being a debtor 1

It’s the first week of January, a tough week to be honest. When the sun feels like its two meters above my head. When you think of googling jobs but the available jobs are calling for masters and PhD as an added advantage. They also add crazy things like ten years’ experience. On these kinds of days, Friday like today, that’s when I sit and tell my wife that I won’t be going to the place where I kill my snake anymore.  She asks me how I will be placing food on the table. I tell her that I shall be no longer placing food on the table, I will now sell the table and pay out a few debts, the remaining tens of shillings, and we shall buy food and place it on the stool.

If this goes on, we shall sell the stools and place the food on the floor. After all, that’s how waislamu eat. If this still goes on, we shall sell our chairs and eat while standing. This will remind us of the pass over meal. Due to the hard days ahead, I think we shall be even taking bitter herbs, but anyway, lets first enjoy the table and all the furniture in our house. Our SMALL house for that matter. So today I decided to share some thro back stories with my wife and my son who is learning to say a few words. Back in those school days, there was Roithi.


She was those big ladies in school who would beat a group of boys in one round. She was the one who would defend people like me. People who had a small body in primary school. Roithi was not feared, she was respected. Roithi was not loved, she was obeyed. Roithi was the type of ladies who used to run ‘kamaingi’. Overtake me as the last one and even get close to number two. She was a lady and a half.

I remember when Mr. Thananga shouted at me during athletics practice, ‘Biu, unapitwa na Roithi?’ by the time he was done with those words, Roithi zoomed past me, with her long blue dress followed by a trail of her untied dress belt. She preferred running barefoot as she said that she was more comfortable.

The Roithi stories were interrupted by a knock at the door, followed by some silent moment. These metallic doors do not call for door alarms. The noise they make is enough to wake you from dead sleep moment. Back to my point, the knock at the door took us on a silent mode. We waited for the second knock. And it really came.

Who could have visited us this early? Saa mbili and someone is already at our house. You know sometimes it’s good to sleep over at a place than go knocking at somebodies house in the wee hours of the morning.

I told my wife to open the door. That’s when I saw the landlady. A slim lady who run the rentals that I have been living for almost two years now. Immediately I saw her, I checked my calendar. It was 6th January. I am a day late in paying rent. Usually I pay 1,500 for my house. My wife welcomed her for tea but we all knew why she was there.


At times it’s hard to convince these people who own rentals. Like in a month, how could I have not been able to raise 1,500 for rent? the landlady did not even look at the tea she was being offered, the look on her eyes were inviting me outside. And so I got out. I tried telling her how I had been in the village and used all the cash there, I even told her that I paid for two cows to be given artificial insemination by the vet. She was just there listening.

After my many stories, we agreed that I make a promise and pay her some of the rent. I parted with 200 bob plus a new deadline set on 10th this month.

That 200 was the only money between me and poverty. 9:00 AM  I had to get out of the house and see if I could at least secure some kibarua at the shopping center to save lunch and supper for my two worlds. My wife and my charming son.

also read i was conned by a pregnant woman



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