Wanted: A house help who’s much shorter than me
What you need to know:
- I am a great teacher, an accomplished administrator, a fantastic and talented speaker, a strategic thinker with excellent interpersonal skills coupled with rare creative writing abilities.
- But you know God, He doesn’t give you everything. I am a terrible cook (the only thing I can prepare well is water for bathing).
Many of you know that my wife, the lucky laugh of my envious life Fiolina, has, since the year started, been staying in Kakamega, where she does a big sales job with a big company, leaving me here in the village.
The last time Fiolina was here was about a month ago. She left me with Branton, but, a few days later, Catherina, his mother, together with her man friend who smells of corrupt county wealth, came and picked him.
So, for the last three weeks, I have been living alone. No, surviving. Those who know me well will tell you that I am a great teacher, an accomplished administrator, a fantastic and talented speaker, a strategic thinker with excellent interpersonal skills coupled with rare creative writing abilities.
But you know God, He doesn’t give you everything. I am a terrible cook (the only thing I can prepare well is water for bathing). I am bad at washing anything — utensils, clothes, the house, etc. And when it comes to the bed, I only know how to use it — for sleeping and other activities. I do not know how to make it.
So, for the last three weeks, it has been a care-free life. For breakfast, I have been taking juice and mandazi which Anindo supplies every Monday. I have been taking lunch in school, or I initiate a chat with one of the teachers going home so I can join them for a meal. Lena, her bad hair in tow, has proved quite helpful.
Supper has been the problem. With Rumona away, the people to visit were limited. If I did not visit a teacher, I would eat it at my father’s place where Caro is now settled. Or Kasuku Hotel. On other occasions I bought take-away chips; and, on three occasions, I bought mala so that I can get home and cook real ugali.
I could not wait for half term so that I could visit Fiolina in Kakamega, and enjoy a real meal, a clean house, and some human warmth. I was still planning for this when, last Wednesday afternoon, as I was dozing off in the office waiting for the day to end, I received a call.
“Where are you?” It was Fiolina. She told me to go home immediately. She had travelled home, but had misplaced her house keys.
“I was given two off days and decided to come and spend some quiet time with you here,” she said happily, as she hugged me expertly. She was smelling great.
That happiness vanished as soon as I opened the door. A foul smell hit our nostrils. When I opened the kitchen door, I was met with a swarm of flies. Not a smell; a stench.
“Is this a house or a cow-shed?” she asked.
For the four days I had cooked ugali, I had used separate sufurias, all which were unwashed. And so were the plates. There was an open packet of mala, flies around it, and decomposing chips in a nylon bag. There was also decomposing matumbo in a nylon bag, and some mould-infested maandazi.
“Jesus Christ of Nazareth! Are you even a human being?” Fiolina wondered.
She asked to go to the bedroom to change into proper clothes. The bedroom was in no different state, except that the smell was bearable.
There were clothes all over. A heap of several pairs of green Kaunda suits that I had been wearing for the last one month lay next to the bed. The bed was not made. My policy has always been: “Why make a bed when you will still sleep in it the same day?”
The only smell — it was mild although Fiolina called it pungent — was from socks that were next to the clothes.
Like most men, I have only three pairs of socks and two pairs of vests that I have been surviving on since late July, without needing a wash.
“Have windows in this house ever been opened?” Fiolina asked as she opened them, inviting a gush of fresh air.
She called Anindo, Nyayo’s wife, and together they spent the afternoon thoroughly cleaning the house. The next day they washed clothes, while on Friday they washed all beddings.
On Saturday morning, Fiolina left for Kakamega.
“Siwezi fanya kazi nyingi mchana tena nifanyishwe kazi usiku kucha,” she said. “Let me go and rest. You need to look for a domestic assistant to help you. I will pay the salary.”
“Since I don’t trust you with young ladies, and you invited your friends here when I bought a mature woman, please get a boy. You have one week.”
With that, she left.
Dear friends and close enemies, do you know of anyone who can come to my aid? The successful candidate must be aged between 18 and 30, not taller than me, a good cook, funny, must be able to read and write, love cleanliness, be ready to take care of cows and do shamba work; and must know how to use a fridge and gas cooker. An attractive remuneration awaits the successful candidate.
Send your resume to: [email protected]