Mr Survivor: Mambo ni matatu! How Queen tamed Makena’s arrogance

Two weeks ago, Queen kicked a storm over the fast disappearing kitchen shopping, breaking into a shouting match with Makena.

Photo credit: Pool

The dormant volcano that is my Queen finally erupted on Sunday, sending the molten lava burning Makena, our long serving house help, alias, CPA (comptroller of palace affairs). Before reaching the intended target, anyone and anything on its way, and especially yours truly, scampered for safety.

For the dozen-long years CPA has been with us, she has taken Queen’s position, her immediate boss, for granted. On her part, Queen has been closing one eye like a lioness hunting wild goats, waiting for the most strategic time and position to strike.

Recently, as you certainly remember, Queen caught Makena with her lover, Omosh, in the palace and from her reaction then, it left nothing to speculation that the two were eating the forbidden fruit in the forbidden time and place. When I intervened, Queen, like the clever lioness she is, closed one eye and retreated to strategise.

Two weeks ago, during our usual Sunday morning family meeting, Queen kicked a storm over the fast disappearing kitchen shopping. During the ensuing shouting match, Makena stormed out in a huff, creating the impression that she had won the match. As I told you in a recent missive, it was just a matter of time before Queen staged a rematch. True to my most intelligent guess, Queen revisited the issue during last Sunday’s morning family meeting.

“When you see a sleeping lion, do not think it is dead. And when you see a lion that is rained on, do not mistake it for a cat,” Queen said. Being Queen’s husband of a dozen years, I knew that the proverbs were not an introduction to an oral literature lesson but the sounds of war bells, signalling that Putin was just about to unstoppably attack Zelensky.

“The other day I found you with Omosh playing your dirty games in my house and in front of my children but I closed one eye,” Queen continued. I knew that the long ‘sermon on the mountain’ was going to end disastrously for Makena but it was too late to intervene. Once my Queen has reached boiling point, it is physically and mentally healthy to allow her overflown tap to drain.

“As if that is not insulting enough to my faith, you pay him for a good job well done with my shopping. Now, what I am asking is, am I going to feed my children or feed your dirty men?” Queen asked.

Kwani? Si I told you no one has ever taken any shopping anywhere?” Makena said.

“So I don’t know what I am saying?” Queen asked.

Haiya! Let us not ‘measure oxygen’ for each other. I am leaving so that you can get someone else who will use shopping that does not get depleted,” Makena said. With that, she made as if to leave the sitting room for her bedroom.

Kama mbaya, mbaya. Mambo ni matatu! Ufanye kazi, ufutwe kazi ama ufuate Omosh! Count your money and leave at once, but not before I tell Omosh’s wife to prepare to starve because I have cut the supply of food!” Queen said.

With the mention of Omosh’s wife, Makena came back to the sitting room shaking like she was suffering from cerebral malaria. You see, the whole of Happy Valley knows what Omosh’s wife, alias mama samaki, is capable of doing if she got hold of anyone messing up with her husband. She has ‘womahandled’ several suspects in the past and the results have been very painful for anyone to try her.

Hii mambo ni kuongea,” Makena said.

Within the next few minutes, the two had agreed that the status quo would remain. Makena promised that Omosh would never set foot at the palace and Queen withdrew the threat to call Omosh’s wife. Queen had sold fear and Makena had bought it.

From where I sat, I knew from the very beginning that those had been empty threats from both of them. That was not the first time Makena was threatening to leave the palace. The truth is that she cannot get another employer who can offer her half the salary we give her plus other fringe benefits and bonga points like free Sundays and my secretive Christmas gifts with no strings attached. If she had used her Sunday outings well with Omosh, the situation would not have degenerated to where it was.

Likewise, Queen knew that she would not easily get a suitable replacement for CPA in terms of feeding, washing and friendliness to the future leaders. But at the end of the whole melodramatic scene, Queen had ensured that Omosh would stop coming to the palace. The issue of shopping was just a mischievous red herring.

Wainaina Karanja lives in Nyandarua County. He is a teacher of English and writes stories to portray the reality of countryside life in Kenya as well as offer entertainment. [email protected]