Well, in the recent past institutions of higher learning have had a nice share of their wrath directed to a pretty new source; Higher Education Loans Board. In fact, this new villain boasts of a good number of strikes to its name. In fact here, in one University where I happen to ,okay, let’s call it learn; last year the guys with muscles jumped to the streets, carrying placards and leaves contorting their bodies in a capricious rhythm while singing to HELB-I pesa si ya mama yenu!
Yesterday. I was in town; Nyeri. I was in deep thought, trying to engage my Medulla Oblongata (wait, is that the part of the brain which thinks? Whatever am an engineer after all, not some goddamn doctor in funny specs!)In trying to come up with the simplest way of breaking the padlock which the landlord had put on the door of my bedsitter. Then I noticed it-the smiles. It seemed every comrade I met had this deep longing for shaking my hand in the most vigorous manner possible, then smile at me for five minutes-exposing their brown chlorinated teeth.
As I was circumnavigating through Kimathi Street, I saw a very strange thing. Remember my Meru roommate? Yes, that one, I saw him at an electronic dealer and it was evident he had procured a sound system set. Confusion of the highest proportion registered on my face.Murume buying? This dude never buys anything, infact I was feeding him like he was my girlfriend (okay, that’s a phrase I have just included there…er…actually I really never feed my girlfriend Irene, but wait, I fed her once-in the school mess when I bought her Ugali veg-stew. She made me do it then smiled sheepishly as if a goat on heat, then told me happy April fool’s day, not funny!).
I decided to confront him to ask him why the alshabaab were now funding him yet I never saw him on that list. When I asked him, he looked at me; surprised, then blatantly shouted, we ndo hujui ati helb imekuja? I don’t know what happened first; my happy smile or my taking off to the bank at neck-break speed.
Well, the bank service was equally fast. I was humming happily to some Willy Paul’s song-well I can’t guarantee you that the song is his anyway, it might be Bahatis or of some local upcoming artist like my Brother waswa(okay. He is not that local anyway, I mean the guy has three hit songs which grace every funeral back in Bumula!)The bank teller was a light skinned woman, well-toned legs and had an ass that could drag the moon off its orbit.
Sir, how much do you want to withdraw?
The question should be how much is there? I answered with the huskiest voice I could manage. You see one good thing that Irene made me do is forcing me stay awake all night watching those Paloma soaps. I now am a professional in handling ladies. She smiles then hands me the 13500 shillings. I hastily walk away not wanting to attract any potential thieves. You see my friends; it is only in Nyeri where thieves don’t hurt anyone, nay. They hypnotize you, then you willingly give them all that you have, including your Mpesa PIN and your landlords full names as they appear on her national ID.
I then proceeded to whispers park to sit, relax and come up with a viable budget. I was not thinking straight, it had been a long day. I strongly suspected that hunger could be the genesis of this predicament. So I went straight to Ken chic to unload my frustrations.
Well when I was cruising the streets comrades were all over the place-Naivas, Bata, Mathai, name it.Their smiles would make you think there was a Colgate fresh models audition. I also deemed it fit to buy a woolen coat and an orange fitting pant to upgrade my `swag’. That saw to it that I instantly became 4000 shillings less-richer. By good or bad luck, I met my old comrades kina Alex and of course they suggested that we visit Club Kickers to guzzle some hard stuff and drown down our guts the bad memories as well as ignite sparks of nostalgia.
We we soon were settled in the VIP lot and after two to three shorts, I have little to remember.Lemme see…I remember promising the plump bar maid I would give her three acres from my large chunk of land in Bumula, and she took it seriously in fact took the directions to my little bed sitter! Please, someone shoot me now!
In the morning, Alex paid the fare for me, and when I arrived-it was there, stalwart, defying; the padlock! Just like that, the Helb funds gone…Okay, I won’t lose hope anyway…someone update me; when is the next disbursement?