In Summary
  • How could I tell her that her brother’s children were thieves? I know I am a real African man but when I get to my house, or before Fiolina, I am not so sure I can say that.
  • There are people who will call this cowardice, but if Comrade Bob Mugabe, a man who sent away the British, and has ruled Zimbabwe for over 37 years could not tame his wife, whom am I?

You remember how we differed with my father over my decision to host Tocla’s children.

Tocla is Fiolina’s elder brother. I use the word decision loosely, for I was never consulted before Tocla’s children came over, I just woke up one day to find them in my house. Tocla believes I grow a money tree.

Take an example of his children’s clothing. Despite buying for them some mitumba when they visited in August, they, as usual, came back without any change of clothing and I had to, once again, buy them more.

But this is not reason there was trouble. It was my father who wanted them out after the boys spoilt his bicycle, and stole his money. Deep down, I always wanted the boys out. In fact, I also had lost some money which I suspect Tocla’s boys had stolen but I could not raise the matter with Fiolina.

How could I tell her that her brother’s children were thieves? I know I am a real African man but when I get to my house, or before Fiolina, I am not so sure I can say that.

There are people who will call this cowardice, but if Comrade Bob Mugabe, a man who sent away the British, and has ruled Zimbabwe for over 37 years could not tame his wife, whom am I?

But once my father decided that the boys leave or I move out of his home, I consulted with Fiolina and we agreed to go with the latter.

“I have never liked staying in the same compound with your parents,” she said.

Deciding to move in to our home was the easy part, moving in was another story. Last Monday, with a battalion of boys, we went to the site for clean-up and stock taking. I called my fundi Ali who came in the afternoon.

“I need to move before the week, ends,” I told him.

“You are not serious Dre,” he said. “It is impossible.”

“What do you mean it’s not possible. Aren’t you a qualified fundi?” I asked him.

ANOTHER FUNDI?

“Do I get another fundi?” On fearing to lose the job, he asked me to give him an hour. He took a pen and paper, and wrote so many things.

“I will buy all that’s is needed tomorrow so that you can work on the house from Wednesday,” I said. I had Sh 15,700 that I was sure could finish the job. I then left for Hitler’s, as it was clear Ali would take long.

It was about 4pm when Ali came at Hitler’s, he showed me a long list of things that I needed to buy. It was a joke. He wanted three lorries of sand, a lorry of ballast, 60 bags of cement, thousands of feet of timber, 72 iron sheets among so many other things. But the biggest joke was the labour cost. He wanted Sh71,000 for labour.

 “Are you building SGR or what?” I asked him.

“To finish the house in three days I need many people,” he said.

I told him I had several boys around who could do the job and he reduced the price to Sh59,000. I took the list and told him I would notify him once I have bought all the materials. Once he left, I tore the paper into pieces and called Nyayo.

“Hii nyumba imeisha Dre,” he told me as we walked in. “Kazi imebaki ni kidogo sana.  Over a year ago, I had bought some blue iron sheets – to match with my blue Kaunda suits which I showed him.

“Since you want to be here soon, how many rooms must be ready” he asked.

Page 1 of 2