BIKO: The lost art of letter writing - Daily Nation

The lost art of letter writing

Friday December 1 2017

The Y-generation will never know the joy of

The Y-generation will never know the joy of writing love letters even though they will save the environment by not cutting down trees. PHOTO| FILE| NATION MEDIA GROUP 

More by this Author

One of the highlights of high school was being able to pen letters of endearment to the opposite sex in far-flung schools. Here’s a hark back to those days.

Like every other man I know, I once liked a girl in high school but she didn’t feel the same way. She was in the German club and I was in no club; can you blame her? The other day, while remembering her, I thought with great sadness about the demise of love-letter writing.

The Y-generation will never know the joy of writing love letters even though they will save the environment by not cutting down trees. Here is how my letters would go back in those days.


My sweetest and fairest Christine*

This letter flies over mountains and hills to get to you in Lwak Girls with an abundant love hoping that you are still the paragon of beauty you are. (You had to use a big word in the opening, it showed intelligence and ambition.) I am fine here in this academic prison; we still suffer under the bell.

I hope that you received my first letter dated February 23, 1993, and the one I sent last term. I will keep saying this; that my vulva still hurts from thoughts of you.

(You also had to throw in biology for good measure.) When I go for my preps at night I sit at my desk and daydream of your beautiful face, which reminds me of a garden of flowers in summer. I never imagined that living without your smile, feeling and knowing you keeps me alive in this bush. (Stolen and corrupted from Boyz To Men’s ‘One Sweet Day’.)

I’m in a catch 22 situation here, my lovely Christine* (You have to keep referring to her as ‘my’ as many times as you can so that she starts believing it herself.) I can’t forget you and how you smiled at me that day we were introduced briefly next to your school bus at the end of the symposium.

Since that day you have been all I have been thinking about and if this continues, I’m afraid I will fail my end of term exams. (Truth is I will fail anyway, even without thinking about her.) It’s only you who can rescue me from this quagmire (another big word) of love. My love reminds me of that song that goes I’m burning up, I’m burning up, by Yvonne Chaka Chaka. (Note: I didn’t explain what the Catch 22 was; I just wanted to show her that I know phrases like that.)

My princess Christine, I cannot eat (lies) and I cannot sleep (more lies.) My friends say that I have lost weight (oh please) because of something that is eating my mind and heart like termites. I hope that you find it in you to reciprocate (big word in 1993) this missive (ho! I’m on a roll) and allow my heart to breathe again (stolen from a Toni Braxton’s song).

There might be a trip to your school soon and I hope that my name is on the list. If that happens I will be very delighted to see those lovely eyes again and maybe you can take me for a tour of your school; I would like to see the vegetables in your gardens. (See how I was employing metaphors long before anybody did?) Should I not make it onto this list then I hope that you can send me a picture of yourself to give my poor heart peace. I will carry your picture everywhere and keep it safe.

It’s 8:45pm as I write this during another prep while I should be studying reproductive health (oh, how charming, Biko!) You have stolen my heart, my beautiful Christine, but it’s okay, you can keep it. My heart belongs to you. (Roll eyes here.)

I will pen off now but before I do that I want you to know that I will be waiting for your reply day and night and if I don’t receive a reply from you I will gladly fall on my own sword. (Yup, effects of reading a Shakespeare set book.)  Keep yourself safe for me, my love.


It’s me, your beloved boyfriend-in-future, (hehe)

Jackson Biko, aka GunMan Blue (I was so shady.)


PS. I dedicate this song to you: ‘Before I Let You Go’ by Blackstreet.


Well, she let me go. Rather, she never replied. Heartless, heartless woman.