The moment my sister Caro — Mwisho wa Lami’s Cabinet Secretary for Information and Broadcasting — heard that I would soon own a car, the whole world knew of it as well. You see, Caro can never keep a hot story to herself without getting sick!
I wish I could say that I did not like her telling everyone, but I did.
When I arrived at Hitler’s last Monday, I found the usual suspects very happy for me. Nyayo, in his drunken wisdom, had that day cleared some shrubs and designated a parking space. “Packing”, he had written on a piece of paper stuck to a tree!
Alphayo had a long trip he wanted me to take him on. “My sister is married very far, huko Moi’s Bridge,” he started. “To get there, I take a full day and five matatus. I had promised to go see her on Madaraka Day without knowing how we would go there, but I see God is answering my prayer through you.”
I arrived home on Tuesday to find that my parents had asked me to go see them. “Receive my sympathies for buying a car,” started my father. “I am so proud of you.” He meant “congratulations”.
The two words always confuse him. My mother was also very happy, and added that she could not believe that her womb had produced two children with cars.
“Nikiolewa hapa hata baiskeli haikua, nikaambia baba yako nimeleta mbegu mzuri.”
Soon we were having serious discussions. “When are you going to pick the car?” my father asked. I told them that I would only take custody of the car after I paid an additional Ksh25,000 and learnt how to drive.
“It was a mistake for everyone to know that you are buying a car,” my father said. “Mwisho wa Lami watu wako na wivu! They will bewitch that car not to move,” he said, although he already had a solution. “A man I know can chase away the evil spirits at night,” he said.
“But before that, bring Apostle Elkana to bless it during the day. A car is not a small thing,” he said.
The next day, Apostle Elkana came to see me. “I told you this is your season, didn’t I?” he asked me. I agreed, even though I couldn’t remember him saying it.
“Everything is going on well, but we need to do special prayers for the car so that it can be released from evil spirits and you own it quickly,” he said.
We set the prayers for this morning, before church.
Suddenly, walking became too tedious for me. I imagined how much time I would save if I were driving. So, last Thursday, I went to see Maina the hardware owner to see if he could give me the Ksh25,000 so that I could own the car earlier.
“Mbao ilikuwa ya county na mambo haijaenda vile nilipanga,” he told me. “But you come next Monday I could have something.”
My second option was to go see Bensouda and try to convince her to give me the car without having to pay the Ksh25,000. Weren’t we colleagues? She wasn’t using the car and there was nothing to lose. I was there on Friday after school. It was the tenth time I was at Bensouda’s.
I asked her if she could let me have the car as I looked for the money. “Don’t be in a hurry, Dre,” she said. “You need more money for other things like driving school, insurance and a few repairs on the car.
It was late when I left Bensouda’s place. As I walked home that night, tired, I wondered how easy it would be if I had a car. I had to get the car immediately. I decided that I would get a loan of Sh20,000 to add to the money Maina would give me tomorrow, so that I can get the car before the end of this week.
In the meantime, I have to prepare for Apostle Elkana’s prayers today.