Mahindi choma is a basic Njaanuary meal
Mahindi choma is a basic Njaanuary meal

“Mbao tao! Mbao tao! Mbao mbao tao!”

The benefits of leaving the house early is that matatu prices are much cheaper. To think of it, right now I can’t even afford to take a new girl out. Nitatoa pesa ya date wapi?

When you are broke, you become extra vigilant. You remember all of the stories of matatu pick-pockets and clutch to all your belongings. In this case, its my Nokia phone and that precious 40 bob coin. Everybody around you becomes a suspect.

“Usinikaribie sana…. Nimeumia kwa mguu” You say to the suspicious looking fellow. As usual, I missed my breakfast (Strungi and left over dinner). Now I’m thinking, “Si ninunue hizi tropicals za tatu tano plus njugu?”. They look tempting as ever.

“Leta njugu ya kobole plus tropical za kobole pia” I shout to a hawker at the stage handing him my wealth of 40 bob. “Shika…” he says as he hands me my breakfast. I kind of feel guilty for not sharing with the guy seated next to me. The devil inside says “But you are hungry… why share?”

I succumb to the angel who says “Share with your neighbor…..” which I do by offering him one tropical. “Si unigawie kanjugu pia?”

Deep inside I am mad but with a half smile I say “Sawa… pewa kiasi”. I can’t believe that this dude just had half of my breakfast. This reminded me of those friends who say “Wewe lipia tuu mzinga nitakutumia MPesa” but end up blacking out or not being available when you are looking for your money.

Soon, I alight from the matatu still feeling hungry. I need to eat something but I only have a 10 bob budget.

“Aki nitakula nini?” I ask myself. Thanks to this brainstorm, I choose to buy mahindi choma for 5 bob and britannia biscuits. That’s the smartest way to spend 10 bob. “Aki mimi nakuwanga genius” I say to myself.

“Nipee mahindi ya 5 bob… kata ile kubwa, naskia njaa. Uko na biscuit za britania hapo?”

I dip the mahindi choma in the maximum amount of lemon chilli. “Hii kitu inakuwanga tamu” I say in an attempt to strike a random conversation. “Ungekuwa na change ya 1000…..ningechukua zingine mingi” I say to him.

“Niko nayo….” He responds

“Huh? Oh… wacha tuu nichukue kesho. Akili ishajipanga na moja sasa” I lie to him, in an attempt to look wealthier than I really am. Now I have to use a different route to work tomorrow because this mahindi choma guy will think that I am a liar. Aki hii Njaanuary imeanza na ubaya.