There’s something in the water in Jiji Ndogo

Makini suddenly starts getting advances from women after marrying

In Summary

• Eyebrows are raised when things are too good to be true 


Have you ever woken up one day and wondered whether everything was as it’s supposed to be? I had such an experience once, back when I was in Class 5 in primary school. On any given day, Mr Kiama, our maths teacher, always found a bone to pick with at least half the class. If he only punished a few pupils for undone homework, he’d give a spot quiz to catch more and put them to the cane.

One day, he entered the class with a broad smile on his face.

“Tumeisha,” my desk mate told me, and I concurred.

But we were wrong. Not only was he queerly happy, Mr Kiama didn’t thrash a single soul, not even Kimei, who was notorious for not completing his work. “I’ll give you another chance,” Mr Kiama said. “Just make sure it’s done by tomorrow.”

“Anadedi,” I decreed to my deskie. “Ako na cancer ama kwashiorkor.”

Only later that day did I realise I was wrong once more. Per the school’s often reliable grapevine, we learned that Mr Kiama’s wife had had a baby the night before.

“Kama ni hivo,” I announced, “si huyo bibi apate kama watoi watano, Kiama kiachane na sisi.”

Lately, I’ve been going through such incidents with alarming frequency. First, it was Fatma Nono, the proprietor of our very own Kula Ulipe hotel. There was a day she threatened to call the cops – well, other cops – on me because I had forgotten my wallet and couldn’t pay the bill. Suffice to say, we haven’t seen eye to eye since.

The other day, she showed up at the police post with a steaming pot of pilau.

“Nimeleta peace offering,” she said. “Pole sana for how I treated you before. Can you forgive me?”

Without knowing it, I peeked around her.

“Unaangalia nini?” she asked.

“Just wanted to know if you’re real and not a puppet someone is manipulating.”

“Ni mimi.” She smiled. I hadn’t realised Fatma has such a pretty smile. “Know uko welcome at my place any time, okay?”

I didn’t touch that pilau until Sgt Sophia came back from patrol and I narrated the incident. “It might be poisoned,” I warned her as she smiled and began wolfing down the food.

Next came Mrs Sonko, the wife of the richest man in our village. The only family with electricity because their roof is made of solar panels.

“Hi, ma’am,” said I. “How may I assist you?”

“First of all,” she said, blushing, “you may stop calling me ma’am. Do I look that old to you?”

“I erm… I’m sorry, Mrs Sonko.”

“Call me Francesca.”

“Erm… okay? What can I do for you?”

“I want to report a lazy husband. Is there… something you can do about it?”

“I’m sorry, what?”

“A woman gets tired of going to bed alone, you know? It’s got to be a crime somehow, no?”

As if that wasn’t strange enough, today Chausiku comes calling on us. If I’ve never told you about Chausiku, it’s because there really isn’t anything to say. She’s the most beautiful girl in Jiji Ndogo, next to my wife Sophia, of course, and the only thing she and I share is the air we breathe.

“What’s up, Officer Makini?” she says, smiling from ear to ear. “I just came to ask you one thing. Are you too good to ask me out or what?”

Only until Mwendaa, our resident crazy guy, explained it to me that I finally got it. “You’re married now, dude. You’re unavailable, that’s why they all want you.”

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