Posted: July 30, 2013 in Uncategorized

How we met

“Nashukia Mlolongo,”(I alight at Mlolongo) I said to the conductor as the matatu drove off from the Railways bus station. I alighted at the stage at around 1:30 pm-half an hour early. I had only met Mr. J (real name withheld) once, so I called to inform him of my arrival. I had been selling education insurance to a greenhouse Farm Manager in Kitengela where Mr. J happened to be a regular greens customer. He had heard me make that deal and got interested in purchasing some fire insurance for his rental unit.

His arrival

I had all the documents he had requested so I stood outside the Peter Mulei and Sons’ supermarket as he had told me to over the phone call. As I waited, I remembered him telling me he had three children and and a wife back upcountry. My first impression of the man was a good father fending for his dependents the best way he could. Mr. J had told me volumes about how he runs his businesses as we built some rapport. He supplied vegetables fresh from the farm to clients in the city every day except Sunday. We had done some calculations and it was a pretty good business bringing in a minimum of Kshs 27,000 all the way up to Kshs 70,000 a week excluding income from his rental units which were the reason for our soon to be meeting.

I had however found it peculiar that he was speaking about how all his employees  were boys-the peculiar part being that he had said “Hata silipangi hao vijana sana juu mimi huwasimamia rent pahali wanaishi na nawapatia chakula. Mimi huwapatia tu fare na labda pesa kidogo ya credit. Mtu akitaka kitu anaweza niuliza.” (“I don’t even pay those boys much because I pay rent for them where they live and I provide food for them. All I give them is fare and a little money for credit. If anyone wants anything they can ask me.”) But then I thought that with the difficulty of finding a job nowadays, especially with little education; he was probably doing them a favor. As I thought on, he appeared; walking toward me in official wear, looking ready to do business.


He had said he lived by the road, and so I had seen no bad reason to meet him in his house; after all, we were both dudes plus he was like 30 or something so not too old to have to make it too formal. Before heading  to his house, he told me to take him to the market as we carried a small load of greens to a woman he was supplying to. As he handed over the greens to the woman, I saw a familiar multicolored band around his left wrist. I noticed I had seen this before being worn by gays ‘to identify each other’ from some online source or something. I had seen in a newspaper article that  ‘The city’s growing homosexual community has adopted an aggressive strategy to spread its influence, hit back at bias and recruit more people… (The Nairobian June 28-July 4 issue)’ “Whoa, this guy’s gay!” I thought to myself. I stepped away uncomfortably. “Was this the whole reason behind my invitation to meet him? Recruitment?” I thought to myself. I had to think positive thoughts: “Sam, you’re here for business!”

In his house…

Reaching his house, another man, smaller in size was walking behind us so as to get something from the house when we enter. This made me even more uncomfortable. We entered the house, a small one-bedroom apartment and I sat on the sofaset nearest to the door. The shorter man took some things and left then it was just Mr. J and me. I started to ask about his houses and how much it cost to build them. As I was removing my documents, he began to come closer on the sofa. I thought that maybe he just wanted to be able to read the documents; so I handed them to him before he could move any more. He took them and then moved closer still till his side touched mine!

“Can I use that seat,” I asked motioning to those single seats that come with a sofaset. “I need to stretch my feet a bit.” I could almost see my heart’s rapid motions on my chest!

“Sure,” he said and I hurriedly shifted positions with great relief.

Eish! Don’t caress my feet!

I put my feet on the sofa he was sitted on, and now we were opposite each other. I then asked him for the value he wanted to insure and after stating it, I was ready with my calculations, but before I could tell him; I felt his left hand on my feet in a caressing motion! What! I quickly moved my feet away from his hand, and I decided the only way out of this was to take the bull by its horns.

So, tell me sir;

“By the way, where did you get that band from? Do you know what it means?” I asked, pretending that he was totally unaware. He explained that he had bought it from a shop in some town market. He then got up and went to the inner room. I got more tensed up, so I called a friend (Miss B) and asked for a favor-to help ease me up. Business is business, I said in my head. He came back and taking his sitting position, began to discuss what he knew about homosexuality. “Some people are just born this way,” he said. He even started talking about how his cousin had told him about the role-play during sex (who acts like the man) and such stuff, and all this while I was telling him not to describe to me in such detail. “But I’m not gay.” He repeatedly kept saying this statement and asked me what I thought about gays. I boldly stated that my stand is that if someone is gay, they should not try to force someone else into being gay, because we cannot close our minds and ignore the rising population of homosexuals (who probably have a harder time getting personal insurance than most people). They should just accept who they are and not try to force people into joining them. If someone wants to be gay, my opinion, then they should make that decision at a personal level. I really stressed on “personal choice” to make my stand. He stopped trying to touch my feet which were now almost squeezed out at the corner of the sofa I had put them on. I had drawn him back, YES!

And the wife?

I then went on to ask how his wife was doing. I told him I was asking because I personally found it quite difficult to be away from a girl I fancied for long. He said they were okay but they rarely see each other, but he was not interested in discussing family. He went back to the gay topic and started to ask me if I have ever been approached by someone gay, like an advance-to which I said no. He then asked me about lesbians and my thoughts on that, I said the same thing, that it should not be a matter of forcibly trying to change a person. He then went on to ask if I had any idea on how they “do it” to which I said no. He tried to get me thinking about how they “do it” and I told him to please stop as those are highly personal matters for those involved.

Sigh of releif, Goodbye!

“It’s getting late, I should go” I said, seeing that the man had no interest in insuring his property. He had changed the story to “I’m building a few more houses in another plot so maybe some time in the future.” As we left, he gave his house keys to the shorter man who was just at the gate the whole time. Sadly, he had brought me all this way for nothing! I got nothing of my expectations, but happy that it went well, considering how tense I had been. I was grateful to God that it had ended well.

I sure hope that Mr. J is not gay because this would imply marital unfaithfulness to his wife and betrayal to his 3 children if he is indeed with someone else. As for the deal that was to be struck, next time I’ve learnt to be more professionaal especially with regard to point of meeting! 🙂