomach for it,” heard myself say after laughing out loud.

What went on was a conversation about how bikes are cool, you know the ‘vrooooom’ noise and all eyes on you as you cruise down Mpaka Road but have you watched any of the road rage videos on You Tube?  Motorists don’t give a shit about bikers. The next thing you know, you are under a trailer or a Star Bus. If you are lucky, you are sprawled on a tarmac road hoping none of your vital organs are out and someone is taking pictures of your battered self to later post on some Whatsup group.

Seriously, watch especially Russian road rage videos .Those people are freaking bananas. No chills. You hit their car from behind and they are not stepping out for you to share your insurance details with them. They have a hammer in hand and what do you know! Your wind shield and side mirrors are shattered to smithereens and there’s nothing you can do about it.

Sam however was not deterred by my sentiments. “You know, if it’s your day to join whichever deity you pray to, it doesn’t matter if you are in an armoured vehicle or driving a Kawasaki Ninja 650 (which he owns) at a 120km/h without a helmet. If it’s your day to say sayonara to this world, you can't do shit.” 

Don’t you just loathe when you are having an argument or generally a conversation about how death whisks people at the most unexpected times and someone quips, “Siku yako ikifika imefika…” You can’t say anything after that. So much finality in those little four words.

So, where was I? Yes, the leather jacket… I bet it ages as fine as wine. I guess, the only other good thing about a leather jacket is a well-aged one. Fits like a custom made glove. Were it not for it, I could not have learned about the mighty Kawasaki Ninja 650. ‘Googled’ it, looks like a nightmare dressed like a day dream. Curves and all. Takes balls of steel to drive such a thing on our roads.

Here’s to all leather jacket owners, I hope we can all meet someday and share notes.