I have really thought of a title to this story but nimekosa aki. That said, I’m glad more men are coming out to speak, may sound funny because of how the stories are told, lakini hapa nje kuna wanaume na tabia mbaya sana.The guy behind the story wanted to be anonymous so …. His wish will be granted.
You all remember the hyped Huduma Namba, right? Of course, you do. By the way when are those cards coming out? I even lost that kaslip. So I happened to be one of the registration clerks. I was based in Thikas’ Umoja. Maybe I even registered some of you here. Initially, the exercise was to be stationed at the Chiefs and Assistant chiefs offices. People would come in for registration but as time went by less and lesser people started coming. Typical Kinyans waiting for the last minute . So we were forced to look for people.
Moving from place to place, from house to house, company to company. It was also around the same time that I was to seat for my final year exams. It was hectic juggling between registering people and reading for the exams. You may wonder why I didn’t just concentrate on the exams. I couldn’t and you too wouldn’t. I mean we were to get paid a thousand bob a day for 30 days! Do your maths. So I said, F’;;. that degree. I will have 30k by end of the exercise. Then Uhuru extended the days, pesa otas.
One day the chief instructed us to go and register guys in some posh gated estate. People there spoke funny nose English. They had lots of documents. Passports, alien ids, dual citizenship papers heck even their kids had passports. Kids as old as five. I was mesmerized coz I had been accustomed to people with IDs only and a handful midokras with NHIF and NSSF cards. Now there I was with people giving me even their private jets licences. Lol, sema kupigwa na butwa na mishangao. They had even erected a tent for us prior. They served us snacks and bottled water during the entire exercise. Lunch was a buffet bana. We were treated like dignitaries I didn’t even want to finish registering.
5pm clocked and we were to close registration. We had not registered half the people according to the Nyumba Kumi Chairman. He pleaded with us to extend. I wouldn’t. I had exams to read for. The other guys were game. They didn’t have exams. I stood my ground. We wouldn’t extend even a minute. There was a standoff. The chief was not around otherwise he would have said we extend. The residents offered to give us ‘kitu kidogo’ and even drop us at our homes. I eased down at the mention of something small.
Hehehe so the registration went on.Circa 6:30 hapo a guy and his family came to be registered. Let’s call him Mike. He was relatively young, in his 30’s. The wife, man the wife was pure elegance I won’t even delve much into her. They had a small child, around 5 yrs. I started with the wife, registered her along with the child. She ticked single on the marriage status though. I finished with her and she went to the next table for biometrics. The guy came next, quite cool, simple and down to earth, answered all questions eloquently, and submitted all required documents. We even chitchatted small small as I registered him. He told me to write married on his marital status. I was startled. I asked him if that wasn’t his wife. He smiled and told me it was a long story. I smiled too as I waived him to the next table.
I continued registering unperturbed until someone tapped me. On turning around it was Mike. Told me he was done and asked for my number, said he wanted to mpesa me something small. A token of appreciation. Aaah I gave it to him in a snap. Tingting a thousand shillings plus ya kutoa. I thanked him endless times and we bid each other.
The registration went on until 8pm. True to their word they dropped each one of us to our respective homes. Each in a different car sio mambo ya kufinyana. Rich people for you. Two three days later, while at the chief’s office bored like nobody’s business a call came in. It was a new number. Didn’t receive it at first, don’t know why. I just ignored it and continued beating stories with my idle mates.
Wakenya walikuwa wamekataa kuregister huduma namba buana. We just idled the days away registering 10 to 11 people a day. Ten minutes later same number called. I received it, kumbe it was Mike. We exchange pleasantries, you know the usual banter. Then he asked where I was, told him at the Chiefs office. He said he was sending someone for me to register I told him sawa. He added that if I wasn’t too busy then I go back with that person to his place. There was no much work so I agreed.
The person came to the office called me and I hurriedly registered him. He,the person asked if I would go back with him,I said of course. See he had come in a white X5 BMW, I just had to get a ride in that machine. Off we went but curiously though he didn’t go towards the gated estates’ way. I got alarmed but kept my cool. After a ten minutes drive we stopped at an apartment equally posh just within the locality. I had to ask if that was Mike’s place. He nodded, affirming. Aaii I got confused. Wasn’t Mike’s house in the gated estate? What was not happening? The gate was closed so he called someone to open. The someone who opened the gate was Mike. I sighed. We exchanged greetings and he led the way to the house. I was unusually uneasy even Mike noticed. He told me to calm down. Explained that that was his hideout if he wanted to escape from his wife. I eased down and made myselefu comfortable you would have thought I was a regular.
It was a one bedroomed house. Quite masculine in setting. There was music playing and a paused PlayStation. There was lots of alcohol. I mean a lot. There was alcohol on the seats, on the table, under the table, on the t.v., on the PlayStation, on the shoe rack wah.
For a moment I thought I was in a distillery. And it wasn’t these usual brands ati KC ang’a Chrome, hapana it was those big name brands. Glenfiddich, Black and Red Labels, Jack Daniels weeh, I had never seen so much alcohol in my life. I actually got drunk just by looking at them. Mike asked if I drink to which I just laughed in my head. It’s like asking Uhuru if he….. never mind. I told him I do. He said I pick any of my choice. Wololo!! Ushaishindwa kuchagua pombe na iko mbele yako? Karibu nishindwe.
See I was ‘working’ so I told him I would take something light. He disappeared then came back with Whitecap, six pack cold as the devil’s armpits. I popped one as I scrutinized the house. It was quite simple. It had this quietness and ambiance that told you not much was done there except drinking. I gulped a mouthful to that. The guy I had come with was at the balcony shirtless smoking something illegal.
Mike engaged me. Asked what I did other than registering people, you know the usual questions when you want to know a person more. We ticked off immediately just like during the time I was registering him. Soon we were engaging casually and laughing as if we had known each other for eons.
We talked about girls,football and more football, some politics and even played fifa and he thrashed me real bad na nilikuwa tu mgeni. The white cap had started kicking in just four cans down. Am a light weight so I told Mike I would be leaving. It was heading past 6. The guys at the office had already closed so I would just head home straight.
Mike asked if I needed to be dropped off I declined. I didn’t know why I declined but I just told him I would walk. He said sawa and escorted me. He handed me another two cans of white cap as we left the house. He told me I should never hesitate to call him whenever I needed anything. I just nodded and went my way.
Fast forward Huduma namba ikaisha and life went back to default. I had saved Mike’s number. We would exchange greetings pale wossap once in a while. He often wanted us to meet but I couldn’t. I was either chasing lecturers for exams or the gov’t to pay me. Never do work for the govt kwanza hii Jubilee acha tu. The payments had delayed mpaka I had given up. When they finally paid us it was half the amount. It was on a sato when I was paid some 15k. I remember that day vividly. Liverpool was playing Man City and city was whooped a good one, 3-1. I was celebrating at some local. Am a Red Devil to the bone, I just wanted both teams to loose.
As the game progressed someone called me. It was Mike. He was enquiring if I was watching the game. Told him I was at some local. He told me he was actually nearby at some clubsome few strides away. He asked if I could join him and I accepted. Time went by fast as we drank ourselves silly. Being masaa ya Mututho, the waiters signaled us that they wanted to close. Yes, bars in Kiambu county close at 11pm sharp. Mike suggested we go to his place to finish the night.
At first, I thought by his place he meant his place place like his home in the gated estate kumbe it was his hideout. Just remembering the alcohol I had seen there before I quickly accepted. We didn’t even finish our drinks. Mike cleared the bill and we went. He had a car outside, the X5 kumbe was his.On reaching his house, Mike akasema there was some food in the kitchen if I needed something to eat. I said I was cool, just wanted to drink.
He switched on the tv to supersport which made me wonder why he had gone to the club yet he had everything in his house. He reached for something under the seat and came out with some expensive alcohol I had only seen in music videos. And not Kenyan music videos, no. Wah I couldn’t believe I was finally going to taste that liquor. He went for glasses, poured the drink. He poured so little I almost grabbed the bottle to add some more but I was raised better. We drank without any hurry as we beat stories. He told me the work he did, how his wife didn’t give peace. How she despised him. He poured his heart out I really felt sorry for the man. Were it not for the alcohol and toxic masculinity I would have hugged him. Real tight. On the outside he seemed like someone who had his shit together, someone who had figured out everything out and was just now eating life. I envied him and even told him so once to which he told me that not everything is as it seemed.
Deep down he was a broken man like we all are. He said some more things that I couldn’t understand coz I too drunk by then. I just told him I understood and I could relate. I cant remember the exact words but I think I told him something like I felt the same then started dosing off. You know that drunk kind of dosing were you shut your eyes then open them and within no time you close them again. That one, so I was just there doing that as he kept talking. I don’t remember when or how I slept off but I was woken by something wet touching my lips. I opened my eyes with a lot of difficulty coz I still very drunk. It took me sometime before I realized someone was kissing me.
At first I thought I was dreaming coz I was really drunk but the kissing persisted. Aaiii my drunken self wondered if I had gone to my girlfriends place as I did most times when I drunk silly and couldn’t go back home. Then at once like someone possessed I sprung up and knocked the person kissing me head on. It took some more seconds before I realized it was Mike. TF!! Why was he kissing me? I was as confused as Kalonzo. Mike was hissing in pain, I had knocked him real hard. I was on a bed and shirtless. How I had reached there or even removed my shirt is still a mystery.
He asked what was wrong with me and I asked him what he was doing. Silence. I asked him again what he was doing. He was shirtless too. My heart sunk into my butt and the alcohol vaporized from my system. I looked at him as he walked towards me as if coming in for a hug. I got more confused when I realised my zipper was open and I was hard. Mike reached for my hands and made as if to lift me saying how he knew that I also wanted him. Waah that was the last straw on the camel’s back.
I instantly realized what was going on. As he caught my hands I pushed him away with all the strength I was left with. He went sprawling on the floor as I made for the door. Opening the door kumbe it led to the balcony, no exit. I made for the other door but Mike had already risen,I stopped. My heart was racing at 217 beats per millisecond in the butt. We stared at each other. I slowly made a few steps as Mike stared on. He looked more shocked than I was. We didn’t talk. The other door was near where he stood. I moved closer to the window then saw a liquor bottle that I picked. That house had alcohol everywhere. Mike just looked at me, more perplexed. I was ready to defend myself. There was no way I was going to allow a fellow man on me. If it meant killing someone I was ready. He went for the door, opened it, and disappeared without saying a word. He came back with my shirt and threw it where I was standing. I hurriedly put it on still holding the bottle. I asked for the phone which he brought. It was 4 in the morning. I told him I wanted to leave. He tried enticing me to stay till when the sun was out. I was adamant I wanted to leave. I didn’t care about the damn sun. He apologized several times but I was having none of it. I threatened to scream if he didn’t let me leave. He unwillingly obliged and let me leave.
I left still holding the bottle. I didn’t even put on my shoes I just carried them. The gate was closed. I couldn’t risk going back to ask Mike to open it. I threw the shoes and the bottle on the other side and jumped over ki ninja. Luckily the bottle didn’t break. Nilitoka hapo mbio ingine haijawai onekana hii dunia. I ran all the way from Makongeni to Gatuanyaga. Those who stay in Thika know these places. I didn’t even look behind. Bottle in one hand, shoes in the other, I ran like a mad witch the morning cold piercing my body. Nilienda kusimamia huko kwa gate ya mamangu panting like a burukenge as I gulped whatever was in the bottle.
Mike apologized numerous times through a thousand calls and texts. Funny thing though si ati I was mad at him or what. I didn’t abhor any resentments or anger towards him. I didn’t even question why he wanted to do that to me. I just continued living my life as if nothing had happened. We still talk though I told him never to invite me drinks. He is now more open about his status and is in the process of separating from his wife who knew he was gay before they married.
The child was not his,it was just a facade to cover up for his sexuality. You know how society is judgemental especially in Kenya. He says he is tired of hiding and wants to fully embrace who he is. Good luck to him. I advised him to always ask someone first if they are straight or not. He also told me I should watch how we relate with his kind, turns out they (gays) are very sensitive and any slight hint or how you treat them can send wrong signals. He says I did that to him and he thought I was interested. Oh during that time after that incident Mike sent me 30k as an apology. Alafu nilikuwa na mshahara ya Huduma namba, sema kutesa hiyo Thika.
I drank almost half that money and wasted the other half on alcohol. Also I terribly failed my exams I had to re-do them. Nilianguka hizo exams vibaya sana mpaka nikatoa sauti. Am still chasing after lecturers. And also stop judging people based on their sexuality, you are not God. Let people be!