Mwendaa’s advice to the powers that be

Asked if he remembers his past life, he gives another gem of a reply

In Summary

• If he is running for president, I’ll volunteer to be his campaign chief


At Jiji Ndogo, there lives a man with no permanent address or second change of clothes.

No one knows his real name, but since he’s also famous for random monologues to himself and collecting trash for no particular reason, he’s come to be called Mwendaa.

Once you get to know him, however, you realise something very interesting.

Mwenda isn’t a one-peel orange like the rest of us here. He’s more of an onion with many layers and a very intricate brain living in his head.

Over the years, he’s provided some insights that have left me gazing at his filthy behind with my jaw flapping against my chest.

Granted, I have an IQ only slightly higher than a garden toad, which makes me easy to impress, but if I ever hear that Mwendaa is running for president, I’ll volunteer to be his campaign chief.

I doubt he’d want me, though. I know as much about political spinning as I know the inner workings of a rocket engine. (Do rockets even have engines or do they just sit on huge gas stoves that are then set on fire?)

Sometimes I wonder what the deal is with Mwendaa. How did such a complicated thinker end up walking the dusty street of Jiji Ndogo and sleeping under a plastic paper hut that doesn’t stand a mild wind? Asking him proves as useful as milking a bull.

“Do you remember anything about your old life?” I once asked him.

He looked at me dead in the eye and said, “The past is a place of learning, not a place of living.”

“Wow! Awesome. Did you just make that up?”

“Of course not. It’s something I picked up along the way. Also, it’s possible to lead a cow upstairs, but not downstairs.”

Such is the complexity of Mwendaa’s mind. A granary filled with both wheat and chaff, and one must carefully sort which is which.

Because of his lack of fear and zero social skills (and I truly admire him for this), he says anything that pops into his head and acts out his impulses without the slightest hesitation.

He’s come to be somewhat of a confidant, and I find myself unburdening to him a lot, mostly because his unfiltered mind doesn’t judge. I once confessed my undying but unrequited love for my partner, Sgt Sophia. He jerked his head and said, “A crocodile is an animal…”

“Uhm, so?”

“… that cannot stick out its tongue.”

Frustrated, I said, “That’s interesting, but I need advice on—”

“You should count yourself lucky, my friend,” he said, looking a little more lucid. “Aside from religion, love is the worst thing to happen to mankind.”

“Are you saying we shouldn’t fall in love?”

He said, “The cat is the only domestic animal not mentioned in the Bible.”

And just like that, we were back to nutso-land.

Mwendaa visits our police post almost daily. Most times he’ll ask for a bite to eat. Other times he’d be as mute as a mouse and he’d only sit and stare at the roof with a curious look on his face.

Sometimes I prompt him for some convo. If in the mood for it, he’ll indulge me with more facts than one person should naturally possess.

Today he storms in looking pissed and needs no prompting.

“You need to tell him,” he says, stabbing a finger towards the roof. “If he wants people to fill the bucket, he should plug the holes first. Only a fool fetches water with a sieve. And… and ‘go’ is the shortest complete sentence in the English language.”

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