Sometimes things can be so vivid. And so was the one million shillings cheque in my hands. Finally, the betting industry had paid off. I could already see myself setting up a couple of businesses with the money perhaps I will even buy my grandmother that jiko okoa she keeps on requesting.
As I held the cheque tightly in my hand scared to let go in case some assistant shows up to say there has been a mistake, I grace my face with the most glorious smile I have ever offered mother earth.
“Smile for the camera”
And that’s when I heard something familiar, a musical tone, soothing yet upsetting, could it be?
Damn! It’s the alarm. AGAIN!!!
Oh no, not again, no need to panic, it’s just me on a Friday evening, taking a nap and dreaming of what could be. Perhaps in the multiverse theory, the other me just won a million shillings.
I lazily get up and turn off the alarm. I stare at my watch half-awake only to realise it’s half past six pm. I stand up in an attempt to go to the bathroom but my eyes can’t ignore the sore sight of dishes piling up in the sink. I instantly convince myself that am a man and such things shouldn’t bother me at all.
I had thirty minutes to make it to the neighbourhood high school pitch, a friend of mine from high school had promised to hook me up with a one-day job that he says pays quite well. I had considered putting away my degree in business administration and buying a motorcycle but the fuel prices speak a different tale.
Am not much of a sunlight guy, that’s why I have both blinders and curtains on my window ( and no am not a vampire). I could barely tell the time from inside my house. For me, days and nights are the same, it’s always dark. So I stroll a bit to switch on the lights with hopes that Kenya power had directed their magic wand towards my direction but candle it is. Been considering asking my grandmother to send me one of those kerosene glass lambs we used in the village while growing up but am not sure if buying a litre of kerosene at a hundred and twenty-seven shillings is the right decision for me right now.
Now that the government has decided to be so kind as to regulate the prices of maize flour, I think it’s about time I had some Ugali.
The Luhya in me had been complaining about the amount of rice I have been consuming lately with warnings that the formation of a rice farm might be brewing in my tummy. It’s about time I pay my respects to my bruised ego and enjoy the meal the Luhya way; with some chicken stew and managu on the side.
A little motivation to get me moving.
With hopes of not getting there late, I slip into a clean pair of slacks and a t-shirt before heading out. How I missed a taste of fresh air. I should get out a bit more perhaps open my window from time to time( might be a while before I come to terms with this).
The neighbourhood high school isn’t so far from where I stay. As I walk around, I come across groups of young boys and girls who I assume are high school students, walking around late in the evening in groups looking for God knows what in the name of evening walks. Don’t get me wrong, I was a high school student once. I did that too. In fact, it was the best part of the holiday season. I enjoyed going for those evening walks with the boys as we checked out girls, admiring them, wishing we had the guts to walk up to them and say hello but such things are better off as wishes. It’s amazing how the trend is still so alive. Some things never get old, do they?
As I approach the gate, I couldn’t help but notice a large crowd of people gathered at the centre of the football pitch. So I quickly drop my friend Sally a text “Am here” and walk towards the crowd.
The competition seems tough.
I begin looking around hoping to spot sally amid the commotion am now a part of. The crowd seems to be mostly made of women, I could count the number of men that we’re present, a handful.
I then felt a tap on my shoulder from behind followed by a soothing voice,
“You made it?”
There she was Sally Hamisi, graced with one of the most welcoming smiles my eyes had ever seen.
“Of course I did, wouldn’t miss it for anything,” I replied as I gave her a slight hug on the side.
“Come with me,”
She pulled my hand, and I followed happily as she ushered me closer to the end of the pitch. There stood a guy holding a piece of paper and a pen.
“Pangeni laini tafadhali, let’s make this process as fast and brief as possible,” he shouted.
Sally then explained that I had to write down my name and other details before the list got full. So I did.
She then explained, that without my name on the list I wouldn’t get paid,( explains the commotion of women fighting so hard to be on the list, thank God for Sally, I never made the line.)
Turns out, I had just signed up to help campaign for a certain politician who was to tour our town the next day. Sally promised the pay would be worth it.
“Why are there more women than men?” I asked
“Because politics is changing,” she affirmed.
I looked around and notice the many beautiful faces struggling to get to the fore front and have their names written down, all dressed in the same print of deras. On the front side of the dera was the enormous picture of the said politician’s face ( the things we do for money).
Growing up I imagined the campaign season to be a little different than what am seeing now. I always thought we would have different politicians moving around every single day, spreading messages of their manifestos and will for change but instead all we have are pick-up vehicles with speakers moving around advertising politicians.
I used to think rallies would be filled by men and women who are true to the cause of their leaders but instead it’s going to be filled by people like me seeking ways to make life a little less hard.
My primitive mind never imagined at the very least that women would be at the forefront of the campaign trail. Perhaps things have changed and the future is female after all.
Instructions of the next day’s activities were given and soon the crowd began to disperse after what seemed like an eternity of the registration process.
Sally and I were left clearing up the compound as she told me about what she had been up to and how her life seems to be on track. She’s always been an overachiever.
Oh, this daughter of Eve with a dazzling smile, how I wish she could see the thoughts in my head.
Should I take her out for coffee sometime?
(Out of my league, No?)
Well, it looks like we have a job now. Maybe that Ugali dream is closer to reality than I thought, (fingers crossed).
Photo credits: Google.