Peace of Land

Peace of Land 2
Sarah and Faith Muoria

Recently, my parents grabbed themselves a piece of land. They paid for it though, unlike your favourite politician. They say they want to build themselves a retirement home, leave the city and never come back. They chose Malindi as their future home. They sat down in a silent meeting of two in the living room and discussed how they had lived in Central, Eastern and Nairobi provinces but never been to Coast. So instead of getting an SGR ticket to Mombasa for a weekend like everyone else, they just called Douglas from Urithi Housing and Cooperative and he gave them an offer they could not refuse.

 

Their reason for settling in Malindi still beats my logic. We are Meru people, we have a romantic affair with Mt. Kenya. We wake up to the sight of the snowcapped Lenana, Batian and Nelion. Malindi was just far-fetched, but who understands these ones anyway but themselves?

 

Personally, I have never been to Malindi but it sounds like a place with no Wi-Fi so it would be a total buzz kill for me. It sounds like a place you go to retire though. A place you build a two bedroom tiny mansion with a lot of living room space and an extremely huge master bedroom, but because you do not want your kids or your relatives to bother you, it almost has no space for guests. In fact, it only has one extra bedroom. An extremely tiny one. The kind you open the door and, BOOM! You are in bed already. The kind that are prominent here in Nairobi, particularly, Roysambu. Bedrooms that are inhospitable. You make one wrong turn while sleeping, you will wake up hugging the wall.

 

I have been feeling lately like my parents are just fed up with us; my siblings and I. We are four, three girls and one boy. When we got jobs in the city, my father suggested to build a humongous house in Nairobi and have all his kids stay under one roof, their roof, instead of the unsafe cheap houses in the city. So we did. I have never paid rent, not once in my lifetime and neither has any of my siblings. It actually hurts to think that our parents are tired of staying with us.

 

I would understand though, the other week, the one before the last one, my elder sister came home a little tipsy and mom threw tantrums all over the house saying that we want to kill her of blood pressure. I understood my sister though, her three-year relationship had just hit a brick wall and there was nothing she could do about it. Actually, she did something about it, she drank. She drank all the pain down.

 

Douglas offered my parents a piece of land where they could farm and keep livestock. He told them the project there is called Lulu Gardens, a few kilometres from town. They had a lot of savings, so they paid cash for a 5-acre block! I hope you understand the vastness of five acres. Like you could have a football pitch, a basketball court and a medium sized ranch in five acres. Of course, they asked how far it would be to the beach and Douglas took them there himself so that they could see it for themselves.

 

The week they left is when I decided I needed to move out of the family house. Immediately they left, I had to play mother to two kids! My elder sister was too wrecked to give a damn, so add her to the number of kids I had to take care of. She would come home at nine o’clock from work smelling like a brewery, then she would head to mother’s wine cabinet and pour herself another. This one time, I caught her passing a sip to our youngest sister who is only thirteen! I was furious.

 

I really do not think people should get into a relationship if they cannot handle a breakup. I know as humans we are creatures of habit and are social beings but two people should be able to remain standing after a breakup. Otherwise, the entire association is a toxic, ticking nuclear bomb.

 

My brother on the other hand, that Friday evening came home with a bunch of his campus school friends and took the big living room television set to his bedroom to play FIFA all weekend. The only breaks they took were to use the bathroom and to finish what was left in the fridge. Now, I understood why mother and father had to move five hundred kilometres from us.

 

Then, imagine that after they left, I would have to live with the three morons every day. So, I did what I thought was best, I called Douglas. I call him, Daggy, he is our family friend, absolutely pleasant and an extreme serial marketer. Douglas can sell you your clothes while you are still in them and you would call it a fair deal. I told him to set some space between him and my parents because this would be a private conversation and he told me that my parents had already left for the beach. Those love birds were busy honeymooning while I was raising their children for them!

 

I asked him for a nice small piece of land. A place with more trees than humans and just within the city. A place I could drive all the way to work every day without any hustle. A place with good looking single men that would make my life interesting. He laughed and told me that he would call me back after he made the inquiry from Urithi Housing and Finance headquarters in Thika.

 

He called back twice, once I was in the bathroom and the other I was with my siblings. I answered neither of the calls. The first one was due to courtesy and the second was to maintain the secrecy of my plans and the big knife I was about to shove on my siblings’ back. This would be the betrayal of a lifetime but then, a girl got to do what she has got to do.

 

I called Douglas at night after all the ‘kids’ were fast asleep. He told me he had found the perfect piece for me. He called the project, Sunrise Gardens in Rongai. I asked that he should advise the person who came up with these project names to stop because he was not creative at all and he laughed. He had an eighth of an acre for me in Rongai. Of course, I asked about boys before the price and he told me that the piece of land was so close to Nazarene University. That I would see shirtless boys playing basketball on the court from my place every evening. Judge me all you want, but I am here for a good time, not a long time.

 

Douglas had the best and most suitable deal for me. The region he called ‘Sunrise’ (rolls eyes) was residential and very suitable for a person like me who was about to venture fully into adulthood. The price threw me off the rails but then he told me to pay via instalments for a period of time to make sure everything worked out. I asked him about building a house and he told me that built houses are also available at Urithi Housing and Finance but the amount he mentioned was not friendly to my bank accounts. Alternatively, he advised me on the construction process and even went ahead to quote for me the budget and time it would take for me to move into my own tiny house.

 

Now I had all the information. The next morning after breakfast and none of them bothered to clear the table, I did cheerfully. I felt like a husband cheating on his wife in a bad marriage. I would do it. I would own my own piece of land after only a single year of being employed.

 

I was in high moods until my elder sister’s boyfriend called me. I could sniff the alcohol in his body all the way from wherever he was. Turns out he had cheated and got caught and was using me to find absolution and redemption from my sister who had probably blocked him with every networking device she had, including the Prepay Electricity Meter. I listened to all the bullshit threats that he would kill himself and all that. You know how these men usually are when they get caught. Shameless creatures.

 

Stay out of a relationship or be prepared for absolute loyalty. There is no two way about it.

 

I did not tell him that though. Instead, I promised to talk to my sister about the whole issue and that he should not commit suicide. However, I knew I would not. There was much more possibility putting my hand in a flame than confront my sister about her issues. She would accuse me of being on his side and all that. I was not prepared for that kind of drama. I just wanted my peace. My piece of land.

 

When my parents came back, Douglas took me to the site. I suggested we change the name from ‘Sunrise’ to something more unique but he said that the board of directors, ordinarily came up with the names and there was nothing he could do about it. So Sunrise stuck. I paid the deposit and was given a period of four months to pay the rest in instalments which worked out great for me. Douglas advised me to join Urithi Premier Sacco and get deals at much more fairer prices but I declined because I was certain that the piece I had bought would have me comfortable for a lifetime.

 

Next week as my parents fence their Malindi piece, I will be fencing mine. The only difference is that mine is in outright secrecy. Otherwise, Rongai single men, I will be seeing you soon and if anyone bumps into my sister’s boyfriend, please tell him to look for another girlfriend. This one will never budge.

 

 

Douglas (Daggy) (Dougie) (Dagy) (Doug) (Dag) is waiting for your call too: +254 724 130134

Or email douglasgikonyo@gmail.com

 

Feature Image by Mukiri Gitiri

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Special Congratulations to Serah Muoria, our feature model at the top (left), on her wedding. We wish you a lifetime of love and happiness. Best wishes on this wonderful journey, as you build your new lives together with Benson and may the years ahead be filled with lasting joy. We are right behind you!

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Creative Award of the year at the Bloggers Association of Kenya.

Category 3 – Option B.

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Author: Dennis Peters

When I stare at an empty word document, which is often, my font is always Georgia, size 10, and the feeling constantly is that the cursor is mocking me.

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