Better neighbors|

Better neighbors|

Whether you are a lawyer with an erudite brain filled to the lip with criminal defense skills ranging from self-defense all the way to mistake of fact, or you are a doctor with a surgical mind brimming over with pharmaceutical intelligence, you’ll still need the comfort of a good neighbor.

Friendship acts as the thread that sews the fabrics of good relationship between neighbors together. It would be humanly wrong if a cloud of bad blood hovers on top of our neighborhood. All we need is our children to be safe when they play hide and seek, hot potato or even football, whatever game it is. We don’t want to attend to a blood feud fueled by the fact that there’s animosity between us and our neighbors, starting from the father down to the baby of the family.

When you hit rock bottom

A neighbor who dares to lift you up when you bitterly hit your rock bottom is the kind we need. They’ll tend to hold your arms firmly and together you’ll iron out the financial crisis that crippled the betterment of your homestead. When the little boy will complain why the peanut butter spread is getting thinner and thinner, the kind neighbor will step in with a jar half filled with peanut butter and his empathetic words will say

“Baba boy chukua hi, upakie kwa mkate ya watoto. My sister from Kileleshwa just brought me some the other day”

(Now that I’ve mentioned Kileleshwa I’ll have to promise not to use kiswahili again in this article so that the likes of Phyllis and my esteemed readers from South Africa-Zama Khumalo, Netherlands -Robyn,Indonesia-ryana, Germany -steph and my ANU friends from all around the world can understand me better)

Back to the story, you’ll stumble trying to find the right word to decline the offer but your choice of words will be sieved to a mere

“Thank you. Kids surely enjoy bread. And when it comes with butter they totally loose it”

This will be a perfect attempt to conceal the scope of your poverty, and you would have succeeded in it.

Neighbors that won’t feel jealous

There’s no bitter feeling than the one of living with a jealous neighbor. You would even wish you place your footpaths in the air so that you don’t lay foot where they passed. Lest they lay claim to the foot prints of your newly bought new balance

You would wish you even win lottery, and with the kind of amount posted unto you, you would fly to USA and buy a mansion in Beverly Hills, where you’ll share paths with tycoons, business magnates and drug moguls who will care not to look at your face let alone ask your name. Your victorious and proud voice will shout “away with jealous neighbors! After all, who needs one? What value do they add to our lives? Does the weight of my pocket weigh more or less as if determined by the beam balance of how often they choke when they look at you pass? “

But soon enough you’ll remember; Beverly Hills is for the select few, and you winning lottery is past impossible

I once had this neighbor, his name was funny, Mazeke. Isn’t it funny? For the records, I always tried leaning my brain in the directions that can help me understand why his parents choose such a name. I found it that weird. Mazeke had mastered the proficiency of turning his house into a FBI camp. He must have taught his children how to operate like the G-men, and I tell you, they excelled highly. They would bounce their glances and scrutinize any development in my house, whenever my door went open. They were swift in taking the information back to Mazeke, who by now was boiling with hatred for me. Hatred that stems from the fact that my development rate was on the fast lane, his having been attached on the granny lane for ages.

And when I plated a 64inch TV on my wall, it stubbed his composure and luckily enough I heard him say “sasa anaturungia TV yenye amenunua river road. After all it isn’t 64 inch, hio ni 52, kesho itachomeka arudie gratewall yake”

How did he get to know that the electronic components in my TV were weak enough never to withstand an electrical breakdown, by just being told by his kids?

I wanted to go rub shoulders with him, throw a few punches and maybe break a leg or two but I remembered his knuckles were much stronger than mine, and his chest would probably be much resilient. So I had to quite. It’s never sensible to measure the weight of your fighting ability with a weirder, especially one who hates you.

Neighbors that you can go share a plate of kuku with them

We need neighbors that will feel free to share with you a plate of their best dish, when your grumbling stomach will call for a visit to your nearest neighbor for help. They won’t necessarily circle their plate. They won’t even think of hiding the plate under their tables they’ll bid you to their feast and like men with corresponding motive you’ll both share in the act of making sure the plates, bowls and cans remain empty. Did I say cans? Yes I did. After such a fulfilling meal you’ll both down some glasses of water, but not too much to disintegrate the food before it even reaches your precious ileum…

Then after a week you’ll go buy a rooster, in all probability, it will be bigger than the cockerel you killed during Xmas, you’ll say “this is 2019.Being stingy is never my thing. Let me also have a taste of this splendid bird’ you’ll continue to encourage yourself “anyway it’s March December will take forever to reach”

You’ll fish out for the old thousand shilling note in your pocket, and after being given 300 as your balance, the transaction would have been complete.

On reaching home, you’ll first take a quick shower; you don’t want to kill your marvelous cock with dirty hands and foul-smelling armpugali… Your precious neighbor will be around to hear the last laments of your rooster, they won’t confuse it to be a cockerel, so they’ll mentally summarize that the soup will be thick enough to take down a whole 2 kg perfect of ugali.

Soon enough their movement next to your door will be dancing to the tune of the sweet aroma of your chicken broth. You’ll decide to let them in, and you’ll happily devour the chicken breast. As if that is not enough, you’ll lay waste the chicken bones.

It will be termed a meal.

Thereafter your friendship would have been solidified with the sweet taste of chicken, cemented with a packet of ugali

Wake up, this is the type of neighborhood we need.


Martin Olage

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