- As I took a turn and began walking towards my door, I heard a commotion.
- Upon twirling my head to look, I saw the house help in a catfight with another woman.
- There was no way I was even going to try to separate them.
- The last time I tried being a peacemaker, I ended up with injuries.
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After recently moving into an apartment, I thought life would be peaceful.
I thought the excess ploti drama that I was used to witnessing would be history, together with tales of Lwanda Magere and the Maji Maji Rebellion. I was wrong. One of my neighbours has a house help that is causing more havoc than a typhoon.
Late last week, I came back from my usual hustles earlier than usual. It was about 2.30pm. No human could be spotted because…you know apartment people…they are either busy or locking themselves in their houses.
As I took a turn and began walking towards my door, I heard a commotion. Upon twirling my head to look, I saw the house help in a catfight with another woman.
I couldn’t tell who the other woman was because I still don’t know people here that well. I recognised the house help because of her deep voice. She sounds like a combination of Ja Rule and Fred Obachi Machoka. She always shouts at her employer’s children and whenever she does that, the baritone of her voice reverberates through your bones like a tremor.
On my second day as a tenant, she had also stopped me by the stairs and initiated a conversation.
“Kumbe unaitwanga nani wewe? (What’s your name?)” she had asked.
Many years ago, someone decided it would be nice to add ‘nga’ after almost every Swahili word. This practice has been passed from generation to generation. The person who started it all should be disciplined by the gods of grammar. Wallah Bin Wallah, Ken Walibora and Rashid Abdalla need to take turns to cane him.
Anyway, in keeping up with the vibe of ‘nga’ I responded with, “Mimi naitwanga Jermaine Cole (My name is Jermaine Cole).”
“Wauuu, si uko na jina supuu (Wow. You have a beautiful name),” she smiled.
“Thanks!” I said. I was almost about to pull the ‘aki dhenks’ just for fun but I shelved it because I would have made myself laugh too.
Jermaine Cole is actually the name of the American rapper popularly known as J. Cole. Sometimes I like playing around with people.
I was about to tell her that Jermaine wasn’t my real name but upon seeing how impressed she was, I decided to keep it that way.
“Unaeza chukua number yangu. Ukikuanga na kazi mingi pia unaeza niita nikusaidie (You can take my number. When you have a lot of work, you can call me to help out),” she added after a few moments of silence.
That was unexpected. She was definitely hitting on me. It’s been a long while since someone hit on me. So, I have to admit, it felt a little bit nice. She was also offering free labour? Which bachelor doesn’t like free labour? I took her number.
“Bye Jermaine,” she said as she walked back to her employer’s house.