Now, you all know that I am a good person. I don’t like problems. So, when my 3 baby mamas started calling me left, right and centre, I knew it was time to change my number. Money doesn’t fall from trees. What was I supposed to give them? And boundaries, people! I am big on boundaries like that. I went out to a Safaricom shop. To ensure that the baby mamas wouldn’t find me, I specifically asked for a number that had been in use before but gotten deactivated. The attendant said, he had a number that had been reassigned thrice before.
“Perfect,” I said.
There was no way in hell my baby mamas would find me on a 0724****** number. I tipped the Safaricom staff, inserted the SIM card into my phone, and switched off my previous number. “Good riddance!” I said as I left.
The first week with my new number was excellent. I had so much peace. No loan companies calling me. No baby mama’s talking about, “Your son has swallowed soap, we need hospital money.”
I thought to myself, “He sure is a God of miracles, man.”
I even got comfortable enough to reach out to Shirleen. She and I had a thing going.
Shirleen asks, “why did you change your number?”
I say, “don’t worry about it, baby. When life gets tough, the tough get going.”
Shirleen is happy. She says, “You are so wise. T.”
I say, “yeah, baby. You haven’t seen anything yet. That’s why some people call me Solomon!”
We talked a little more. She hung up. I go back to my quiet world. Peace is galore!
The first week was also good for me because I attended an interview for a new, better job. Gave them my new number. I am starting to think, that this new number brought me good fortune. On the second week, a cold Monday, 3:00 am, my phone rings and it’s a deep voice on the other end talking,
Where you at, baby?”
I get upset. I can’t have a nigga calling me at 3:00 am.
I say, “Matako yako, bwana!” (you are a** man!)
The man starts laughing and then says, “Still feisty, huh? Just the way I like it, baby.”
I get mad. See, the problem is when I get mad, my voice gets squeaky. The more I shouted at the fool, the more he was getting turned on.
He says in a raspy voice, “stop playing, baby. You play too much.”
I decided to hang up. We were getting nowhere. He calls again, I put on my deepest voice, and tell him,
“Bro, you have the wrong number!”
He says, “No, man. This is the right number,” “Who are you?”
I told him that I am the nigga he just spoke to. He said, no. That he had just spoken to a ‘Justine’, who was
his girlfriend, and he must talk to her again.
I say, “look, man! That’s my voice when I get upset. It kind of gets squeaky. I don’t know you.”
He gets mad, and tells me, “We shall see!”
He adds that he is getting out of prison in a month’s time. That he knows where I live.
He says, “you can hide but you can’t run.”
I reply, “It’s you can run but you can’t hide.”
He gets angrier and says, “I know, man! Stop correcting me! I was just testing you!”
He is not happy. He growls. I decide it’s time to hang up and block the fool.
On Tuesday evening, I come back from work. I am cooking myself some food, listening to some Michael Bolton when the phone rings. On the other end comes on a rather sad voice talking about,
I say, “bro, I don’t know Justine.”
He continues unabated.
Says, “do you think what you did was good? Is it because I have one leg?”
I feel for the man. He sounds very sad.
I say politely, “Man, I just got this number from Safaricom. I don’t know Justine. But what did she do?”
He says, “bro, I don’t even want to talk about it.”
I say, “No, man. Brothers share.”
He goes quiet for a second, then says, “I sent Justine fare. She didn’t show up. It has been six
At this point I am thinking: damn Justine! Really? Really? Eating a one-legged man’s fare? That is what we are doing now?
I say, “Look, brother. I don’t know a Justine but that was wrong. Next time maybe have them use their fare and then compensate it when they arrive.”
He said, “thank you” and hung up.
Wednesday and Thursday went by pretty smoothly. No phone calls, no texts from strangers. I was starting to get comfortable again. Friday afternoon, I am typing away at work, when my phone rings. I dismiss the call twice but the caller won’t stop. My colleagues in the office were starting to get uncomfortable so I pick it up, only to be met with a barrage of insults from who I assumed was a Swahili old woman:
“Come for your kid, mkundu wa nyani wewe!. (Come for your kid, you monkey’s a**) .How can you dump your son here and go whoring in town? Unaleta ujuaji na ukalulu hapa, we mshenzi (You trying to be clever and cunning here, you shameless being). Pumbavu kweli!” (Truly a fool).
I am almost in tears because I had not expected that.
I ask, “Mama, who are you?”
She replies, “Who are you peleka huko Kisumu! Tell that whore she should come for her child! Mwanamke Hana haya. Justine hana hata chembe cha utu. Halafu waja kuniuliza. ‘who are you?’ ‘Who are you’ ya babako? You thought you were alone? Justine kawatema wangapi? She even slept with my husband – her stepfather! Eti, ‘who are you.’ Shenzi kabisa!” (‘Who are you’d return to Kisumu! Tell that whore she should come for her child. A shameless woman she is. Justine lacks even a dime of personality. Then you come here asking me,’ who are you?’ You thought you were alone? How many have Justina had? She even slept with my husband – her stepfather! Total savage!”)
She hangs up just as I am about to cry. I decided that it would be the last time any of the callers would bully me. I get home at 4:00 pm while resting on the sofa the phone rings. That was it, I had had it. I pick it up, and start screaming :
“I do not know Justine! Leave me alone! Just leave me the f*** alone! I have tried to be nice to you, but I have had it. F*** you! F*** you times two! Leave me the bloody, f*** alone!”.
When I am done, a man clears his voice.
“Mr. Okuna, we were calling to inform you that you got the job. That you were to report on Monday, next week. But, it looks like we will be looking elsewhere for now. All the best in your future pursuits”. With that, he hangs up.
All I wanted was peace. Just peace! But no, good men can’t have anything in this country. All Justine had to do was not eat a one-legged man’s fare, pick a law-abiding boyfriend, and not sleep with her stepfather. How hard is that?! Is that too much to ask?! Surely!
Now, I have to go back to my old number, and deal with my 3 baby mamas… 3 baby mamas! Do you
know how hard that is? I hate this place, man! I can’t have anything in this country!