The neighbour next door

     Not long ago, I moved to my new neighborhood, Syokimau and found a house along Mwananchi Road. This road had been named Mwananchi because it leads to the chief’s office. Mama Fisi Oriji is my latest neighbour. It took some time before we knew each other and when we did, it was after I had borrowed her wheelbarrow which she had also borrowed and failed to return in good time. One month later, Mama Fisi Oriji (I found some difficulty in pronouncing this name)  went visiting in her rural home, Machakos. She had gone with Fisi Oriji, her one and only child,  leaving her husband behind.I hated how lazy he was. He was those men who wake up at ten o’clock and blow their noses loudly as they wash their faces, not ashamed of what time they had woken up. 
Being  neighbours, there was so much that we shared like the bathroom and toilet. Mama Fisi Oriji also occasionally helped me wash my clothes. Bachelorhood. 

      Her husband many times took offense because of her kindness. He felt one day I would cause a coup and overthrow him.  Anyone who has interacted with kamba women like myself,  know their undisputable beauty and in addition, this lady did not disappoint and was well endowed with both the standard gauge railway and Euro bond( The front and behind fundamendos). These days he rarely talks to me. The best he can do is to mumble. He doesn’t even respond to my greetings which is a moral virtue considering where I come from and with special respect for the Nyumba Kumi Initiative.  Anyway,  the furthest we have gone personal was asking her if she had been ‘cut’ because I had heard her talk about it over the phone in one of her conversations. She smiled and responded in the affirmative without much ado. I sighed and sympathized with her. I didn’t or have never liked the idea at all. Nkt!! 

     When my neighbour was leaving for her homeland, I decided to be a gentleman and helped her carry her bag as we walked to Mombasa road so that she could catch up with the vehicles for Machakos. Of course, I have never been a gentleman to a fellow man. That’s has been impossible. The best I could be to a man was to be kind, period. My gentlemanly act didn’t go well with the man. He therefore decided to revenge. Actually, I am not sure what to call his action but I could say it was revenge not to me but to his wife. Surely, when he decided to bring another woman to his house, how would that affect me? The only effect would be noises from his room incase their would be any Mpesa transactions as a result of the visit.

     Unfortunately, we stayed in a rental that used to be a hall for watching football by the locals. The hall was later partitioned to be able to accommodate more tenants like myself, hustlers as we call ourselves. That evening, he walked into the compound, bribed the gateman and walked in stealthily with the lady at an hour everyone was assumed to be asleep.  I had stayed up past midnight, working on my application for some job whose deadline was the following day but didn’t notice them come in. So once in, he switched on his black and white tv to full volume as he watched the famous Dj Afro. Who doesn’t know this dj who translates movies to I am not sure if it’s Kiswahili or English-Kiswahili or even KiswahiliKijaluoKikuyuKiluhya.Apparently they were now eating fried chicken and chips or whatever delicacy that brings a lot of chuckle. 

     Then,  I suppose, that woman jumped on to Mama Fisi Oriji’s white bedsheets which she had washed the previous week before she left for home. The volume was so high, I had to block my ears to be able to think straight even as I finalised on my application letter. I knew that guy was up to some business, the more reason he had brought the lady to his house. All I heard from the movie was “Aaaaaaasante sana brother, mpenzi, sister mtazamaji. Bado ni katika maaaantrodakshon. Hapa ni sehemu furani kule upande wa china. Nakuomba ufunge safety bert ya ndege tuende hadi kure upande wa ching’chong’.Nataka ushike na ushike vizuri. Kidogo na gaidi akatokea, Sirvesta starron akamwambia, nitakugonga hadi upumue na makagari’. Kuskia hivo na gaidi akaumeria. Alionwa wo hadi akatambarizwa. Waaaah washalala.”


     What he meant by his words, the devil knows. I have never understood this language but since I moved to Syokimau, I have no option because that’s part of what I hear on a daily basis. The last time I remember trying to find out what Afro meant when he said ‘makagari‘ I messed up. Only if II knew what that word meant. Someone had told me that ‘makagari‘ meant sausage. So in my ignorance, I had gone to Kenyatta University’s career fair. Around noon, I asked a lady probably a student there to show me where I could buy some ‘makagari‘ for lunch because I was not familiar with the  university compound. It’s quite a big compound considering I was a visitor there. Have you ever seen a lady getting embarrassed on your behalf? This was the case. When I realised the meaning of that word, I had to forego lunch. It actually means male testicles. Waaah!!! I went home and locked myself in my kaunda house. 

     I also wanted to teach this man a lesson. I was not going to allow him spoil my sleep. It’s hard for me to catch sleep especially past midnight and the movie was making the whole thing worse. Before I could think, I heard a loud bang’ on the gate followed by some scream. Too bad for us, those who lived in ‘kaunda‘ houses. These are houses whose walls and roof have no difference. In the dark, you could confuse the roof for the wall and the wall for the roof, both made of ironsheet. I am not sure how Baba Fisi Oriji got out of his house because the following morning, I saw the lady he had brought to his house being taken to the dispensary. She had sustained some cuts during the escapade. 
Wanjala, our watchman and I had carefully hatched the plan with the aim of disrupting any activity at my neighbor’s house. I am sure, very sure, absolutely sure, confidently sure and all the sures I have not mentioned, that nothing happened next door. The conditions did not allow for anything close to what had been planned. I therefore had also revenged. The hunter became the hunted. We haven’t talked since then but I know we will be talking soon because I was put in charge of some mjengo a few metres a way from where we stay and considering the economy, he will come job seeking. 

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