Last Sunday my daughter, Lelaa, woke me up demanding for 'sadaka' to take to her Sunday school, this is always the norm every Sunday.
I had no cash with me, I checked my M-pesa account and realized I had few hundreds. I asked Lelaa to accompany me to an M-pesa agent at the local trading center where I withdrew the money and gave her Sh100 note. I then escorted her to the church’s gate.
God bless this girl, she is the one who will fight for me to get to heaven on the day of resurrection, I thought while walking towards my hovel.
While submerged in my own world of thoughts, the ringing of my phone jerked me into my sense. Chesimet, one of the village HDs (Habitual Drinker), was calling.
"Atwon raini ee Cheboin. Nenyunet raini billit en kotab Monica. (I’m well-fixed today. The bills at Monica’s will all be mine)." Excitement was evident on his voice.
For those wondering who Monicah is, she is our local busaa brewer. Her busaa is reputed for being 'strong' having been fermented using damp millet, mermeruk, unlike other brewers who use yeast bought from shop.
“Can you give me 2 hours? I still have some chores to run at home. I want to spray with herbicides some portion of land that I intend to plant potatoes on,” I asked him. Knowing his urgency to quench his thirst, this was an indirect way of asking him to come and give me a hand in the work so that we complete it faster.
"Nen anyo kechokchin kazinon asi kesib kebe komarobon (Lemme come to lend my hand we complete it quickly so that we leave before it rains)," he told me as he hung up the phone.
He arrived as I was mixing herbicides and without much ado, he hoisted the knapsack sprayer onto his back. He then commissioned me to ensure that the 100-liter-tank, Madiaba, is filled with water.
Forty minutes later, we were on our way to Monicah's Busaa & Changa Brewery on the other ridge of our village. As we were at the bridge over Potato River, we saw a group of young men bathing up-stream and we decided to join them.
*At Monica’s Busaa & Changaa Brewery*
We arrived at Monica’s few minutes later to find her serving the proprietors in the compound.
Monicah, for the benefit of those who have not met her, is buxom and plump lady in her late 20s. She is built the way any productive woman should be; shapely, with sizeable dashboard, some layers of fat on her waist and well-rounded rear-board. She has been a local brewer for 10 good years and the business has enabled her so far to buy a Probox for matatu business.
She is also a no-nonsense lady who never entertains mchezo ndani ya kazi. She can be an image of terror when necessitated by circumstances. All she has to do is to stand, hands akimbo and troublemaker sobers up and scampers for safety out of her premise.
"Arap Cheboin, itagat (You are welcomed Arap Cheboin) One chipsy-full on me," Monicah shouted her welcome upon seeing us enter the compound. Her English, despite the heavy Kipsigis’s accent, can tell you she is not your average busaa brewer. She is said to have completed form four education.
She always try to communicate to me in English given that among her customers, I am the only one who is enlightened. I am also the one who is relied upon here for information on the latest national issues. They even believe me when I prevision to them that Miguna Miguna is going to be exported back to Kenya and will earn Canada foreign exchange.
Several hours later, at around 4:30 Pm, I had emptied twenty chipsy-tin full of Busaa. I was very high and the adrenalin in me was getting triggered. It was not long before I started feeling some familiar sense of desire rise in me every time Monicah came to serve us under the shade of Saptet tree.
"Mademoiselle Monicah, receive our gratitude for hosting us at your premise," I addressed her in English while putting on that self-important posture.
"On the powers bestowed on me by these drinks, I wish to announce that the algorithm in my mind tells me that the codes that I have can hack easily into your system. I am wondering if I can be granted an express privilege to do it," She got my message and pointed with her lips to her 2-room, mud-walled and iron-sheet-roofed house. This is the house that is accessible only to VIPs and no common HD has dared to venture even inch into it. That is why as I stood up and walked towards it, as almost fifty pairs of drunken eyes followed me.
Chesimet by now was forgotten amidst another group sitting at one corner of the compound comprising; Kipseng'er, Koigeldo, Chebusit, Nyamutyo and Kiptuiya.
I entered and sat on one of her cosy sofas. Monica entered almost immediately and fished out a plateful of piasinik (Potatoes) out of the cupboard. Chesimet always postulate that, "Alcohol on a white stomach is like courting early death."
Being his good student, I downed the mountain of potatoes within a blinking of an eye. I then removed my Kinyira (home-made sandals) and lay on sofa as I waited for Monicah who had left the room telling me that she still had 20 litres of busaa to sell.
Almost one hour later, the door was opened and in entered Jossy, a butcher at the local Trading Center. He appeared equally shocked as I was to see him in the room.
But I immediately concluded that he, too, was among the VIPs who had been invited to the ‘big house’. He passed me towards the next room (Bedroom) as I removed my legs from the table.
*Jossy with club, Chepunyo*
My sixth sense told me that huku si kuzuri. At that instant, Jossy emerged from indani, Bedroom, with a club. I did not wait to be told what was to follow. Fly!
I flew and opened the door while still in the air as chepunyo (club? whizzed above my head and made loud bang when it made in contact with the half-opened door.
Half a second later, I was out. An ear-splitting scream rented the air. It was Monicah. Jossy was right behind me hot in pursuit. My fellow HDs sobered up and too leg it out of the compound and into the nearest thickets. I jumped over Kiptuiya after he stumbled and fall down. This was a race for life.
It was when I was crossing the stream when I realized that Jossy gave up the chase long time ago. Phew, that was close!
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