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Nairobi shamba la mawe, shule bila vitabu: The projector project

Ole Mswati

Village Elder
#1
That lazy Wednesday morning, I laid prostrate in the house pretending to be dead. My deals were not going through and life was screwing me bila huruma. The only thing that I was successful in, it seemed, was accumulating debts and liabilities – rent arrears, Mshwari /CRB threats, mama mbogas debts, overdue TV subscription, no electricity tokens etc... To claim that I was bankrupt is to put it mildly!

A phone call suddenly jolted me from my spell. It was Sam, a friend who worked as an accountant for an NGO in town, calling: “Vipi boss, unaweza get msee wa kusupply NEC-NP-VE303 projector urgently?” he muttered. “Naweza supply” I said this even without thinking nor blinking! “Sure, unaweza! That is why I like you Mr. Maproject. Now, if it is you supplying I will make it a deal – the projector goes for around 50k but I will take it for 80K. Mabeste ni kusaidiana au vipi? Kindly deliver it before noon for we need it for an urgent presentation, sawa?” “Sure! Kabisa!” I ejaculated.

I hung up and took a deep breath. I did not know much about projectors, but the thing is there is nothing that I can’t do/ I haven’t done in this Nairobi – if it pays! If someone asked if I knew how to mine gold, I said yes, and by evening I would be standing at his door with the tools. If you wanted your sewage done, or you wanted to forge a ‘degree’ certificate, or you wanted to threaten a secretary at HELB, or you wanted a libido herb to surprise mama in bed, I was the man! In fact, at one time I was a pastor boiling mukombera and packaging it as ‘Holy soup from Israel’ only for some obnoxious dim-eyed ex to blow my lid open with her loose mouth.

Now, how was I going to navigate through the current challenge? I quickly hatched a plot of borrowing cash from my buddy at a local MPESA shop with a promise of repaying it by evening with some interest. I would then go purchase the projector, deliver it and just like that - get my 30K cut! Whoop! Whoop!

Things went on as planned. I got the 50K from the MPESA shop and immediately set out for tao. You should have seen how I walked past the landlord’s shop as I headed to the matatu stage!

Twenty minutes later I was in town. I quickly decided to take my search to River Road, that part of the city where for a price you can even purchase a human head!

Mimi huyo River road and man business was brisk; from hawkers, beggars, shop-owners and all. Deals were being cut and sealed. One could almost hear the heartbeat of the city! I marched straight into a well-stocked Electronics shop. A tweed-jacketed Akorino worker with a quizzical cast in his eyes welcomed me in. He eyed me from head to toe, missing nothing.

I inquired for the item but the shop-owner seemed less interested. He just smiled, his eyes mildly amused and then shook his head. He then looked around smiling at the tweed-jacketed worker. Seeing no positive response, I bolted out.

As I hastened to get to another shop, my clothes sticking to the body in a sweaty mess, a shrill, grinding voice came from behind, “Vipi mkubwa, ebu simama kiasi. Niko na deal tamu hapa...” I didn’t even bother to look. River Road is fraught with all sought of dubious characters and you have to know how to parry off their blows the moment they are thrown. I hurried but again came the same voice now level with me, “Boss, niko na projector ulikuwa unataka at 30K. Kitu safi kabisa!” That just about did it as I turned and looked at the source of the voice. It was the tweed-jacketed worker.

“Iko nini?” I blurted out in an impersonal tone. My defensive instincts already telling me he was a con. “Niko na projector. Kitu safi sana boss” he said this pleadingly. His mouth was large, his teeth brown, his jaws massive! The red piercing eyes were perhaps his most striking feature, when he spoke they seemed to protrude. “Mkubwa twende ukaibebe au sio?” He ventured again. “Wapi? Unataka kuleta ukora yako hapa, hauwezi ukaniibia my friend!” I retorted. The calm and composed guy crisply and politely informed me that he indeed had the projector – a back-door deal from the electronics shop I had visited some moments ago. I weighed my options and then decided against my better judgment to go and see the machine. “Lakini lazima we test the projector kabisa to make sure it is working, sawa?” The man whom I learnt was called Maina accepted this suggestion without any hesitation or compunction.

He led me to a back-street building with a seedy, down-at-the-heels look about it. We entered the building from behind into a small office full of stale air. Maina quickly unpacked a brand new NEC-NP-VE303 projector from a box and then proceeded to connect it. Voila! It worked, and perfectly so! The little shreds of doubts in my mind just disappeared. “Umecheki, iko sawa?” Maina asked, a mechanical smile perched on his face. “Sawa kabisa!” I said brimful of satisfaction. Everything seemed right to me. I retested the machine and handed Maina his cash, took the projector and off I went smiling from ear to ear. Folks, I had not only gotten a genuine projector on the cheap but also going to make 60K profit just like that!

I rushed half-walking and half-running, amidst incessant phone calls from Sam. I sauntered into International House and into Sam’s office. “You’ve kept us waiting!” a visibly impatient Sam said as I hurriedly handed him the projector. He proceeded to open the box. His expression swiftly changed from amusement to surprise! Furrows crossed his forehead as he blankly stared at me!

“Boss, what is this?” Sam shouted. I took the box and to my utter shock and astonishment, inside was a piece of wood instead of the projector! My bladder loosened, my knees felt weak and I tumbled down like a house of cards. How the guy interchanged the projector with the wood is still a mystery to me. Whichever way I turn the matter over in my brain I simply cannot get an answer! Ndio nilijua kweli Nairobi ni shule bila vitabu! Nilijua sijui!
 

Eng'iti

Village Sponsor
#2
That lazy Wednesday morning, I laid prostrate in the house pretending to be dead. My deals were not going through and life was screwing me bila huruma. The only thing that I was successful in, it seemed, was accumulating debts and liabilities – rent arrears, Mshwari /CRB threats, mama mbogas debts, overdue TV subscription, no electricity tokens etc... To claim that I was bankrupt is to put it mildly!

A phone call suddenly jolted me from my spell. It was Sam, a friend who worked as an accountant for an NGO in town, calling: “Vipi boss, unaweza get msee wa kusupply NEC-NP-VE303 projector urgently?” he muttered. “Naweza supply” I said this even without thinking nor blinking! “Sure, unaweza! That is why I like you Mr. Maproject. Now, if it is you supplying I will make it a deal – the projector goes for around 50k but I will take it for 80K. Mabeste ni kusaidiana au vipi? Kindly deliver it before noon for we need it for an urgent presentation, sawa?” “Sure! Kabisa!” I ejaculated.

I hung up and took a deep breath. I did not know much about projectors, but the thing is there is nothing that I can’t do/ I haven’t done in this Nairobi – if it pays! If someone asked if I knew how to mine gold, I said yes, and by evening I would be standing at his door with the tools. If you wanted your sewage done, or you wanted to forge a ‘degree’ certificate, or you wanted to threaten a secretary at HELB, or you wanted a libido herb to surprise mama in bed, I was the man! In fact, at one time I was a pastor boiling mukombera and packaging it as ‘Holy soup from Israel’ only for some obnoxious dim-eyed ex to blow my lid open with her loose mouth.

Now, how was I going to navigate through the current challenge? I quickly hatched a plot of borrowing cash from my buddy at a local MPESA shop with a promise of repaying it by evening with some interest. I would then go purchase the projector, deliver it and just like that - get my 30K cut! Whoop! Whoop!

Things went on as planned. I got the 50K from the MPESA shop and immediately set out for tao. You should have seen how I walked past the landlord’s shop as I headed to the matatu stage!

Twenty minutes later I was in town. I quickly decided to take my search to River Road, that part of the city where for a price you can even purchase a human head!

Mimi huyo River road and man business was brisk; from hawkers, beggars, shop-owners and all. Deals were being cut and sealed. One could almost hear the heartbeat of the city! I marched straight into a well-stocked Electronics shop. A tweed-jacketed Akorino worker with a quizzical cast in his eyes welcomed me in. He eyed me from head to toe, missing nothing.

I inquired for the item but the shop-owner seemed less interested. He just smiled, his eyes mildly amused and then shook his head. He then looked around smiling at the tweed-jacketed worker. Seeing no positive response, I bolted out.

As I hastened to get to another shop, my clothes sticking to the body in a sweaty mess, a shrill, grinding voice came from behind, “Vipi mkubwa, ebu simama kiasi. Niko na deal tamu hapa...” I didn’t even bother to look. River Road is fraught with all sought of dubious characters and you have to know how to parry off their blows the moment they are thrown. I hurried but again came the same voice now level with me, “Boss, niko na projector ulikuwa unataka at 30K. Kitu safi kabisa!” That just about did it as I turned and looked at the source of the voice. It was the tweed-jacketed worker.

“Iko nini?” I blurted out in an impersonal tone. My defensive instincts already telling me he was a con. “Niko na projector. Kitu safi sana boss” he said this pleadingly. His mouth was large, his teeth brown, his jaws massive! The red piercing eyes were perhaps his most striking feature, when he spoke they seemed to protrude. “Mkubwa twende ukaibebe au sio?” He ventured again. “Wapi? Unataka kuleta ukora yako hapa, hauwezi ukaniibia my friend!” I retorted. The calm and composed guy crisply and politely informed me that he indeed had the projector – a back-door deal from the electronics shop I had visited some moments ago. I weighed my options and then decided against my better judgment to go and see the machine. “Lakini lazima we test the projector kabisa to make sure it is working, sawa?” The man whom I learnt was called Maina accepted this suggestion without any hesitation or compunction.

He led me to a back-street building with a seedy, down-at-the-heels look about it. We entered the building from behind into a small office full of stale air. Maina quickly unpacked a brand new NEC-NP-VE303 projector from a box and then proceeded to connect it. Voila! It worked, and perfectly so! The little shreds of doubts in my mind just disappeared. “Umecheki, iko sawa?” Maina asked, a mechanical smile perched on his face. “Sawa kabisa!” I said brimful of satisfaction. Everything seemed right to me. I retested the machine and handed Maina his cash, took the projector and off I went smiling from ear to ear. Folks, I had not only gotten a genuine projector on the cheap but also going to make 60K profit just like that!

I rushed half-walking and half-running, amidst incessant phone calls from Sam. I sauntered into International House and into Sam’s office. “You’ve kept us waiting!” a visibly impatient Sam said as I hurriedly handed him the projector. He proceeded to open the box. His expression swiftly changed from amusement to surprise! Furrows crossed his forehead as he blankly stared at me!

“Boss, what is this?” Sam shouted. I took the box and to my utter shock and astonishment, inside was a piece of wood instead of the projector! My bladder loosened, my knees felt weak and I tumbled down like a house of cards. How the guy interchanged the projector with the wood is still a mystery to me. Whichever way I turn the matter over in my brain I simply cannot get an answer! Ndio nilijua kweli Nairobi ni shule bila vitabu! Nilijua sijui!

Ili iwe funzo :D:D:D
 
P

pseudonym

Guest
#17
:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D Mayooo! pole sana.

I remember in early 2000's enough people bought toy phones thinking they were getting actual mobile phones

.There's an old man who came all the way to Nairobi from Eldy akanunua phone ya flap. 20 something K huko downtown. The cunning seller told him that Nairobi network will interfere with his phone's settings since he didn't live there. He was advised to open the box and switch on when he arrives in Eldoret so as to receive Eldoret's network.

The minute he alighted from the bus he opened the box and took out his phone.He flipped it open and pressed the ON key .
"INFORMATION,MAY I HELP YOU? .... WOOF WOOF.... BABA BLACK SHEEP....KNEE KNOO KNEE KNOO......."
The old man's expensive toy phone went on playing nursery rhymes.
 
#18
:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D Mayooo! pole sana.

I remember in early 2000's enough people bought toy phones thinking they were getting actual mobile phones

.There's an old man who came all the way to Nairobi from Eldy akanunua phone ya flap. 20 something K huko downtown. The cunning seller told him that Nairobi network will interfere with his phone's settings since he didn't live there. He was advised to open the box and switch on when he arrives in Eldoret so as to receive Eldoret's network.

The minute he alighted from the bus he opened the box and took out his phone.He flipped it open and pressed the ON key .
"INFORMATION,MAY I HELP YOU? .... WOOF WOOF.... BABA BLACK SHEEP....KNEE KNOO KNEE KNOO......."
The old man's expensive toy phone went on playing nursery rhymes.
:D:D:D yangu ilikua na kobole mbili zile kubwa zina corners and a piece of metal plate. All for 16k:(
 

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