99 Problems

When the week is teetering on empty and it feels like atlas dumped the weight of the world on your shoulders – the only thing that’s left is hoping up on a bar stool and ordering the strongest, coldest and cheapest beer they have. Cheap because it’s not even the first week of the Month but the ghosts of January have not been fully exorcised. They are hanging on to my wallet and bank account. You even wonder why there has not been a church of money. We need a Bible verse that speaks to these money-depleting demons so that they flee. The demons of loan defaulters I might have slept with that camped in my finances. Can I get an Amen?

What’s even worse is that while Nancy, the bartender, was bringing my beer,the guy on the news in a shiny pressed suit, speaking through his nose, talks about how members of parliament are in the process of giving themselves perks for supposedly ending their term in office sooner than they should have. The amount of greed that they ooze out of their oversized pot bellies you could swear they oink when they sneeze. They could not be more self-serving if they came in a sufuria and a mwiko.

Some chap at a corner away from mine scoffs and in his drunkenness, on a Monday, says how they should let him redeem his vote like bonga points this election. I laugh. It was funny. I would have thrown the funny guy a round but, well, broke. Plus the guy was drinking an Allsops. Now trust me, for a guy to be drinking an Allsops he must have an old pick-up, three unmarried daughters (two in campus and one stubborn one) and he wears oversize coats over hanging trousers. His groin area looks like the Great Rift Valley with the creases of his trouser tucked in the seams of his thighs, and his waistline, non existent, disappeared together with the NYS monies. He probably has problems longer than the SGR but they revolve around cow’s milk, farm produce and a ka plot somewhere he is planning to buy.

His problems are not like mine. He has old, rich people problems. He probably made the vote joke at the expense of his brother running for an MCA in some county deep in Timboroa. They will later laugh over a crate of Allsops, a tray of mutura with a pinch of very far pilipili.

Now, I am writing this not because I was at the bar on a Monday. That is nothing to be proud about. It is not like I would not like to sit at a tier somewhere, legs dangling at the edge, Ed Sheeran playing in the back ground as an orange ball of fire turned crimson red over a calm sea. I am writing this because I could not speak to the old man at the bar about my problems. I also could not speak to Nancy, the bartender, either. And that tier dream is still a dream. We all hope, by we I mean anyone with a blog and a drop of writing talent, that someday such will be our realities. But by George, Moses and Shad I will talk to you and you will have to listen.

Also you have to understand that when I say problems you do not need to run. Or walk. There will not be an M-Pesa pay bill number at the end of this post and a catchy call to action. You will not see me on the television talking about the high prices of beer and how imported whisky just is not the same ever since I could not afford it.

My problem is that we wanted a cool government. You know? So we voted in a rap duo. A boy band. A team ready to take Kisima awards by storm. These guys remind me of Khaligraph and Kristoff before their love was extinguished. We were awed by the chemistry and matching ties. These guys showed up to address the nation with their sleeves rolled up. I, like most thought they were rolled up to show readiness to work. Wrong. Two letters. PR. They needed to look cool.

Then with well structured sentences, carefully chosen words, and a flurry of flashing cameras they made promises. They smiled. They waved. They made us fall in love. Dammit. Kenya was swooning at the charm of these two play boys. They were Kenya’s Mr. Right. We fell in love with their words and their almost boyish charm.  We cheered when they came on television, rushed for autographs when they visited towns and praised them when they did everyday normal mwananchi stuff. Such down to earth fellas. Lunch? At a kibanda? While the average chap is saving up for terrific Tuesday to impress a lass whose weave costs less than a pizza slice. Come on what’s not to love.

Little did we know it was a ploy to take our pants off, bend us over and fuck us over.  A good one.

Along the way there were signs. Like promises they had made. Promises about our future, the children. Everybody loves children. People that hate kids eat cat testicles and pee battery acid. They did not deliver. But like lovesick puppies we ate their excuses. This law. That law. We will still do it anyway. And we agreed. A promise is still a promise kept if it’s delivered, right? Yeah well I thought so too.

But still along the way we saw too many signs. These guys were not who they said they were. They were no knight in shining armor. But still, blinded by love and misguided trust, we kept faith. We were told many things. Oh it’s the opposition. They are stonewalling all our initiatives. They cannot let us work. And we hated the opposition. Who are they to stop our guys from working? Such bitterness? Shame on them. But the finger pointing went back and forth so much that it got tiring. We got tired. I got tired. But I waited. We waited. Maybe the opposition would shut up.

Wishful thinking. They never did. Instead things got worse. Our charming princes dipped their hands into our pockets and stole from us. Repeatedly. Like it was a fun thing to do. When we asked, they shrugged their shoulders and said it wasn’t us. Like a Shaggy song. They smiled and waved for the cameras and talked about how they’d find our money. My money. Lies. It was right there in their pockets. Either that or that bulge was because they were happy to see me. Us. But we forgot. We always forget.

Then, they did it again. This time worse than before. And we cried. I cried. I don’t have enough to go around anyway. I’m the guy at the bar looking for the cheapest beer. Why steal from me? Doesn’t make sense. So this time after a ruckus they shrugged again. In their eyes you could see how ungrateful they were. Wondering who we were to ask about our money. So they shrugged away our concerns and asked us what we want them to do. Couldn’t we see it was over their heads?

So we let it go. I let it go. After all if boy band over there couldn’t do anything how could I? How could we?

So now boy band with all their broken promises and abusive relationship with me. Us. Wants to charm me again. I am not even having it. I cannot have it. They hooked up with some other boy band and did a song. To serenade me? Please. Instead of singing about electricity go and provide it. Yes? And dancing? For who? Me? Please dance out of my life. Our lives. And take that train with you. It’s long enough to carry all your failures, our disappointments and the rest of the hidden loot.


I have 99 problems and the government is all of them.


Now who’s buying me a drink?knight-in-armor


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