23 April 2017

Tanzania: Date With 'Obama' in Kibera


Folks, last week, this third-rate column was missing. I am still in Ayany Estate that borders Kibera slums in Nai-robbery (or Nairobi if like). As you all know, this part of the world is on election hyper mode and guys have gone bananas with their sloppy politicking. That's where I am cooling my heels for the time being, as I make plans to make a grand comeback to my usual Uswaz where rats sing hallelujah on their way to heaven.

It is here that I have met "Obama". Your mind should not start conjuring up images of I, the poor son of Uswaz, hugging the former US president. This is where lethal 'kumi kumi' poisons sent scores of Kenyans to an early grave, while others ended up in perpetual darkness resulting from blindness. The "Obama" I am actually talking about is none other than a beer by the name 'Senator'. Unlike the other frothy stuff sold in bottles, this one is sold in kegs and extremely potent and cheap. A 500 ml keg costs a paltry Ksh25 (Sh500) while a bottle of the same volume costs four times more. Indeed, the stuff can send you into a comatose.

A typical 'Obama' bars are places where most people from the lake entertain their weary souls. This is where I have also found reprieve for my ever-dry throat that has shamelessly been sending me to places where I shouldn't be - my legs, in abeyance to my caked throat have been dragging me to places where angels fear to tread. I mean that you could meet a cop or a gun totting thug, and the results are often bad.

Here is your typical Obama bar; a man who reminds me of a crocodile saunters into the bar, looks around and realizes that he knows nobody. He edges closer to me, pretending that he knows me. I do not need an intruder for memories are still fresh of how I was mugged in the same place. I do not want to engage in any sort of conversation.

I look the other side. Something in me tells me that this bloke is far too dangerous. Since I do not intend to have my head blown off by cops or getting mugged, I leave my precious unfinished beer in the glass to create an impression that I am still around and dash out of the bar like one in search of cigarettes. I reason that a half a glass Obama is not my life.

My throat reminds me that I need another Obama. I go to another bar where I meet Kasyoka, a hardened downtown slut. Her hair that has fallen off, but has been replaced by artificial hair tells you that this is the dangerous type of woman - she probably has stepped on a live wire (has a big disease with a little name). She intuitively sniffs and knows that I have coins in my pockets. I walk home broke!


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