A TEACHER'S DIARY: Why I must urgently move out

Tuesday November 14 2017


By Mwalimu Andrew

You will all remember how early last month, I decided to take Branton to stay with my sister Yunia for the rest of Third Term following a few issues that came up in school.

When I took him to Yunia, I knew she would take advantage of that to demand money from me often. And she did not disappoint. She came up with all manner of excuses to ask for money.

If it was not for food, it was clothing, drugs or to take the boy to hospital. When I reminded Yunia that Branton rarely falls sick and was only in hospital during his birth, she told me the boy has minyoo.

“Come and take your boy,” she would always text me whenever I claimed that I had no money.

“Nitajua shida za watoto wangu ama za huyu mkora wako?” she would ask.

To avoid problems, I would send her money but less that she had asked, but clearly more than she needed. We would be good as long as I sent something.

“I can’t wait for schools to close to return your son, he is so rude and eats a lot,” she told me. Between having the boy back and giving Yunia a little money, the latter was a better option.

So as soon as KCPE was completed, I was not surprised when Yunia sent me an SMS saying that she would bring the boy the following day. Her place is not far but she demanded for Sh300 for boda boda.

A day after I sent her the money, two boda bodas arrived in our home. Besides Branton, Yunia had also decided to bring her sons Theophilas and Bedford, and daughter Electina.

“I know Mlamwa Fiolina needs some hands around to help her,” she said as she negotiated with the boda boda riders. They could not agree and she called me to help. She left as soon as she introduced me to them, and as such, despite having sent her money I still ended up paying!

It was a day after Fiolina had returned for the long holidays. Fiolina was happy to see Yunia around with her children.

“Thank you for bringing Electina around,” Fiolina said. “She will help me with work.” I had expected Yunia to go back the same day, but she did not. It was until the third day that I understood why she was still around.

“Kama ningekuwa na pesa ya boda ningeenda leo,” it was her clever way of asking me for money.

Reluctantly, I had to give her Sh100 but she insisted that she could not go back empty handed. We passed by the shops where I took some goods for her on credit. It was the only way of sending her away. Before she left, she told me her her eldest son, Theophilas, had sat for his KCPE, and hoped he will perform well. I didn’t know why she told me that, but I smelt a rat.

After bidding her bye, I went to Hitler’s, where I found the usual suspects discussing the economic boycott announced by Nasa.

It was very late when I left for home. On my way to our bedroom, I stepped on several children sleeping on the floor, waking up some.

“Your sister Caro waited for you,” Fiolina told me as I got to the bedroom.

“Oh Caro was here, Why didn’t you call me?” I asked and she told she didn’t have airtime.

“She had brought her two children for December holidays.”

“But it’s not even December,” I said. “These people think that I am a money tree.”

We woke up the next day to a full house. As we took breakfast, I realised that there were more children. Fiolina had not told me that her brother Tocla had also brought his two children. I had to keep the boys busy.