Just got home from work beat, and hungry as a rock python. I folded up my shirt sleeves and loosened my red textured tie. Tenders had take a toll on me and I wanted a good home cooked meal was worth considering, especially after finishing and submitting the 1,000 page document to British Council for consideration. Good thing it was end month, and a boneless ‘ka-quarter, hot ugali and some greens was too appealing, beyond the quick fix chips and chapati funga offer.
I walked to Mama Nyash’s stall and ordered my sukuma wiki, spinach, carrots, dania, hoho and peeled Irish potatoes. I gave her a brand new Ksh. 200 note and gave her time as she busied herself to service my order. She was not her chatty self, and noticing her unusual disquiet and long face, I asked her if all was well. Seeing genuine concern from a long term customer she also considered as a friend and son, she sighed deeply and told me she had been conned all most of her days earnings, and there was nothing she could do. Sensing she needed someone to talk to, I leaned on her counter as she expertly chopped the greens, and she told me her encounter with the easy talking money launder who outsmarted her street smartness.
Apparently, her last customer was a nice looking fellow who came by and ordered good from her worth about Ksh. 300. This was quite a God sum considering most of her customers were Ndivo, mbao, kafifty and thereabouts. He said he was having friends in his home and needed greens and readily made groceries to make a meal. He had already ordered the nyama from the butchery and wanted to go with everything up at once, once ready. He was good looking, courteous and strangely quiet. His gold watch, well pressed navy blue pants, leather black belt and designer white shirt stood out that he was doing well in life, a proper middle aged man. He gave her a crisp Ksh. 1000 note and waited patiently as she sought for change, then walked up the estate road into the high-rise flats.
She motioned absent mindedly at the KS. 1000 note glued on the mabati. I immidiately connected that she was given fake money in exchange for her groceries and genuine ‘change’. She said she was always smart enough to go get change from the shops around, rather than from her sales money; but something made her gullible and way prey to the wolf which devoured her. She was convinced that fellow used jujube on her. As she handed my perplexed self the goodies, she told me she was upset and planned go work late, beyond 0830 hours to recover her money. Feeling so much sympathy for her, a woman and moreso a single motherwho genuinely worked to earn her keep, feed and school Nash, her 12 year son, I silently cursed the bastard man who stole from her.
I told her to keep change, and feeling in my pocket, I pulled out a genuine Ksh. 1,000 note and handed to her reluctant and trembling hands. I told her to move on from her loss, learn her lesson and go home to take care of her son. As she looked at the note through the bright security light next to her kibanda, I knew no one will pull her another fast one on her anytime soon…