One of Kenya’s finest rapper Julius Owino better known as Juliani has narrated his experience with marijuana.
The Dandora born rapper has been rumored to use the illegal narcotic, owing to his deep lyricism and as it turns out, those rumors are not far off. In a blog post titled, Weed Dreads and Christ, the former Ukoo Flani member recalls the first time he tried bhang.
“My first puff was scary. My virgin lungs couldn’t hold the smoke. I coughed it all out…,” he wrote.
Back then, the ‘exponential potential’ rapper was just starting out his emcee career and used the ‘holy herb’ to come up with lyrics.
In the post, he also reveals how his dad smoked weed and how his mom sold weed in Mathare to survive.
This was his full post:
Red eyes. Dark fingertips. Dark lips. Green leaves. Thin white paper. Clouded stuffy room. They say second hand smoke is the worst. Many see me on stage and conclude that it is still in my blood stream.
Maybe. Maybe not.
My first puff was scary. My virgin lungs couldn’t hold the smoke. I coughed it all out… Hang on, this can only be explained in the present tense: I feel it burning my chest. “Hey, this is not as bad a feeling as I thought it would be!” I think. It’s really my first time. The paranoia is getting real. I keep my eyes glued to the doorknob. I can hear footsteps approaching. Is it the police? No. It can’t be the police. What if it is the police? What will my parents think when they come to pick me at the police station? Will they be disappointed? I can see something below the door. It is a shadow.
I find myself next to a river. A calm river. I am listening to its murmur as it flows past me. I’m thinking again. Where will this river end up? Can I wait here and see if it will go all over the world and come back? Will it look the same way it does now? How far out is it going right now? Where did water come from? Why is it that we need water to quench our thirst?
Haiya! I’m still in the room! I’m neither at the riverbank nor in a police cell. I need to write some lyrics. Isn’t that why I took a puff in the first place? Haya!
I pick up a piece of paper.“Niaje budah! Nisaidie na biro.”
I need to use Kitu Sewer’s pen, I conclude, maybe his spirit will take over my brain make me write amazing stuff. Just like him. He hands me the pen.
I jot down the first line.
Now I am thinking out loud. I can’t believe I’m almost about to fill this piece of paper with words. No, deep words. Lyrics to a song.
We took songwriting as a spiritual endeavor. You didn’t just write music. You had to dig deep into the unknown dark corners of your being to find the secrets and truths about life. Then break them down through songs for mere mortals to comprehend.
We puff and pass. Puff and pass. I imagine a longest train over the SGR.
I can see a fly. Why is that we can just squash a fly with our bare hands? Why kill it without even thinking? Is it a living being? Did God create it? Why is a fly a fly? Is it God’s CCTV? Does God use the eyes of flies, birds, insects and rodents to see what’s happening in the world? If it is insignificant, why did God create it? Will Baby Fly and Mama Fly cry when they hear Baba Fly didn’t make it home? That a human used his bare fist to end his life?
Why am I thinking about flies? I should be writing!
Steam imeshuka. It is not completely out of my system yet, but I can finally feel my hands. I have to go home. I am walking from Phase 2 to Phase 4 and it’s getting late.
I’m home. How did I make it here?
Dad is home early today. Dad never gets home early. He always shows up late, drunk. Shouting to let the whole neighbourhood know he is back. Even the dogs stop barking. Or maybe his singing drowns the barking. I’m not sure.
What will he say when he sees me?
I knew when to ask my dad for a new book or for a little cash needed for a school trip. I’d wait till 10 pm. He always took some time in the corridor. I knew he smoked the herb before sleeping. That was the best time to ask him for anything. He’d be relaxed and say yes to everything. I will never forget the day he came home and woke us all. He lined up all the male kids in the family then said he was about to give us a crush course on self-defense. Everybody refused, but I was like “What the heck?” So we started sparing. He hit my nose. I started bleeding and burst into tears. I didn’t mind though, it was our bonding session.
Back in Mathare, before we moved to Dandora, my mum sold weed to survive. She was known as Mama Mboga. She had the sukuma wiki and nyanya on display, yeah, but the real mboga wasn’t. And it earned her more money.
I guess they will know when I step into the room. How do I even hide? Our house only has two rooms. One has our parents’ bed. It doubles up as a sitting room. The other is both the kitchen and the kids’ bedroom. We are seven kids. I’m the third born.
I walk into the room trying to act sober. All eyes are on me. From the moment I get in to when I sit down. I will later find out that I was moving my left leg and my left arm together. Same thing for the right side.
Read the additional content here: Weed Dreads and Christ.