I may have mentioned before that I’m a pretty easygoing chap, I get along with people from all walks of life quite effortlessly. (Well, except feminists. They’re just stupid) And some of those people include those who most people tend to either ignore or not pay much attention to. Watchies and househelps. The people who we pay peanuts and expect to sacrifice their lives to keep our homes and property safe, guard family secrets, and do all sorts of things that fall out of their (unspecified) job descriptions.
It pays that most watchies tend to be from where I’m from, so getting along with them is rather easy. They never ask for much, just that once in a while you slip them a small note for them to enjoy a mug of their favourite brew over the weekend.
Purchased loyalty, I call it. Once you’ve bought someone’s loyalty, it becomes very easy to get them to do favours for you. They know which side their bread is buttered. And trust me, every once in a while, you’ll need favours that only a watchie or a mboch can provide (get your minds out of the gutter pris!)
In high school, I was friends with most of the cooks, and they used to swing me extra slices for breakfast, or a serving of the “special diet” that was given to students who had special dietary requirements. After high school, I was friends with the watchie who would help me skive the parents car without uttering a word. At most of my pals digz, I made friends with the watchies/mboch so they would cover for us whenever we’d get into mischief.
Just after high school, I’d skive the car on weekends to hanye, and naturally I’d have to pick up a few friends. Bribing the watchie was essential to the escape plan. I remember helping my pal skive digz several times. I’d drive to her digz and text her when I was entering the estate. She’d tiptoe out of the digz in her pyjamas so that no one would suspect a thing if she was spotted going outside. Then I’d bribe the watchie and he’d quietly open the gate and let her out, on condition that I dropped her back before his shift ended. She’d then take off the robe and reveal a stunning outfit in readiness for the night’s mwenjoyos! Before 6am the next morning, I’d drop her drunk ass home, where she’d change into her pyjamas once more and deposit her outfit with the watchie who would make sure it finds its way to the laundry, then she’d sneak into the house.
Househelps on the other hand, unless you get one of those brainless ones from the village, are very easy to get along with. And they were important back then coz if I had a girl over at my place, or if I was at a girl’s house, the househelp would have to alert us in good time if the parents were to check in unexpectedly so that I could make my escape. The number of close shaves I had, thanks to the househelp…!
About three years ago, my girlfriend and I were caught in a compromising position in the back seat of my car, in a very dark area. Well, we were in the back seat, all dressed up, having a post-shag cigarette, But one doesn’t need to have a degree in molecular biology to figure out why we were there in the first place. The cops harassed us for a while, threatening to arrest us and have us arraigned in court first thing on Monday morning for public indecency. Unfortunately I didn’t have any money left to shut them up, and neither did she. One of them confiscated my car keys and my drivers licence. Upon opening it, he burst into laughter. “Wewe ndio brother wa Mishale?
(not knowing whether it’d be a good thing or a bad thing coz my older bro is quite the crook)
“Si ungesema pwana! Huyo ni beste yangu tena sana! Huwa tunakunywa na yeye hapo police canteen! Kiplagat, wachana na huyu, ni friend yetu pwana! Sasa wewe Mishale mdogo fanya hivi, leo tutakuachilia lakini kesho tuko off duty kuanzia 5pm. Make sure upitie hapo canteen utununulie moja mbili alafu tutasahau hio story, sawa?”
I’ve never been so relieved in my life. See, girlfriend’s old man is…a beast! He’d have had my liver for lunch had that story gotten to him. So you can bet your ass I was at the police canteen at 5pm sharp the next day, armed with adequate cash in 200 bob notes and bought rounds for them cops, and we had a good laugh recounting the events of the previous night. We’ve remained good friends till today, our friendship cemented by occasional drinks at the usual watering hole. You need to have a few cops in your phone book, you never know when you’ll need them to come sort you out, and those two have, severally.
Normally I don’t bother with bouncers at clubs coz most of them tend to be quite daft to be honest. But some are really great guys. Take Izzo or Bena at Crooked Qs. The number of times they’ve saved my diabs from a fight or three, or organized for someone to look after my car, or allowed me to get in a pal who didn’t have the required age on their ID card.
The advantage of purchased loyalty is that as long as you keep your end of the deal (financial incentive) then they’ll keep theirs. And they tend to be extremely loyal.
The problem with purchased loyalty is that sometimes the receiving party tends to fleece you. Many are the times that watchies have asked me to contribute towards hospital/funeral expenses for their relatives. They produce well-worn A4 sized contribution forms and proceed to plead with you to contribute handsomely towards meeting the expenses. Currently, my bodaboda guy is on my diabz coz I “promised” him 500 bob last week towards his wife’s cousin’s hospital expenses. I’m a broke ass college student bana!
Failure to be nice to your watchie can result in the following scenario that I heard about a few years ago.
This guy (let’s call him Alphonce) was fond of sneaking out in his father’s car on weekends. The escape plan involved sneaking his two pals into the compound late at night, where they’d push his father’s car out of the garage, out of the compound and they’d only start it when they were a considerable distance away from the house. Obviously the watchie would have to be part of the plan, otherwise it’d never work.
But Alphonce was always rude to the watchie and never gave him kitu kidogo for his cooperation, yet he (the watchie) put his job on the line to help Alphonce skive the moti. So this one time, his pals came over, the watchie opened the gate as usual. They pushed the car out of the garage and turned it onto the driveway and pushed it towards the gate like they usually did. When they got there, they whispered an order to the watchie to open the gate, but he stood there, arms crossed, and didn’t budge. Dude comes out of the car, pulls out a couple of 50 bob notes and flings them at the watchie and again orders him to open the gate, and again he refuses. The two became very pissed off, and they began to negotiate with the still-silent watchie.
After a very frustrating few minutes where the boys were reduced to begging, the watchie removed his head scarf and cap to reveal…BABA ALPHONCE!!
The three boys quietly pushed the car back into the garage, the two accomplices left and Alphonce received a proper hiding from his old man.
Be good to your watchie/househelp/shamba boy/tea girl/receptionist this week.
Photo of the day
If I said that you’re fucked, that’s actually be a compliment, coz this is waaaaay beyond fucked!!
What’s on my Playlist?
Can I come for tea – Aaron Rimbui