a band by any other name; hiatus

ABBAON is going on hiatus.

ABBAON, or the greatest band this side of Lake Victoria, has finally succumbed to the ill wishes of our enemies, who have been praying incessantly for our downfall, and has agreed- mutually- to part ways.

Now, we know how the world works, and we are familiar with the news cycle. We know the media will try to blindfold you with this other, less significant news item that some ka-team from Manchester is currently cowering behind the skirts of their mothers. You are smart people, so you will not fall for this obvious ploy. They will then try to convince you that Mkhwasi Yego’s record javelin throw is still vital news, or that the video he convinced Omera Khaligraph to do is also a big deal. Bigger than the dissolution of ABBAON? Jesus should just come back already.

So, to the loyal fans who are at this moment weeping uncontrollably; to the fans who have absconded meals in mourning, we extend our deepest apologies, and we invite you to an apology unplugged event that we will hold in a month’s time. But more on that later. First, our official statement.

Our agent and spokesman, who was supposed to draft this message on our behalf, amicably withdrew his services and elected to represent our good friend Romi Swahili instead. We wish them the best in their endeavours. Understandably therefore, our statement may contain the occasional error or lack the linguistic flair that we know is expected of us, but it is our fervent hope that the personal delivery will make up for the devastating news.

ABBAON has until recently been conquering the world.

Following the chart-topping success of our runaway single ‘Manzi wa School of Arts’, we have gone on to become household names. We have featured heavily on Moi University’s own KTV, and our video, which featured the inevitable socialite Miss BBM, has racked up a mind-boggling twenty eight views on YouTube.

Nor did we stop there. After carving our names into Kesses folklore, we proceeded to set our sights on ‘the local industry’. After considering Jaguar, Mustafa, and ultimately Willy Paul, we decided it would profit us most to nurture ‘beef’ with Octoppizzo. We heard he is insisting on being called ‘The Number Eight’, the joker. We recorded a sizzling diss track and sent it out to the world. We got no response, but we understand it is because he could not possibly respond to that kind of heat. Is there even a comeback to anything that begins with ‘your mother’?

We have rubbed shoulders with some big names. We are on nickname basis with the quiet one from Sautisol. We were in H¬_art the Band’s latest video, but they edited us out of the final product. Adam Levine retweeted one of our tweets. We had made it. Why then, are we splitting, you must be wondering.

It all began with a nice, ample-bottomed lass who attended one of our sessions. If you recall, our lead singer, James ‘Sportpesa’ Maina, was in the throes of a vicious dry spell. It was therefore love at first sight. They exchanged furtive glances. He sang to her. She tattooed his name on the inside of her upper arm. And then, just when he was wondering how to ask her out officially, word reached him that she had a boyfriend. The news devastated our front man greatly. He sunk into a mire of self pity and denial, one from which he never emerged. Naturally, the music suffered. He lost his ability to sing high notes. He stopped jiggling his waist when performing. And most damningly, he lost our invitation to perform for President Obama, and they had to settle for Sautisol.

The band went into freefall after that. Our lead guitarist, Dan, who has finally surrendered in his war against the expanding waistline, decided to retire. He had had it with fame and fortune, he claimed. He was beginning to go grey, he had noticed. He could no longer power-walk as effectively as a younger him did. He was therefore choosing to devote his sunset years to finding a nice girl to settle down with.

Ian, drummer extraordinaire, took one look at his third year transcript and decided it was about time he redirected his efforts to academics. He shaved his afro, bought three shirts and a phone that could read PDF.

Which left me, the brains behind the operation, alone and without a team. Once the sting of betrayal had abated, and after repeated reassurance from the significant other that it was not my fault. I began to look into alternative courses of action. Of course, I could always fall back to my second career, writing. I’m not too sure about that, though. I hear there is some blogger called zulu or something, who is tearing it up out there. I could also go solo, like that lovely lady from Camp Mulla. Now that I think about it, I would look dashing on those promo posters.

So, there it is. A Band by Any Other Name, after a brief period of immense success, has gone on hiatus. There is hope for us, I believe. If, say, the outraged and heartbroken fans went about collecting signatures to petition our return. Or a judge rules that because the world is yet to see me in those tight leather pants they were promised, we are bound by law to regroup and continue the good work. There is also the slight possibility that Hayley Williams will reach out to me personally on Whatsapp and encourage me to keep the faith.

But as it stands, we are streams bound for different paths. But what an adventure it has been. The kids would be told, surely. Their father was in the greatest band ever.

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