February 7, 2023

I am having a “The dog ate my homework.” kind of day. I am at Times Tower in the periphery of the CBD in Nairobi. Our driver Philemon dropped me off at the Shell petrol station along Haile Selassie avenue and asked, “Will you be ok walking the rest of the distance?”

“Excuse me? Are we rushing somewhere?” I asked, baffled.

“It’s just that they don’t allow drop offs at the entrance.” He responded.

“Ohh, my bad.”

I don’t even know how he knew that drop offs are not allowed around here, but if there’s one thing I’m grateful about Philemon is the fact that he is quite knowledgeable when it comes to matters roads, panya routes, city council regulations etc Which is basically rather important given his role as a driver.

For a Taita, (no offense my Taita readers), you can consider him one of the sharpest tools in the shed. And why I say “for a Taita”, we all know as far as stereotypes go, there’s a dividing line somewhere in the country, not sure if it’s the equator, the rift valley or an imaginary line that separates the tools in the shed. And on this spectrum we have the Kisiis and Luos shinning bright like the scintillating waters of Lake Victoria on a sunny day, and then we have coastarians being rather nonchalant about everything. Hakuna matata indeed.

So I get off the car, look up and see Times Tower ahead, a monolith of a building, dwarfing me and the rest of the human traffic approaching it. I get to the entrance and the check in process is rather smooth.

Its 10am, and I’m here one hour prior to my appointment, a training that’s scheduled for 11am. I did this deliberately so that I could have some quiet time before the throng of eager trainees fill up the convention room, and I could polish up the feature that I’m scheduled to post today. But a few things surprise me. First, there’s already about 9 people in this auditorium that reminds me of the lecture halls in Nairobi University, except that there’s an old maroon carpet as you would expect to see in any government office or parastatal. Secondly, I settle in the middle alley, third row and flip open my laptop, only to find its dead.

The facilitator, a young, bald, bespectacled guy , is setting up the projector in readiness for his presentation, which hopefully will be captivating enough to sway the attendees towards meeting their PAYE obligation. I ask him if he could kindly charge my laptop for me, and he gladly takes it and the charger only to get to the podium, scratch his bald head and turn around handing it back to me. “Sorry ma’am, all the power slots are taken.”

So this is me, on my phone, jotting a quick note to say sorry that you won’t be reading what I had intended for you to read. About how my accountant lately makes me feel like I am back to being employed, based on the fact that he’s been having a myriad of requests and giving me deadlines by which to meet them, and worse still, questioning my income and expenses. Suddenly, between him and my iwatch constantly reminding me that I am not exerting myself with my lack of regular fitness activities, I don’t know who I dislike more.

Please do not give me a stripe for not delivering my assignment. I could have deliberately forgotten my diary in school and claim to have not been aware of the assignment as one Xena D’Souza recently did, but I chose to come clean.

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