I apologize for I have been quiet for so long… I know I have failed as a man. But do not be too quick to judge me…I was caught up in so much organizing for the Storymoja Hay Festival… It came out great. It burns me inside that you did not attend… But it is fine my love… It is well! You have never liked books…
I dont know if I have told you this before, but my sister Aba and I sold our first coloured tv for 10 shillings! Ok the idea was mine. I was five and had just discovered that paper money is stronger than metal money! Paper money got you a bag of crisps and chilli with lemon squeezed in it… Ladies and gentlemen, it tasted like heaven! I know you have saliva jetting out of your glands right now!!
I was a hustla, and could not throw away a magnificent chance of getting some paper!
My father had promised us he would get us a VCR the same week he got us the tv… We were going to be the first family with a VCR in my estate… That was excellent for PR and to get girls come over… Do not look at me like that, I was five, not two!!
My father then went to work in Nairobi… The VCR story that week was slowly turning to fiction… I could not take it…
That is when the same man who delivered the tv showed up at our door round about 10 am with a huge traveling bag written, Worldcup USA 1994! He had on a brown leather jacket with the American eagle embroidered on the back with stone washed jeans… I can’t remember his shoes!! But HE had white socks… I should have suspected something… His fashion sense was shit!
He said, and I quote, “Baba ntie?” (Is your father home?)
“A..A” (No) I answer as the older candidate!
“To mama?” (And your mother?) He inquires!
“Odhi tich Mosqo” (She has gone to work in Mosqo) I answer!
Mosqo (Read mosque) was a hood nearby…. Like a 20 minute walk!
“Be unyalo dhi luonge ni akelo video!?” (Can you go tell her I have brought the vcr?)
“E” (Yes) I answer in utmost excitement! Be advised, I was 5 and my sister 4… We had to cross a few major highways to get to my mum’s office… But anything for the VCR!
“Ende e siling apar unyeu go gimoro!” (Here is ten shillings! Buy something) he says in a smile! His plan had just gone straight through…
I took the ten shillings and grabbed my sister’s hand and set out… Destination Mosqo!
All that was going through my head at this time was the crisps with lemon and chilli… At that time in history, crisps was prepared by the road side in humongous karayas! Then they would be dried and packed in open plastic bags… You would then squeeze your lemon and sprinkle your chilli! It, like I said earlier on this letter, was heaven!
The crisps were sold in 5 bobs… So there was the smallest pack that was 5 shillings… then 10 shillings… the 15 and so on!!
Funny coincidence was, the best crisps vendor in town was set on the way to my mums office… This, I believe, is what helped the tv thief make his escape!!
We got to the crisps place and bought two bags of crisps! The vendor didn’t understand where two kids had gotten all that money from… We sat next to the crisps vendor and ate our crisps… This, was more important than the vcr…
I finished my bag of crisps and asked my sister to share hers… She refused obviously… I would have done the same! She carried hers and said she would keep it until we got home!!
PLEASE NOTE: My sister did not trust the VCR man and suggested she should stay behind just in case… This was pure bullshit! That is what I thought! There was no way in hell I was going to walk al that distance alone!
“Utimo an’go ka? Uwe ng’a ot??” (What are you doing here. Who have you left in the house?” My mother asked in utter shock when she saw us!!
“Ng’amanokelo tv cha! Okello video!” (The man who brought the tv! He has brought the vcr) I answer with pride!
I have no clue what happened the next five or ten minutes but we were home… The tv gone… My mother was furious!!!
We were all over the estae looking for the strange man… All we had for clues was the brown leather jacket and the Worldcup USA bag! People had seen him… We did not find him!!! That was the last coloured tv we ever owned! I mean my last sentence…
I had to tell my sister never to mention at any point of our lives about the 10 shillings… She has been true to date!
A Greatwall black and white tv did not bring a lot of girls home… All of them congregated at my neighbour Alex’s house… They didnt have a coloured tv; they had this huge wooden black and white tv called Thorn! Girls like big machines!
Reminds me of a Greatwall tv joke: Whats black and white a red all over? hahaha!
ps – I bought a car! The matatu category will be a ghost town for a while… But I will take a matatu every once in a while just for you all.
This one is for Martha. You beautiful woman.