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How To Survive Naiccon as a Loner-Introvert



The first time I attended Naiccon was in 2019. I had a blog running at the time. I won't divulge its name lest the idea of people reading its contents gives me a panic attack from cringe de la cringe. The memory of the experience had disappeared in the cellars of my mind. Then at Naiccon 2022, a lady who was passing by my table admitted that it was her first time and she was feeling a bit... awkward.


The neurons in my brain did de ting. The memory flooded my mind's eye. I knew what she was talking about.


I may have sounded like an absolute 'dwanzi' when trying to ease her. I don't know, man. I am an introvert. Which means often times my social skills fall deep into the trenches and sometimes they rise to levels I thought unpossible (put the dictionary away! I know what I'm doing).


It might just be that I'm overthinking the momentary encounter (introverts say wagwan!). I told her that my first time was nerve-wracking. Possibly, I also said she was handling it better than I did. It was a long weekend of meeting a lot of people. Sue me for not remembering every word I uttered. How rational of you.


Here is the blog post from 2019. I have edited it accordingly to save you from the horrors of cringe.


(The blue text in brackets are thoughts from my present/future self)


 

Hey guys! Here's what today's post is about:




Gotten the hint? No? Yes? Either way…

It’s about being different.


..not giving a f#*k has nothing to do with not caring. It’s about being okay with being different. Mark Manson, The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F#*k

Long story short, I’m a weirdo. I like to do things my own way. Others opinions of me is irrelevant. If ya think I’m just rambling on bout not giving a ____ because of the usual circumstances ( i.e. someone gets on my nerves and I try to show it hasn’t gotten on my nerves by repeating an emotionally charged ‘I don’t give a…’), be the judge after reading this post.


Here’s a little 101 about me:

  • I’m a loner.

  • I love anime.

  • I love Spiderman, always will do.

  • I love Zen, Taoism, Gnosticism, Buddhism and Hip-Hop (the culture, not the music genre)

  • I love dubstep

  • I love pinching girls’ cheeks (face cheeks, ya filthy heathen)

  • I hate wearing suits


And to top it all off, I don’t really have any friends at home. I stay indoors all day fantasizing, painting/drawing, designing stuff and only really ever do socialize on Sundays ... and maybe Saturdays when I attend church stuff. Otherwise, most of the week, I’m a hermit.


And those are just the things I can tell you. The rest, I hear from other people and that’s how I know just how off I am.


Anyway, enough digression. At least now you know wassup in my social-ish life. Here’s today’s agenda; Comic Con in Nairobi. (Naiccon)


So I showed up at Naiccon 2019 (alone, yes) and right from the entrance I was slapped with a sense of familiarity. Probably because the first stand I came across had artwork by familiar artists (Thufu of BSQ Crew, E-Bruh and Chela). I think I started a revolution on stickers because since I explained to E-Bruh how to make stickers of his art, all other artists seemed to followed suit.


I’m glad. At least this way I can sample some of their art more affordably.


Anyway, I finally get to meet Chela, a female artist who’s art I’d seen at an exhibition (Kesho Afrika) on Monday of the same week. Pretty awesome chik. Also has a fro fetish like I do.

JACKPOT!!


So I tell her what I told Blaine 29 (another artist who exhibited at Kesho Afrika); the exhibition had me depressed. That’s a story for another day but here’s some few tags to give you an idea what the exhibition was all about; #afrofuturism #panafricanism #afrorenaissance


As I resume my walk in the convention, I meet a stand of a comic book created by Kenyans (can’t remember the name but it was pretty catchy) and I feel that I belong! I thought I was the only one who’d had such an idea. My brethren are awakening!!!


Next stand, a solo author who’d written a fictitious novel centred around the 1800s of Kenya.

Mind = blown.


Next stand, a group that’s selling Naruto headbands.


Me to me: I just tripped upon heaven!!!!


The rest of the day I spend watching the tournament of Call of Duty Black Ops 4. Group tournaments to be specific.


I get into a random conversation with some guy (that’s something I don’t usually do) After him inquiring if the seat beside me was occupied (it wasn’t), it goes something like:


Victor: I’m here supporting my boys!

Me: Who?

Victor: The Watchmen

Me: Oh, right. Are they like a gamer group?

Victor: Yeah! Only the best in CoD.

Me: Right, I dunno mahn. It’s my first time here.

Victor: First time gaming?

Me: No. First time ever coming to Naiccon.

Victor: Oh. Did you come with your boys? Or…

Me: Naah I’m a solo rider.

Victor: Oh, eazey mahn.


And the convo ends there. No idea what he meant by ‘eazey mahn’ but it left a certain awkwardness in the atmosphere; nothing I’m not immune to already. But it had me self conscious for the remainder of the day. Just mildly though, not intensely.


Anyway, I gets me a Naruto headband and some stickers from Chela and the day was a blast. (Fun fact: I got the slashed Konoha headband because the lady vending said Sasuke was a 'lone wolf'. I hand't seen Naruto by then. A few years later, I know the headband was meant for me cause Itachi's my favourite)


I did cypher in my mind though with The Wolves of the Roundtable. (Side note from future me: this dumbass complex phrase simply means that I sat and pondered) Some bits of retrospect here and there and some things became clearer to me in the course of the day. (I also have no idea what I was on about here. Face palm)


Obviously, being a straight guy, seeing other dudes rolling with chiks left me girl-sick. Like homesick, but for the ladies. Hehehe


Focus…


But after focusing on that illusion of ‘loneliness’/’patheticness’ for too long, my diverse taste of literature came to the rescue.

You don’t need to go looking for love from someone else. That only shows the lack of love within. Love yourself first, and you won’t have to rely on others for love. You’re already giving it to yourself. Dr. Sebi

(I have skipped the next few paragraphs. They sounded corny and reeked of cringe. I shall leave the rest to your imagination)


That’s what I learned on the metaphysical level from the convention.


On the normal level, if you want to meet the upcoming Stan Lee’s and DC’s and Marvel’s of Kenya and Africa at large, Naiccon is the spot for you.



 

Back to the future!


It may seem not-so-cringe now. But when I was going through it... my goodness! Wacha tu.


Most of the time, when one is fresh from high school and roaming the outside streets by themselves, it's fairly overwhelming. The self-doubt, low self-esteem and self-consciousness is common. Most of us have gone through this but don't often speak of it, for whatever reasons. If you didn't go through that, wewe sasa ndio unajua what species you are from.


Last but not least: I lied.


I'm deeply sorry, but there is no survival kit when attending Naiccon. If there were one, then a "How to Survive Falling Asleep on Your Bed" survival kit would exist as well.


It won't kill or threaten you. I promise. You shall live long enough to tell the tale. Guaranteed! Describing the atmosphere of Naiccon in one word would be unfair. Therefore, I shall paraphrase what it would say if it were sentient:


"Look, mayne. We're all weird here to some extent. No one cares about whatever it is you are beating yourself over. You have no idea how freeing it is to be weird with other weirdos, do you? Come join us. We've been waiting for you :D"

Did I lie? Or is all of this straight facts? The comment section awaits your thoughts, mkubwa.


Written by The Diplomatist Vulgar

"Bliss is also known as KDF na maziwa moto," says he.

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