House-help chronicles part 2

I like writing about househelps (or domestic managers as they are now called) because let’s face it, they add a certain flavour, excitement or even drama to our daily living. From eating the baby’s cerelac, to entertaining male “friends” and wearing the employer’s clothing; their shenanigans are the stuff of Hollywood blockbusters. Love them or hate them, they are an important part of our modern city life. Here are a few types I have observed: Madam Appetite One lady in my hood had a househelp who, in the name of tasting the food she had just cooked, would eat a plateful of food, then at mealtime, eat another plateful. Especially on the days she cooked meat dishes, ha ha. I know it’s true because the local “CNN” always had the freshest 411 from every household as soon as it happened. Read more

In loving memory of my dear sister

Happy Birthday Wangari! About four years ago, you celebrated your last birthday on earth but you did not receive a happy birthday wish from me. I had sent you my customary happy birthday text message, but it is only later that I came to realize that you did not receive it because you had changed numbers. When you left us a mere 3 months later, one of the things I regretted was why I didn’t also post a happy birthday wish on Facebook, because then you would definitely have seen it. I remember the last conversation we had some weeks earlier. You had come home to collect some merchandise and we had an interesting conversation about how Size 8 had gotten saved and married DJ Mo. You wondered if it was truly possible for someone who was a certified “bad-girl”, Read more

House-help Chronicles

During my growing up years and beyond, my family has had some of the most colourful additions to the home in the form of house-helps. We’ve seen them all – the good, the bad and the ugly. I have written about Beatrice from the Coast in one of my earlier articles so here I will only highlight a few of the others:Veronica aka “Vere”She’s the one who was found wailing, “iiiiiiiii wananiambia nifue brangetiiiiiiiii” (they are telling me to wash blankets) to the ‘Masaai” watchman in the backyard after my mom instructed her to wash some blankets.   Apparently, according to her people do not wash blankets and my mom was the meanest employer for asking her to do it so she was pouring out her frustration and tears to him. She cried the whole time she was washing them.Sofia Read more

Strays In the Backyard

Disclaimer: The story you are about to read contains descriptions about animals getting killed. Do not attempt this at home & don’t report us to KSPCA or to the City Council. We love animals. Honest. I first heard the noise late one night. The suspicious rustling of the maize stalks in our backyard as if somebody was creeping around the “shamba” in the middle of the night. I peeped through my bedroom window into the darkness but could not make anything out. I went back to sleep but reluctantly  because I was freaked out. I can’t exactly remember how long but this went on and off for several nights. One morning I heard the same suspicious noise again. Now in broad daylight, I looked outside and saw a dog (with brownish black fur) which had apparently thought he could be our new best friend. It Read more

“Stan the Man” pt1

Codename: D.A.D. It was only a matter of  time before I had to do a piece on this guy. My dad. A born story-teller, he loves passing on his wisdom by sharing the tales of his life. His story needs to be told and so here I am….Stan: The Life of the party   Why lie. He’s the kind of guy you want in your function. A true people person. Always making people laugh with his endless stories and great personality. Wish I was more like him in this respect. He treats all visitors to the house as his own. Once a friend of mine visited me and as I was seeing him off he mentioned to me that if he had ever wondered how life was like in the sixties, he now had a detailed graphic in 3D, thanks to my dad. Read more