• A bet on Obama’s former Vice President becomes a police case
If 2020 has taught me anything, it’s that anything can happen. Covid-19 hit us, but Jiji Ndogo is still going strong. We’ve had witchdoctors and insane women as guests at our station. Single fathers who have no clue how to raise daughters, and my boss even chased a chicken in his birthday suit in a bid to be redeployed elsewhere.
But nothing shocks me like the two gentlemen who walk into the police post.
“Corporal, hebu ambia Kevo anipatie pesa yangu,” one man says.
“I’m Sgt Makini,” I say, “but go on with your complaint.”
“Cheki,” Kevo says, “this jamaa and I bet over who is going to win the American election. I said Trump, Denno said Obama.”
I’ve met Kevo before, just can’t put a finger on where exactly.
“But Obama was not on the ticket,” I tell him.
“Hapana,” says Denno. “Nilisema Obama’s former Vice President. Before nimalize, he was all over me.”
“Rules are rules,” Kevo insists.
“What rules?” I ask him.
“Alisema Obama first. So, he loses.”
“But you’ll admit that’s not fair. Obama was not involved.”
“Ni shida yake. Cheki, the other day kwa nduthi, your Major stopped me.”
“Mdosi wako. Sonko. The big guy.”
“You mean Inspector Tembo?”
“Huyo. He stopped me eti I’m driving vibaya. So, he asks me, ‘Have you been drinking?’ I said, ‘Yes.’ Akanishika.”
So, that’s where I remember him from.
“What’s wrong with that?” I ask him.
“Hakuacha nimalize. I wanted to say, ‘Yes, I’ve been drinking since I was 18, but leo niko sober.’”
“So, you’re just a wise guy, aren't you?” I say sarcastically.
“Thank you,” says Kevo. “Hata class I never used to come below number 15. Every time!”
“Anakuenjoi,” Denno tells him. “Wewe na Trump, same lane.”
“Why do you guys even care about the American presidency, anyway?”
“Eti anapenda Trump because he’s a good Christian,” Denno says.
“He is!” Kevo is emphatic. “That other guy will legalise abortion and stuff. Didn’t you see what walifanya na gay marriage?”
“How does that affect you?” Denno shoots. “The closest you’ll get to America will be kwa atlas.”
“Nini? It all starts in America, then ina-spread. Cheki hii story ya tights. Yoga pants in America. Here? Wanawake wanazivaa hata kwa church.”
“And speaking of church,” Denno chimes in, “Trump hata hajui kusoma Bible. Alisema ‘Two Timothy’ instead of ‘Second Timothy’. Who does that?”
“Olisikia wapi? You lost your TV to me on our last bet.”
Denno indicates his phone.
“Hujachukua hii bado. Google.”
“Corporal,” Kevo says, “hebu tell him sina pesa yake.”
I take out the Occurrence Book. No matter the ridiculousness of the complaint, I must log it. I begin to write, but I’m in fact buying time to think of a fair way to solve their issue.
“So, what was the amount of your bet?” I ask.
“Brown moja,” Kevo says.
“One thousand.” I turn to Denno. “Fair is fair. You lost. Pay him.”
Denno tries to resist, but I insist. He gives Kevo the money. As they leave, I call Kevo back.
“How about I make you a simple bet for that brown?” I say.
“Bring it on!” He’s all smiles. “I’ve never lost a bet.”
“Okay. I bet you, nothing starts with an ‘N’ and ends with a ‘G’. True or false?”
“That’s so easy. False. What about ‘Nagging’, huh?”
I take the money from him.
“You lost. I meant the word “Nothing’.” I hand the money over to Denno. “You might wanna rethink gambling, young man.”
“Umepatikana leo!” Denno laughs as they leave.