Dear comrades,

Welcome back to your university (of choice?), Dekut. You thought you were going to eat pancakes inside your warm blankets forever?

First of all, I hope your god-forsaken notes and learning materials will make the first move because am certain you don’t want to look desperate. Secondly, may the gods of wisdom reawaken your brains after how many… 6 months of hibernation? I hope they install a brain-rebooting machine at the gate. Lastly, am sorry to inform you that your old-time technique called ‘formation’ (if you know you know and if you don’t, stay with your mother) is officially obsolete following the emergency of scary social distancing rules.

You will be doing your exams ALONE. Oh, and together with your home-sick and quarantining brain. Before I go on, I would like to let you know that exams are coming, the landlords are calling, the campus couples are returning, tired Nyekicha matatus are waiting, stern-looking Bensouda and other security officers are looking forward to receiving you, and, a not-so-good mood is on the way.

Anyway, have you ever placed a bet? I once placed Ksh. 1400. I hardened my ass throughout the match so that I could be on the winning end. Sadly, my kukaza bet did not work. I lost it all. Do you know how much I would have won? A fat Ksh. 197000.My plan was to go to Zanzibar and dine with Diamond Platinamz at the Islands.

Are you also tightening your behinds so that the wisest minister for education can close schools down again?

You see, I was not born a pessimist. But let me tell you a little bit about money, people, and hostels. Take keen if you are a freshman (is there something like a freshwoman?) or if you hope to befriend or get befriended by one.

A friend of mine, a class representative, in fact, was conned a total of Ksh 10000. How I look at it, Ksh 10000 is enough to take bread and tea for breakfast, chapatti with stew for lunch, and ugali with veggies for supper, all at the school’s cafeteria, and remain with Ksh. 5000 to buy you a wardrobe of clothes. How did my friend lose her money?

Okay, my friend, Payton, was tired of staying with a roommate who smoked weed all round the clock, exiled her every weekend because there was a bearded man on the bed, and puked on the chair every Friday night because puking is what you do when you visit Afco at night.

So, she was fed up and decided it was time to move out to a different hostel. Her hunt for a calm hostel began. She hoped she will find a hostel where she could have all the fresh air and all the weekends for herself begun. As she was walking around Bomas, the famous street neighboring Dekut, she saw a house advertisement paper pinned on an electric pole. Is not my God miraculous? She asked herself. Let God be called God. She answered herself.

Payton copied the phone numbers attached to the advertisement on her dial pad before proceeding to the Mbui hotel, where she had crunchy ugali and delicious eggs supplemented with green veggies.

After her supper, she dialed the phone numbers, sipping some cold water from a shiny metallic cup.

After three rings, the call was received by a male voice, a guy who recognized himself as Mwangi, the caretaker to Desire Hostels that is situated a few meters from Embassy Hotel, Nyeri-Mweiga highway.

After a brief introduction, Mwangi went ahead to describe the condition of the hostels he took care of.

“Nyumba ziko, inalingana na unataka nyumba gani”, he said, confidently. Payton, bearing in mind how smoky her room would get the following Friday, said that she wanted a bedsitter. Here, she would reconcile with the hustles and bustles of a crazy roommate.

Mwangi, who now sounded like an experienced entrepreneur, said that there was only one more remaining bedsitter. Water was freely provided but she would have to pay for her electricity bills. Payton asked more about security and Mwangi assured her that Desire Hostels is the most secure place for a comrade living in Embassy. Payton would have to pay Ksh. 5000 as the monthly rental charges. After a brief inquiry, Payton resolved to pay Ksh.5000 as the deposit so that Mwangi could not reassign the only available bedsitter to another client.

She picked her backpack and departed from the Mbui hotel, aware that she would revisit the same hotel for breakfast the following day. When she got to her room, she was welcomed by a pair of dusty boots and a pair of black woolen slippers. What she was certain about is that the slippers belonged to her roommate. What she was not certain about is who on earth owned such life-beaten safety boots.

It was only on a Wednesday, and she knew she was going to spend the night outside her own room. She angrily took out her phone, quickly skimmed through her phonebook, and called Moraa. Moraa was her friend who always hosted her when she was on exile, half-heartedly.

Infuriated, she walked away. She decided to call Mwangi and let him know that would move in the following day. She went ahead to call her sister who sent her an additional Ksh. 7000 to cater for the rent as well as the transportation charges. Kamaa had a tuktuk, and he wasn’t expensive. She forwarded Ksh. 5000 to Mwangi and went to seek refuge at Moraa’s.

On Thursday, the following day, Payton called Mwangi to let him know that she would be landing in Desire Hostels in the afternoon. The call rang briefly before the call was ended midway. Maybe Mwangi was farting and he accidentally ended the call instead of receiving it, Payton thought.

She waited for two minutes and called Mwangi again. This time, the call did not go through. She wanted to leave a voicemail but it seems Mwangi had not activated his voicemail. Had Mwangi’s phone fell into the toilet? Or had the battery drained? She wondered. Unknown to her, she was never going to hear or see Mwangi again.

After 3 more attempts, it hit her mind that she had been conned. Immediately, she tried to reverse the transactions but it was too late. She contacted Safaricom’s customer care who apologized that it was too late to reverse the transaction, promising to see what they could do.

She skipped her afternoon classes and went to report the case to a nearby police station. At the front desk was a skinny policeman who chewed khat like a Polish goat as he asked Payton what had happened. After what seemed like a story-telling session, the seemingly disinterested khat-chewing policeman said that people should be careful with whom they send money to and why.

He also mentioned that he had had similar cases in the recent past which ended in futility. However, he promised to look into it, asking Payton to report to the station the following day at 4 p.m. Before she left, the policeman said that the economy was bad, that these are bad days, that even miraa was becoming expensive to buy. With that, he took the necessary details and closed the O.B, acknowledging that his bribe request had hit a rock.

Payton did not know where to start. She did not know what she would use to pay her rent with, now that she already had her sister send her Ksh.5000 for that month. After she told me her story, the much I could do was buy her chips mwitu at the school gate. After all, I am not an FBI agent. I don’t work for Safaricom either. And my father is not employed at the World Bank.

So, comrades, don’t you dare send a coin to any person claiming to have vacant hostels. You need to verify the availability of the houses before you deposit any money to some anonymous account. Go to the place and confirm the houses are not imaginary. Meet the caretakers in person. Educated guys in the university don’t send money to some utopic caretakers…do they?

Otherwise, losing your money will not be part of the bargain. The last person here should leave a comment.

Featured image adopted from https://en.meming.world/images/en/thumb/a/a3/We_Don%27t_Do_That_Here.jpg/300px-We_Don%27t_Do_That_Here.jpg

Rest In Peace Chadwick.


Author Allan

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