My mother recently dropped a bombshell on me that she’s expectant with her fourth child and she hoped that this time, she’d bear a daughter. I understand why my mother hopes it will be a daughter this time round. Well, my brothers and I weren’t always the best behaved kids in the neighborhood, especially since I was the default leader of the pack by virtue of me being a first born. I remember how one day I wanted peanuts, but I had absolutely no money on me. So, I decided to do a little extortion on mama mboga, whose stall was just outside the balcony of our third floor flat. I know my charm wasn’t fully developed back then, but I still don’t remember how or why she denied me peanuts. All I remember is that instead of sulking, I simply climbed back to our balcony and incited my brother that we needed to teach her a valuable lesson in sharing. We peed all over her stall. Did I mention the beating that followed by the way?
But I didn’t intend this piece to be about motherhood. That memory made me realize that my actions were genuinely normal and natural. Think about it, isn’t that what teachers and doctors are doing, albeit more formal? An industrial strike, generally, is a protest when you don’t get what you want or think you deserve, right? The only difference this time round is that I actually support them. And so do MPs, who are keen to appear righteous after investing tax payers’ money on a grand renovation of parliament, complete with Citroen seats that you only get to see in the VIP stands of the Etihad Stadium. They all accept that the government needs to fulfill the pay increase promised to the teachers back in 1999. Yeah, you heard right. 13 years ago.
Though I do not support the public display of hooliganism that was when teachers decided to take it upon themselves to strip head teachers on National TV, in all fairness to the teachers, living in Kenya is getting really hard; the cost of living is going up. But as I have said before somewhere on this blog, life still remains very popular. Ask the bartender who made the mistake of asking a lady why she looked depressed and regretted it three hours later. Hell, even the government couldn’t afford to give our athletes at the Paralympics armed escorts for their safety. No pun intended by the way.
And it isn’t just the teachers or the doctors. Hookers too are having it rough and have now resorted to Facebook and other social networking sites to solicit for sex. I fully expect thieves to follow suit with this trend. Back to the hookers, their goals, as evidenced in the Facebook page ‘Campus Divas for Rich Men’, are clear; if you have no money, beat it. Ok, don’t pretend you’re surprised we’re paying universities to get our kids’ virginities broken. Cum-pus. Get it? That aside; dating is proving to be a very expensive affair. In fact, to get hot dates nowadays you need to follow these steps: one, buy or pluck dates from a tree. Two, fry dates or put dates into a microwave for two minutes. Ta-da!!
Anyhow, childbearing is worse. Kenya isn’t like China where they have factories for everything including children. Here everything is different. You have to first and foremost get fooled by a woman into getting her pregnant. Then she has to surprise you that she’s pregnant and that you’re bound by law to take care of her and her baby. That includes medication. But as things are, who is going to afford a doctor when it’s one doctor’s photo per patient? Mauvimivu yakizidi utamwona daktari yupi? Where are you even going to get the money to pay the newly-introduced tax on rent, leave alone the rent itself?
Ever wondered why bakers, including those who make donuts never decide they are tired of the HOLE thing and quit their jobs? I’ll tell you why. Frankly speaking, bakers are the only people not affected during these tough times. Bakers never go broke; they just keep making lots of dough. Plus they earn the majority of their income by noon – they make most of their dough at yeast by a leaven o’clock. Take my advice, if you want to survive, become a chef or a baker, although I should warn you in advance that you will have to be grilled before you get the job. And wipe that shocked look on your face, I didn’t mean literally you dumbass.
The saddest part about it is that I now have to give up my dream. It is common knowledge that since the discovery of oil in Turkana I have a dream of investing in the area. I thought I’d hit jackpot when a friend and I came up with the genius idea of investing in toilets in Turkana. Sadly, now, as things are, it is cheaper to watch a movie about food and reminisce about its taste and smell than to actually buy food. Movies are Ksh. 50 after all. I know I won’t be the only one that’s had a cup of strungi with a vivid imagination of mandazi; but hey, maybe you’re the type that lives solely on the Fruits of the Holy Spirit. Anyway, even people in Turkana did have food, who’s going to afford toilet paper?
I have come to the conclusion that we will be okay- at least I know I’ll be okay; even if it means resorting to leaves for toilet paper, twigs for toothbrushes and smoke signals for communication. And I’ll date alright. Thank God my History teacher taught me all about the various methods of dating. Contrary to popular belief, Fission Track Dating, and not Carbon Dating, is the best dating method as observed by scientists.
Have a great weekend people and may the teachers get paid.