Why People Would do anything to get government jobs

Government offices in Kenya are nothing but dens of laziness, corruption, illicit sexual affairs, absenteeism, poor service delivery and insensitivity. Insensitivity to the citizenry and their needs. Staff in these offices forget that they were placed in those positions to serve people. People whose taxes are used to pay them (staff). But what do we get back? Poor services and loathing from the very people we pay to serve us.

There was a meme I once came across that depicted how many people dislike government hospitals, schools, services but ironically, everyone would die to get a government job. Your guess is as good as mine. In government offices, people report to work when they want, leave when they wish, work as they wish but still get paid handsomely. Who wouldn’t want such a life?

And that explains why people would do anything to get government jobs. From spreading their legs like the gospel to selling land and cows to raise bribe money because of the assurance to return whatever was spent on bribes hundredfold within a short period of time. A Kenyan parent will sell anything within their disposal and even borrow from saccos and Shylocks to bribe their children’s way into a (government) job. Morals kando nanii.

Visit at noon

Have you ever walked into an office at around noon? If you haven’t, please don’t. You will be frustrated and left helpless by souls that don’t give a damn about whatever issue you want addressed. First you would be lucky to find somebody in office (at that time). On a bad day, 90% of the staff will be absent. The remaining percentage will leave for ‘lunch’ immediately the clock points noon. Probably a receptionist with 3kgs of raw attitude will tell you without looking at you, “Rudi saa nane”. She even doesn’t want to know what your issue is. Sometimes it is just a simple inquiry but she will tell you to come back at two. If you insist, that will be deemed as disrespect and you risk not getting served in that office at all until Christ’s second coming.

So you will anxiously and desperately wait for 2 pm for you to get attended as instructed. The two hours wait is like a whole day especially when you urgently need something  crucial that is compulsory for you proceed to other stages or seek certain services elsewhere. Maybe a certificate or document here, a stamp there, name them. So you wait at the waiting room, or just outside. In extreme cases, people still remain in queues all that time because they want to be served first.

It is 2 pm. You enter the office. No one is back. Just that receptionist and she is on phone putting her PhD in domestic affairs into practice (moshene tupu). And there is a way they hold their phones in between the ear and the shoulder as they type something on the computer. Mostly they will be on Facebook. Like expected she will signal you to wait. Of course you have no option because none of the staff has arrived from lunch. One would be tempted to believe they were waiting for githeri that was placed on the fire at noon. Or what else explains why someone would take more than two hours in the name of having lunch?


When you are almost despairing, at around 2: 45 PM, they walk in with tooth picks in their mouths. Akina plesident Kingston sasa wanaingia. Laughing recklessly and belching. Men will be touching their potbellies as sign of satisfaction. Still they will be talking about last week’s seminar and how they were fed well. They will be selecting who should attend the next workshop and other staff much to the dismay and annoyance of the people on the queue.

The slay queen will catwalk with her loud heels which are irritating to the fatigued souls that have been waiting since noon. Her skirt is as brief as a cock on top of a hen. It ends where it starts. She is not ashamed like the others who walk as they pull down their skirts. After all si walisema my dress my choice? She occupies her seat after wiping it with a wet wipe for 5 minutes.

She then pulls her hand bag and places it on the desk. Takes out her lip balm, lip gloss, lip stick sijui ang’owa and applies it for 20 minutes. You are there watching. Sorry, waiting. After she is done painting her lips with duracoat, she asks, “mnataka kusaidiwa?”. Jesus Christ. Of course, yes. Or what would people be doing queueing if not to be served? Madam, you think people have been waiting here for that long to admire your fake nails?

She will serve two people, receive 5 calls from her ‘gals’ and boom! before you know it it is 3: 45 PM. She will then say “nimechoka, masaa ya kazi imeisha. Mnataka nikufie hapa? Nitawacha Jayden wangu na nani?” And you are left to wonder what she has done for her to claim she is tired. You almost tell her ” heri ukufe tu” but you manage to control your anger.

You are left standing there as she packs her belongings into her handbag that can carry everything you would need for two weeks camping trip. She shuts down the computer, closes the files ignoring pleads from old weary women who have spent the last five days in that office seeking help. They will answer without an iota of sympathy that they also have children and they don’t get paid to work beyond working hours. You are left wondering what hours she is speaking about when she walked in at 2:45 PM and is here leaving at 3:50 pm.

Before they leave, they again apply their duracoat on their lips. They will hug each other bye and jump unto waiting cars of their male colleagues and leave you standing there bewildered. And you can’t tell them nothing. Especially if they are the vegetables of the boss. Some of these people are people who got the jobs they hold not due to merit but due to technical know-who. They are well connected like electric cables in a serious manufacturing plant. Utado?

There could be exceptions but those are just few. You may get one or two dedicated, professional and ethical public servants but that is like a drop in the ocean. Their efforts and impact gets completely overshadowed by the complacency and inadequacy of their colleagues. Honestly, in a process that requires several approvals at different stages, it requires a combined effort from the relevant staff to offer satisfactory services.

Impromptu Visits, the way to go

That is why impromptu visits to state departments have led to shocking revelations. Unless something is urgently done, the situation in these offices is wanting. A total overhaul, tougher measures on errant staff and constant evaluation on the effectiveness and efficiency of systems for improvement and adjustment would go a long way in providing a remedy to this sorry state. But as things are, these places are worse than a Colonial chief’s office in pre-independence Kenya characterized by foul language, threats, bravado, braggadocio, vitriol, ego-centrism and total disregard to the needs, views and feelings of the citizenry seeking services.




Nore People?

I come from South Africa. Thank you. Those who hail from my place must have heard this phrase, ” Nore people?”. Loosely translated, this means “Do you have people?” Now ‘people’ in this context refers to wife. You will attend a function and a man will introduce his better half like, “These are my people.”( Aba nabwo abanto bane). Aki we South Africans are funny.

The craze with this phrase actually resulted to the composition of a song by the same name or something close. People became and still are obsessed with it that Sometimes I think it is getting abused. Same way “am fine”, “it is okay”, “poa” and the several conventional responses we give to greetings have been misused (for lack of a better word). Someone will say they are fine even when they are on their death bed struggling to hold on. People will say they are okay even when the evidence that they aren’t is overwhelming. Maybe it is in our upbringing. I don’t know. Story for another day.

Over the past few months alone, I have lost count of the number of people who have asked me if am ‘peopled’. To be honest it has been irritating like someone who picks their nose using their fingers on a (first) date. A complete turn off. Someone calls you and you’d expect that it is something important or at least just catching up but they quickly drift from the subject and begin asking you if you have “people’. Da F ? These are mostly distant relatives and close enemies you last saw when Amos Wako was the attorney general!

Handling marriage questions

If you are a young person, particularly male, every time you go upcountry be prepared to come into contact with that question from people you have to struggle to recall where you last saw them. You are going to thank me for that leakage because the holidays are here and you are probably going to pay your folks a visit. Boychild nimekupea mwakenya. Jipange na responses za kuhandle dem fools one at a time.

You are in a function, probably a wedding and you are having a good time enjoying loved ones solemnizing their union then someone taps you from behind. The first thought that creeps into your mind is you are probably blocking them from witnessing the happenings of the day with your big head. So you tilt a your head alittle to angle Theta so that you can allow a brother have a glimpse of the altar. To your surprise, the tapping persists prompting you to turn. You turn. It is a distant relative. ” Yako Sasa ndio imebaki” or “Yako ni lini?”. On a good day when Unai Emery has not tampered with my moods and emotions, I will frown and softly respond “Mtajua tu”. On a bad day especially after I have calculated all my debts and arrived at the obvious conclusion that am a walking debt, yaani Ile tu nafaa kubadilisha jina niitwe Denis Juu ya madeni, I will tell him “Nyoko” like I always tell people who get into my nerves.

I would react differently if my parents, close family members or someone I regard highly inquired about my marital status. Ironically, our parents who are better placed to query our alleged procrastination in matters pertaining  matrimony, understand us so much that they will grant us time and peace of mind till we begin spotting grey hair. At this point, they will softly and/or jokingly remind us that they don’t want to die without seeing their grandchildren. Hapo sasa inabidi  ucheze kama Messi ulete gaidi pale aonekane na wazazi halafu mabaaden umpatie ball na ubaki na possession juu enyewe VAR siku hizi ni noma. But we ain’t there yet. No grey hairs yet. Kipara tu ndio inasumbua Juu ya stress.

CBK Governor

When the current CBK governor was being vetted for the job he is holding, someone in that panel wanted to know why he was still single at his age then. He is still single by the way. He gave a simple and satisfactory answer, ” Am single by choice”. He is an Opus Dei.The next time someone wants to rush you with his useless timelines in regard to marriage, quote the good CBK governor, that is if you are decent (un)like me who comes from South Africa.

There are so many things to worry about in this country. From how we got to the point of appointing dead people and those about to die(literally) into office to how Kibra residents are being told to elect someone who will actually not vote for himself. Neither will the people pushing for his election. But we are used to comedy in this country. A friend recently told me that since we are a country of drama we should just vote for Daniel Churchill Ndambuki as our president, Professor Hamo akuwe deputy wake, Adhis JoJo pale na akina Mammito Eunice waingie Kwa cabinet. Of all the problems bedeviling our country, “when will you get married?” features nowhere in the top 1000. And that is courtesy of one simple thing, respect for other people’s choices.

Charles Njonjo married at 52

The Duke of Kabetteshire ‘Sir’ Charles Njonjo, Kenyas first African Attorney general married in his 50s. He married a white. I will not speak about his loathing for blacks because that isn’t the subject of the day. Guess what, the old attorney general, legislator and cabinet minister is today 99 yrs old enjoying life like the prince he is. He still swims ( he loves swimming by the way), drives himself and has grown ass children and grandchildren around him. He is happy. He never got influenced by worries from irrelevant characters to begin a family when he was not ready for it but waited for God and his right time. Na hata hatujafika 50s na mtu anatuharakisha hapa. Wachana na sisi.

There are so many reasons why people choose not to settle down as soon as you would expect them to. Reasons bado ni zilezile za history; poor infrastructure, inadequate resources, language barrier, inequitable distribution of resources, diseases and epidemics, wars, illiteracy, colonization, rise of the Mwene Mtapa kingdom… name them. So kama ni reasons unataka tutakupea if it is worth it. That is if you insist, but meanwhile let us be. Unless you have daughters somewhere that you want to gift us and an industry and a house like Prof Jay wa Mitulinga in His Song Zali la Mentali. ” Baba mkwe alitupa kiwanda, nyumba na BM(BMW)”. Hapo hatuwezi kataa. But since you ain’t providing any of that, stay calm. Desist from rushing us with those irritating, disgusting, cantagarous, obnoxious, uncouth, and ignominious questions. Allow us the peace of mind to work on our preferences and priorities first. We will get back to you later puris.

Not a discouragement

And we are not discouraging anyone from settling down. No. If you are ready please go ahead. Or if you want to try, please do. Ikiweza zidi, if it bites each other, utarudi tu kwa bachelorhood. Your place will still be intact. Nobody will grab it like a piece of land next to Langata primary. What we are discouraging is doing things not because you want to but because others want you to ( if at all they genuinely do) then live the rest of your life unhappy and regretting inside a septic tank. Please choose happiness above everything anyday anytime.

If you are not ready for marriage, kaa Na mama yako; usikuje hapa.


Offensive Matatu stickers

” Hatusemi wewe ni mnono, lakini ukikalia viti mbili utalipa.” I am sure most of us have come across this sticker in matatus. If you haven’t, then you probably haven’t used matatus in Kenya. I am not sure how fat people feel when they board these matatus. To me it sounds very insensitive and reckless.

Human beings were created by God (so we believe). And the scriptures proceed to state that we are all created in the image and likeness of God. So then, if am fat, that is God’s image. Same thing if am slim. 

But even without following that religious angle, can’t people just be? Why do we always need to dictate how other people should look like even when we are not helping them out achieve that? Oh, she is fat, oh sijui amekonda… Total crap. Not everyone wants a slender body like yours. Equally not everyone desires a chubby stature like yours. So, be and let others be. 

People have been bullied, insulted and shamed for the least of reasons. To me, people who shame others because of their bodies are just weak. They suffer from complexes I can’t explain and take pleasure in hurting others emotionally. Come to think of it, what does it benefit one after shaming someone because of his/her physical appearance? Does it make you better financially, physically and emotionally? Do you get a job promotion at your place of work if you have one or even get you a job if you never had one?

Personally, if people are comfortable with their bodies there is no single human who has the right to feel otherwise. What should dictate one’s choice of body is their preference and health. Anything else is pure sewage. If your doctor tells you to lose or add  a few kilos, that is the only person you should listen to. Ignore the rest.

I have seen young girls struggle with their weights not because of their choice but because of the choices imposed on them by strangers. I don’t know when the last sitting that declared slim as the ideal body for ladies was held and who were the participants. In all the men’s conferences I have attended including the latest one in Eldoret, we have always emphasized that all women are beautifully and wonderfully made. If your preference is slim, please pick a slim one and leave the rest. Kila mtu atapata size yake, just like bras. Same applies to men. We can’t all have the same tastes and preferences. Choose yours, let others choose theirs. Respect other people’s choices and they will as well respect yours.

There are notorious cyberbullies that have led people to commit suicide or contemplate it. Survivors of cyberbullying have stories to tell. It takes a bold spirit and emotional strength to overcome cyberbullying especially on body shaming. Never allow anyone, and in this case a stranger on Facebook or Twitter make you feel bad about yourself for nothing. He/ she doesn’t pay your rent, buy you food, clothe you, pay your bills…so don’t let them decide how you should look like. Ignore them. 

There is a lady who was asked by an illiterate and insensitive bodaboda guy, ” Madam Na si umenona”. The lady in question composed herself and asked him, ” Kuna nyama yako imepotea mahali na unashuku niko nayo?” Of course the foolish thing couldn’t make a comeback from such a tackle. Hiyo ndio inaitwa kuweka mtu ‘bahali’ yake. But in such cases, especially if you are not bold and strong enough, give it a deaf ear and glide away. Bodaboda guys are not people you should waste your precious time arguing with. Like fighting a pig in the mud. It has nothing to lose. It is fun(to the pig not you). They will drag you to their level and beat you with experience. Before you accuse me of blanket condemnation and generalization, let me state that we have few mature, respectful and civilized bodaboda operators. But those are just few, like the number of sufurias in a bachelor’s house. 


The fact that even prominent personalities have been body shamed and they nearly broke shows you how serious this is. None is spared. Actually, the more prominent you are the more chances people (haters) will find something to talk about your height, weight, nose, buttocks, breasts, hair, teeth, armpits… So trivial, unnecessary and personalized attacks whose main intention is to distract you from your focus and bring you down. Don’t fall for it. Don’t listen to them.

Only listen to your doctor

Love yourself, love your body because if you don’t, nobody will. If you are comfortable with your appearance, you will be confident and with that you will scale heights. Only listen to your doctor and not bodaboda operators and makangas. By the way nobody beats the two in insults, irresponsible, reckless, insensitive and foul language. And it is like they were born of the same mother, went to the same schools and graduated with a Bachelor of arts degree in foul language. First class honours. Nobody had fail.

PS: ” Urefu na ufupi ni maumbile, lakini mimba na unono ni bidii ya mtu.”(Matatu sticker).


Love your neighbour

“Love your neighbour as you love yourself”, commanded our Lord Jesus. I don’t know if He had the people who don’t love themselves in mind. What are such people supposed to give because ‘Nemo dat quod non habet. Anyway. Story for another day.

My neighbour apparently took this command a notch higher. Surprisingly, I don’t know her for being religious. She is something close to agnostic. But I don’t want to judge her. However, how she learnt of this scripture and chose to keenly observe it still baffles me. Okay, I don’t know if she knows it but am imagining she does, going by her actions.

One time I jokingly requested her to invite me for supper. That is the day and reason am writing this. I wish I hadn’t. I forgot the request as soon as I made it because it was not something I was serious about. You know those casual statements you make when you meet someone you know especially if they are carrying food. Something like,”pika mingi ninakuja“. The constitution stipulates in the Nyumba Kumi act of 2014 that never shall a male ask another male to “pika mingi ninakuja”. That is a statement that is only said to a female from a male or vice versa especially if both are single. A boychild can however say this statement to any female provided they have that relationship (of joking). Anyone who contravenes this law will face unspecified legal and non-legal consequences including but not limited to expulsion from the plot, a day at the chief’s camp, writing a detailed apology to the affected parties, to the nyumba Kumi chairman and to the landlord or all the above.

So, after the request I forgot and went strolling leisurely in the hood sampling mutura and soup ya kichwa na magoti like the legend I am. Nothing helps unwind like soup. Kwanza ikue na kapilipili size yake. Weuh. You sip that thing and it hits somewhere in your brain that makes you close your eyes. A special moment when you can make any requests to the ancestors and they will listen. The only thing that compares to soup is avocado. I can miss calls, miss a flight, miss an exam, appointment or a date but I can never miss to have an avocado. Not me. Sometimes I think Eve was tempted by the serpent to eat an avocado and not an apple. If it was an avocado, I totally understand her. I could have fallen for that as well.


How many times am I going to digress now. Someone shout at me, “Ona huyu” like those sounds djs insert in their mixes. I have heard you. Back to the request. I returned back to my humble abode at around 9 pm ready to rest. I hadn’t even settled when someone knocked on my door. I told whoever it was to come in. Silence. Second knock. My mind started wondering and wandering. Who could this be? The landlord? No because I never owed him, a hawker? But this wasn’t time for hawking. So, I decided to open the door and peep outside. Guess who? My neighbour. Standing there arms akimbo, her head covered with those things ladies wrap on their heads when they are going to sleep. She was in a long loose t-shirt. I don’t know if there was anything else on the lower part of her body. I didn’t see it. I was pamphazoed and discombobulated (I don’t know what that means). What is happening? I thought to myself. There was an awkward silence. I decided to break the silence that was threatening to last if I wasn’t going to act. ” How can I help you Cate?”, I managed to say.

She smiled. ” Supper is ready.”, She said and left. “What do you mean? I was joking.”, I mumbled as she walked away exposing her fine Thailand (if you know) that was barely covered by the t-shirt she was wearing. She never responded. She opened her door and left it slightly open. About two minutes elapsed. I had since gone back to the house and was standing there calculating the next move. My door was still open. In my confusion I hadn’t remembered to lock it.

Then boom, I found someone standing next to me. I almost screamed. I honestly never heard her come in. It was her. This time furious. Rage was written all over her face. I knew it was business unusual. She never allowed me to speak. She looked at me in a manner between suggestion and intimidation. “Usipokuja usiwahi niongelesha.” She firmly said without blinking and left.


No boychild ever wants to hear those words from a girl child especially a potential vegetable. Anyway, what was it going to cost me? I asked myself. I decided to go. Maybe I was still going to go anyway only that I was acting like I really wasn’t interested. Knock knock. She came to the door and held my hand in. That hand was tender. The kind of hand that can lead you to hell and you won’t realize until you meet (think of that politician you hate). Thank you. You know on judgement day there are people you are going to be put in the same category with and you will be sure you are hell material. Nitaje? Sema ng’wee!

The aroma in that house was so appealing. The owner was more appealing. I made myself comfortable on one of the seats. Cate came and sat next to me. This time I explored Thailand well. My earlier suspicions were confirmed. She only had a t-shirt on. Nothing else. The inspector general had already started saluting. I crossed my legs.

She stood up and went to the kitchen. Okay, the kitchen, the living room and the bedroom are in one room. We are neighbours remember. She served one plate. She had prepared some nice rice with beef stew. I almost asked for an avocado. But I remembered this was not my house. I had to behave kiasi.

She brought the plate and placed it on the table. Then placed two spoons on the food. One pointing to me the other pointing her direction. Si walituambia pale primary school that the arrow points to the eater? She said a prayer before we started eating. I never even heard a single word. My mind was not even thinking about the food on the table. But it was thinking about food.

She was the first one to taste the food. “Usiogope, kula. I made this for you kababa”. Let me make something clear. If you wanted me to give you anything on this planet, just call me kababa. Hapo utakuwa umenivunja magoti kabisa. Hapo Sasa mimi sina nguvu, sina uwezo wowote kama Manchester United. I blushed and started eating. I rarely cook rice in my house. Rice is like a snack to me and snacks are usually taken with beverages or soft drinks. But I wasn’t going to eat like I do in my house where I eat directly from the sufuria to minimise the number of utensils that get dirty after meals.

We finished our food. She wanted to bring more which I strongly objected. Siwezi choma siku ya Kwanza. There is always that awkward moment after meals in someone’s house when you don’t know for how long you should stay before leaving. After clearing the table, she came back and sat close to me again. “Sasa mbona ulikuwa unakataa kukuja kwangu?” She asked me. “Sikukataa.” I responded. She took her hand and placed it on my beard. ” I like your beard”, she said. Thank you. I was now dying. I was literally struggling to breath. I took my hand and held her around the waist. I looked into her eyes. Mtoto macho mlegezo.Huyu anataka kitangatange mpaka kieleweke.” I told myself kimoyomoyo.

Party spoiled

My phone rang, I had forgotten to put it in silent mode or switch it off. I wanted to ignore it but she looked at me. There was a message. I assumed it was one of those promotion messages from Airtel or Tala threatening me with unspecified consequences if I fail to clear my debt. To my shock, she took the phone from the table and read the message. Her smile faded. Her glow vanished. She changed. ” Who is joy to you?” She asked. Silence.

…….to be continued.

PS: Yours truly is an aspiring pope.

A drunkard Mother Part 3

At first, as would be obvious, Mama Jack strongly opposed the idea of her moving to ushago. Can you guess how long it took for her to oblige? Not one, not two but fourteen days. A whole two weeks. Just when Baba Jack was giving up, his wife announced that she would go with her mother-in-law. It was considered a good leap towards her recovery process fueled by the fact that she had finally admitted to be having a problem and needed a way out.
So it was. The family helped Mama Jack to pack up. On the day she was to travel with her mother-in-law, Baba Jack bought her two Tuskers to use during the journey, hoping it will be the last alcohol his wife would ever take.


Two days later, Jack’s father received a call from Ushago. His wife was very sick. She had fever, severe headaches, was vomiting a lot and was very, very violent. Jack heard his dad ask if his wife was pregnant, of course bewildered. Jack was later to learn that was not the case, but his mother had been kept locked up in the compound, away from all alcohol. What she was suffering from was withdrawal syndrome.
After about a week, Jack’s father travelled upcountry after an urgent call. He left Jack in charge of the household that weekend. When he returned home Sunday evening, he made the kids pack up. He was taking them upcountry, for their mum was very ill. She has been admitted in hospital with severe dehydration. Jack was worried. He cried for the better part of the overnight journey.
Indeed when they arrived at the hospital, the teacher’s wife was in grave state. Jack knew why his dad had taken them there. To see their mother for the last time. Even Grandma looked remorseful. She kept begging the doctor to let her daughter-in-law be given at least a glass of alcohol, if that’s what would save her.
That night, the children and their dad spent the night at their Grandmother’s place. All night, they waited for a call from the hospital, the dreaded call. But no one called. The following morning, Baba Jack got himself ready to go. His mother gave him two flasks. One had uji and the other had tea. The teacher thought they were meaningless at the time but took them anyway in order not to upset his loving mother.
Soon as he got to hospital, Grandma’s phone rang. The aging woman received it, her hands trembling. The children were there with their Grandmother. She moved a metre away from them and said “hello”. The children waited. She did not scream, she did not wail. She fell on her knees and started singing a praise song. ” When Jesus says YES, nobody can say NO!” Then she beckoned to the children to go near her. She said, “Your mom says she’s grateful for the uji, she’s already gulped two mugs!”
Tears of joy flowed. That afternoon, the children were taken to see her. She was frail but something was back. Her jubilance. Her happy laughter. Her peace.
The children and their Dad travelled back to the City. The teacher travelled upcountry every other weekend and often brought cheering news.
The journey to recovery was happening, but was not smooth. Sometimes Jack’s mother would relapse and begin drinking all over again, killing everyone’s hope. Eventually she completely quit it.
A whole year went by with her upcountry. Her children had not seen her since the first time she had been hospitalized.

The battle was won

One Friday, Baba Jack travelled upcountry. He did not return on Sunday as planned. When they came back from school on Monday, the compound was literally glowing. The house was spotlessly clean. There was food on the dining table in hot dishes. The aroma was heavenly. Their father had done that? He emerged from his bedroom and made the children sit. Then he told them, “I’ve brought a new woman. From this day, you will not be like motherless chicks.”
Silence fell. Jaws hang. Eyes sparkled with tears. Then little Ann broke the silence.
“A stepmother?”
” No,” said a lady’s voice from the kitchen, as she emerged to reveal herself. Mama Jack herself! Beautiful, in make-up, neatly dressed and with a beautiful hairdo. She was back! She was smiling from ear to ear. The only thing missing were her two front teeth, otherwise she was the mother they had lost several years ago. Tears of joy flowed freely. It was jubilation my friends.
That night, the family enjoyed the best dinner they’ve ever had for ages. Their mother helped them with homework. The following morning, they all woke up to ready breakfast, and fresh lunch was packed for them.

Journey of victory

This is a story of victory. This is Jack’s story. His mother is currently the manager of her own clothes business. She imports her stock from Dubai and has two big shops, one in Nairobi and the other in Eldoret. Jack’s father retired some years ago, a happy and fulfilled man. Grandmother is old and does not remember much of her past, but even in her incoherence, she never forgets to remind everyone that greets her, that she once fought a monster and defeated it. We all know that monster, don’t we?

A drunkard Mother Part 2

Jack, just like his father, would appear very strong, but deep inside his heart was a gaping wound. He missed his mother’s company and vibrance that was no longer there. He hated being the laughing stock. He had less friends, the stigma was real. His father was struggling financially, running up and down to clear debts incurred by his wife. At one point, he had had to part with 5000 shillings to bail Mama Jack out of police cell after she and others had been arrested over drunkenness and rowdy behaviour.
Jack’s mother grew weaker and thinner by day. She rarely ate enough. Her eyes were always swollen and bloodshot, her lips red. She had two missing front teeth, thanks to blows received during their usual drunken fights. She no longer loved to shower and do make up. Her hair was another big mess. The teacher’s wife was in a pit of self-destruction. Baba Jack’s colleagues often advised him to file for divorce.


One evening, Jack’s paternal grandmother arrived from upcountry. The children were so happy to see her that for the first time they cried together as they hugged her. It was clear they had all been hiding pain within them. Jack saw his father wipe a tear quickly.
That evening, the children were sent to bed earlier than usual. Jack’s Dad and Grandma needed to discuss a very important matter. The girls went to their bedroom and soon fell asleep, but Jack chose to eavesdrop on the conversation. He was sure it was pertaining to his mother, and truly it was. ” So, mom,” Baba Jack began, ” will you take the girls with you to ushago (upcountry)? ” ” No son. It’s your responsibility to bring them up, just as I brought you up. My work is done, do yours.” ” Mom, the children are suffering. I need to protect them from…” “From their mom? From this shame? Son, some things can change, some can’t. Your wife is their mother, that can’t change. They already know she drinks and it hurts. That can’t change, what they know. But one thing can change. Their mom can change. She can quit drinking.” ” But mother, we are tired! I am tired! I want her gone!” ” Good. You want her gone. Gone where? WHERE WILL SHE GO?”
” Mother, I don’t know. ”


” To the streets? Her parents are dead. Her brother sold his inheritance and drunk himself to death. Mama Rose has nothing else but you and the children. ”
” Mother, you don’t know how I feel. You don’t know my life. ”
“Baba Jack, you don’t know how your wife feels. You don’t know her life.”
After a moment of silence, Jack’s Grandma spoke.
” I know where she’ll go. I’m taking her with me upcountry. I’ll take care of her. If I succeed, God be praised. If I don’t, God will know I tried.”
“Mother you don’t mean it.”
“I do. This is a test, perhaps from God. We must pass the test.”
“A test mother? This is a curse! We had this with Dad. Why undergo the test again?”
” Good question. We must repeat the test because we failed it last time. We failed with your dad, he died like a dog. Your children must see a victorious ending, not a remorseful one.”
By the end of the conversation, an agreement had been reached. Jack almost screamed in applause of his Grandma, then he remembered he was eavesdropping.

My Wedding Day

” On my wedding day, there will be a break where you will all go to your homes, eat then come back” Haha, don’t be scared. That is a whatsapp status I read on a friend’s profile and I couldn’t hold my laughter. What was this guy thinking? I actually replied and told him “hatutarudi!” No mercy to the merciless! We ain’t going to sacrifice our time to witness you exchange vows with your woman only for you to treat us that way! Nefa!

But this got me thinking. How will my wedding be when I finally find the ‘Laugh of my life?’ To begin with, there will be no committee. Committees should be a reserve for serious issues like finding solutions to the perennial food shortages and famine in Kenya and not for planning a one day event where two consenting adults swear before uninterested all and sundry that they have decided to tolerate each other’s foolishness for the rest of their lives. Till death does them apart. Wengi hata hawafikangi hapo kwa death, wanafikishwa (septic tank manenos). Anyway…


If anything needs to be planned, it will be between me and my gaidi. We will choose what we want to wear on our big day. Personally am not going to DON a suit. It is not an interview. I will be comfortable with an African wear. ‘My person’ will also make her choice. Si cha muhimu ni vows? Ama ni uhai. Haha. None of my friends will be forced to strain their finances to purchase clothes because of us. No. We care about you. Kuja vile ulivyo bana.

No contributions to finance my wedding. By now you must have realized I don’t want to subject anyone to misery (on top of the one they already have.) Again, people will always lie to you that they will support your wedding, only for them to change the narrative and say how you are forcing them into whatsap groups to contribute. I don’t want that. The other day I saw screenshots of a dowry contribution group where everyone left. Everyone, apart from the admin, who probably was the one going to pay dowry. I think he also left later. What would you be doing in a group alone? He should have known better. Hata chibudee, the proprietor of Wasafi Records who is busy uniting east Africa (not musically) but by dating, marrying and separating with women from Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania condemned that in his song ‘Kanyaga.’

My ‘gaidi’ and I will decide what you people are going to eat on our wedding depending on our financial situation at that time. Kama hatutakuwa Sawa, mtakula ulimi zenu na hadithi za pilau bana. But we will try to get you something. Maybe a soda(ndogo) and kdf. Or simple rice with beef. My aunties will help prepare that. I will help slaughter the goat. It has never taken me more than 30 minutes to slaughter and skin a goat. So hiyo budget ya catering services tumetoa.


Mine will not be a highly publicised wedding like the Pope’s visit. But I will make sure those who need to know are aware without sending those cards. Probably two or three weeks to. Just so that they can plan to attend if they wish to. You know Homo sapiens will pretend to feel bad that you never informed them about your wedding when in the real sense they still would have given excuses. And it’s not them you were going to tie the knot with! Mscheew!

Mkishakula nini ingine? Gifts. One awkward thing about informing people about your wedding is that they will be thinking, you expect gifts from them. Mine will be different. Kuja jinsi mlivyo. And I say this from the heart of my bottom (pun intended). But am not going to reject a 504 Peugeot from anyone. Ama kama ni wakati wa campaign, uncle Ulliam akuje aniangushie V8 my fren. That will be the last day you will catch me condemning graft!I don’t want blankets, jugs, 100 litres water tanks, glasses, sufurias, spoons, shirts… Thank you. Hizo tutanunua na Switat yangu. Na si madharau.

Am not sure yet if there will be cutting of cakes. Until recently, I never knew that wedding cakes can cost up to 200k. Mimi na ushamba yangu, I have been thinking no cake costs more than 5K. It is a friend who bakes cakes that chanuad me that a cake can cost up to whatever amount you want as long as you afford. Kwanza this cakes with ghorofas up to sijui 7th floor. Kwanza mi am scared of heights. So instead of a cake, I will get my grandmother ( God bless this lady) to cook for me Ugali ya Wimbi. I will then have Kuku kienyeji dry fry. That is what we will cut and eat. By the way my grandmother won’t prepare the chicken because it was a taboo for them to eat chicken. So I won’t torture her to prepare something she doesn’t pertake. Am civilized. But our grandfathers were mean. They made our grandmothers prepare things they(women) weren’t allowed to eat for them. The laugh of my life will instead do that. Si harusi ni yake. I have seen couples sip wine at weddings. Hiyo sina shida nayo. Ama niwaletee chang’aa so that you all pass out tuwaibie hizo pesa mlikataa kutununulia gifts nazo? Imagine a situation where the groom is ‘out’ ( like everyone else) after imbibing chang’aa from Suneka and is grinding mother-in-law. Unaambia mother in-law, ” weka mate niteleze kama nyoka pangoni”. Uuuwih. No. So for that reason, no chang’aa. I have seen what it does to people.

What have I left behind? The venue will definitely be a local church. The reception will be at the very grounds, probably outside. Am not going to pay for a venue. Pay rent and pay for a venue for a wedding.? Nijikute!


So that you all don’t act surprised like you’ve seen lot’s wife turn into salt, I will inform my local priest, family and gaidi’s family about my plans for the wedding. Wakikataa niende Kwa attorney general faster. Harusi ni yangu. Wafanye zao vile wanataka. Yangu nitafanya vile nataka.

Honeymoon ni kwa nyumba. And they lived together forever ama inakuwanga happily after?

PS: We went far talking about the wedding. Let me first find the ‘Laugh of my life’! Lucky if she will accept these terms and conditions. Wish me well!

PS(2) : Today am ish*. Haha.

How “Chewing” Domestic Managers began

“Unaeza nitafutia msichana wa kazi? Kwangu hata hakuna kazi mingi, ni kupeleka tu mtoto shule na kumchukua jioni.”  That is how Nairobi women request for leads to secure them house maids (domestic managers/ house girls/nannies) from their relatives, friends and colleagues. Personally, I have lost count of the many times friends and relatives have asked me that and I must confess I have been of little help like a used condom’s packet. You cannot reuse it for anything.

Today, almost 80% of the average Urban family has a domestic manager. This is very understandable bearing in mind that in town, people don’t have the comfort of extended families with whom you can leave your child as you look for the daily bread, a situation that necessitates one to seek the services of a Domestic Managers. Looking after young children is the major reason that prompts families to engage Domestic Managers (DMs). Then of course other domestic chores like cooking, laundry… name them.

Kukula Mboch

Having a Domestic Managers is not a new thing. It goes back to biblical times. You remember Abraham and Sarah had a maid servant called Hagar. Hagar had a son with Abaraham called Ishmael. (Hii story ya kukula mboch ni ya tene). And it is documented nowhere that Sarah was a working lady probably a Receptionist (or Mpesa lady…lol) that left the house at 6 am and came back at 8 PM but she still had a domestic manager. Funny also that she had a DM when she had no child and sent her away when she, Sarah, had a child of her own. You would argue this was the time she needed one most. End of biblical narrations. Now you know I wasn’t sleeping in those Sunday school classes.

If the people during the times of Abraham had DMs, it goes without saying that in current times where people are working away from their homes for many hours, domestic managers are as important and useful as they were then. I think even more. They are literally caretakers of homes, kids and everything around in our absence and even when we are back.

Why am I talking about DMs? Truth is in spite of the important roles these people play in our lives, most households don’t treat them well. To begin with, their remuneration is wanting. Few households observe the standards set by labour organisations and the government. What one gets depends on the magnanimity of the employer. Because of the unforgiving economic times, desperation drives most girls to accept simsim as pay. To say peanuts is an overstatement. The pay is not always commensurate to the chores done. A pay which is normally delayed intentionally or gets sent directly to dependents back in the village who have no idea what their daughter is doing to feed them.

Employing underage

Age. A lot of us unashamedly employ underage girls as maids then go chest thumping how we are helping them. The excuse is usually alikataa shule. This is both illegal and inhuman. You cannot employ a minor to look after your minors when she should be in school like your minors.

House girls work long hours. They are supposed to wake up earlier than everyone and retire to bed after everyone else has. Majority do not even have off days. Then in the evening the madam of the house comes with three kilos of attitude, scorning and foul mouthing accusing the DM of lazying around. They always say, “ulikuja hapa kukula tu na kujaza Choo“. How mean? Some do not eat the food they cook for the rest of the household. Yes. I have seen it. Some are not allowed to sit with the rest of the family in the dining room. Once they deliver the food and serve, they retreat to their offices(kitchen), wait till everyone is done for them to come and clear the table. Some of these Nairobi kids can eat for more than one hour. You have to plead or fight with them to eat.

Some madams won’t allow their house girls dress well or have their hair neatly done. They do not want competition. They are supposed to look like scarecrows so that a fisi husband is not attracted. They forget hyenas are well known scavengers. Haha.

The list is long. One cannot possibly exploit and exhaust the harsh, cruel and inhuman conditions most of us subject our DMs to. This is very wrong. I will not deny the fact that we have uncouth ones who deliberately do irritating stuff for reasons well known to themselves and maybe satan. From peeing in sufurias, using their boss’s bed for pekejeng with caretakers and random guys to hurting (in extreme cases killing) toddlers. Some people have argued that it is their (DMs) way of passing the frustrations from their bosses to otherwise innocent and harmless targets which is equally wrong and must be condemned in the strongest terms possible.

Society is not judged by how it treats the mighty and powerful. It will be judged by how it treats the weak and suffering. We need to change our attitude towards domestic managers and appreciate them. We need to motivate them. Norman Vincent Peale, in his book The Power of Positive Thinking, says that human beings want to be appreciated. There is a magic that appreciation works in all of us. It fuels the desire to be more productive.

We cannot be complaining about the harsh treatment our ladies go through in the middle East when we are doing the same to them back home. How hypocritical of us. It is high time we started embracing our house girls as friends, as partners, as family, as colleagues because they actually are. This way, we will get the best out of them and you know what that means? Everybody goes home happy. Otherwise it will be a case of Garbage In Garbage Out (GIGO).

PS: The reason I will never help someone get a housemaid is because I don’t want to be blamed later by the employer for ” getting them a bad person” or by the house girl for taking her to be tortured. And you are left helpless because you don’t know who is telling the truth and who is lying like a certain politician. Let those with demand for services and those offering  those services locate each other without my input. Haven’t you heard ” cotton with your situation? Loosely translated, kila mtu apambane na hali yake.

By Mabior


Dear Dad,

I hope this finds you alive. For a long time, I have always known you were knocked down by a lorry. That is the response mum always gives us when we ask her about you, our dad. It is only recently I learnt that that is the common phrase used to refer to dead beat dad’s. I have been laughing alone at this creativity from our mums. It is like they gave up, stopped caring anymore but didn’t want to hurt us with the truth that you abandoned us for bad (it can’t be for good.)

Please come back home. We have no idea why you left but we want you back. This could probably be a nice opportunity for you to explain to us. Who knows, we may understand and allow you to go back to your hiding place again. Did we as your children disgust you that much? But we were so young, we don’t even have a picture of you in our minds. Our brains hadn’t developed that much, leave alone uttering a word. Why were you that impatient? Or is it mum? We don’t know because, she doesn’t want to talk about it. All she says is, “Baba yenu aligongwa na Lorry”.

Father figure

We are not complete without you, a father figure. My little sister and I are lonely. Mum tries her best to play both roles of mum and dad but we can always see and feel her. It is not a walk in the park. Maybe it is a walk in the dark. A tough one. One time you hit your leg on a stone, one time you are scared, one time you are standing still trying to figure out the right path to your destination. It is tough but you have to keep going. We understand her.

How do you think we feel when other kids in school and in the estate brag how their dads treat them well? How they spend weekends shopping, going to parks and coming back with painted faces? We feel out of place dude. You don’t wanna imagine the awkward silence we maintain as our mates catch up every Monday morning after eventful and adventurous weekends with their parents. We don’t have an iota of that experience.

What do we answer when our Sunday school teacher asks us who is good between mum and dad? We have always said mum because we have never experienced you. We have to be honest. Last week I scored 36 out of 40 in a composition we were asked to write about our fathers. I think I should have written about God (Our Father who is in Heaven). But somehow, I miraculously tried to be as creative and imaginative as I could. My composition was the best and it was read out to the rest of the class. They clapped and marveled. But deep down I knew I was lying. It was fiction. Make it real nigga.

I always admire other families. I admire the beautiful sight of a father and mother holding the hands of their children as they walk to church or take leisure walks. Sometimes I feel like joining them. But I can’t. How now? That would be rude. Nobody intrudes other people’s spaces like that. Then, even if I did, where would I leave my sister and mum? Think about it.

Manchester United Fan

I envy other kids when their dads escort them to pick prizes during prize giving day in school. You can’t imagine how those dads proudly walk and smile as they hold their children’s hands. Last term I came top of my class and when my name was called, I was all alone. Mum couldn’t make it to school because of the bad fever she had. You now see why God created two parents? Same reason football teams have substitute players Bwana. By the way I am a Manchester United fan. Lately it has been very disappointing, just like you.

Mum sometimes wishes I grow up fast and act dad to my sister. I always assure her I will. You see the trouble you are putting me through? How am I supposed to when I don’t know and have never known how to be one. People learn from others. From those close to them. You are not close. Who should I learn from? Am in class six and the burden of being the man of the house is not an easy one. On Saturday I crushed my fingers trying to drive a nail as I was repairing my sister’s toy.

We need protection. Someone to shield us from physical, emotional, real and imagined danger. Two weeks ago, my sister fell ill at night and we underwent pain getting her to hospital. Mum carried her on her back and I accompanied her in the cold darkness. I was scared. I don’t know if mum was but I know she is a genius in concealing her feelings. All I could see was strength and boldness from her. A strong woman she is.

The strong and healthy individual is one who asks for help when he needs it; whether he has an abscess on his knee or in his soul, so said someone. We need you. That is why I have asked you to come back. I don’t know if you need us, but how I wish you did. You are only able to discern that when you come back to us and experience us. Like the Lord says, ” Come taste my goodness”. Try us, at least one more time. I don’t know if you ever tried us.

We are waiting for you as Christians wait for the second coming;

Like the guards wait for the morning;

As a bride waits for her groom;

Because I know, someday, you will come.

Make it sooner!


Yours loving son.(my sister can’t write yet. So I did this for her as well).

The writer is a CPR graduate of Moi University