I work for Kenya Power now. I know I said I was working for Pan Africa Life a few months earlier and NHIF before that, but life is short you got to experience as much hiring and firing as you can, whatever brings food and good whisky to the table, right? A good friend of mine recommended me for the job, probably tired of me staying on my couch making money using a laptop. You know humans unless you sweat or leave early in the morning in a suit then you do not have a job. Be it as it may, I am entirely grateful for the job. This time when I head to the chilly, hilly Nyandarua and Grandma asks what I do for a living, I will not have to start explaining about the internet and Facebook, instead I will simply say, Kenya Power, and people will bow in adoration while the elders will give me a standing ovation spitting on their chest as a form of Agikuyu blessing custom. This Christmas I do not have to explain to anyone how writing makes me money. The only writers people respect are those that write for New York Times. I suspect grandma thinks am either a thief, a watchman or a hookah exactly in that order.


Now, I have received the light and accepted it to guide me daily. I work with a company so big your head would spin trying to comprehend the kind of corruption that goes on in these old offices. I work for a company big enough that whenever we blink, the entire country goes on Twitter to complain. Millennials probably do not understand that we have not always had electricity flowing through our veins until we got redemption by the light of the country. Without us, Christmas trees would be mere bushes, Kenyans on Twitter would be Kenyans ain’t Shit and Bikozulu would just be Biko. No Zulu. The only Zulu we would know would be Shaka Zulu. Kenya Power, the light and deliverance of the country. Well, until I get fired. This time it might not take long am afraid.


The other day I arrived at 9.00 am instead of 7.45 am, blame it on traffic in Nyeri. Lol! I am kidding, there is no traffic in Nyeri, I had just been reminiscing with some old friends the previous night over a beer until the clock hit 4.00. The day before that, I had been to work at 8.00 am but unfortunately, just about when I was going through the day’s paper about how Trump is going to cancel a trade deal with the Pacific Countries just to make only America great again and not Mexico or Canada. The paper was interesting, I mean there was Machakos chaps trying to impeach and arrest their governor, then there was the pope giving priests the power to forgive abortion, Baba being accused of graft and accusing others of bigger grafts and so on. Usual stuff. I did not notice the boss walk in only to find an accumulated paperwork on my desk. I was sure I was getting fired, but here I am. A living testimony that bosses give second chances to repulsive morons.


Beyond that, the job involves a lot of travelling. We travel into the heart and soul of the Nyeri rural. Where people welcome people from Kenya Power with warmth and respect. Where people do not mind whether you have been working for the company ten years or ten minutes, they will still take off their hats when they greet you and thank you for bringing Maendeleo into their village. Where the chief calls for a meeting in her office and everyone appear well dressed and the moment she walks in, everyone stands and takes off their hats. I do not know if you twitter people know that you stand and take off your hats for senior people. I actually do not think you think anybody is senior to you that is the reason you are busy tweeting the president calling him Kamwana and accusing him like he is your little brother.


We might have lost the big unnecessary protocols and reduced the distance between the government and the people, but in the village, the government is the choice of the people. The government is God’s selection to guide the people just like the Levites of the good book. Locals put Waru in your car boot and carrots when you leave because they know that in town, all you eat is Supermarket GMOs. Sometimes you even sleep hungry, but you do not mind, as long as you have the internet then you think you are better than everyone else.


In other instances, I have stared blankly at poverty. Looking at a roof that leaks whenever it rains, sometimes even more than under a tree. I have sat back on my couch writing but wondering about a family that can barely afford three hundred shillings for a metallic meter box just so that they can enjoy the privilege of several bulbs. At such moments, I have found myself wondering why I think my phone is not trendy while people out there are wondering where they can get three hundred shillings.


But mostly, the irony of life has caught up with me, and the most I can do is shake my head. Yesterday in the office, there was a blackout. I am not sure anyone gets the intensity of this fact. There was a blackout at Kenya Power, and we had to stay idle for thirty minutes waiting for the power to come back. Grace, a workmate, seemed unperturbed by this fact while I could simply not settle down and marinate on how the source of power could lack power. It did not make sense. It is like walking into a bar, and the bartender asks you casually if you have a cold beer.


I know sometimes I take too long to cook up something decent for you to read but you all know how hard it is for a brother trying to get hired and then fired a little while later. It is all about making ends meet.  But you people, we will ongea later, if I continue typing I will get fired before Christmas, and that is a risk I cannot take. Grandma has to hear the good news first before I break her heart with how I was fired. Let me get back to making major Kenya Power decisions like whether you people really need those electricity guzzlers you call coils in your bedsitter hostels. I know you all recognise the blog name change from to, sindio? Ama you people did not realise? That’s just mean. Take it easy out there, alright?


Feature Image by Mukiri Gitiri




Dennis Peters


3 thoughts on “Blackouts

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