I have never imagined I’d end up locked up in a cell one day. I used to think that people who end up in a cell or worse, prison are retards, enemies of good and allies of harm. I didn’t see myself as such a person. But being here in this latrine in the name of a cell just showed me that anyone can end up here in any way at any time. It’s not to say that I didn’t know this day would eventually take a pit stop on my lane. The business I got into has such happenings as part of not just risks but consequences. The business gives one a ‘what’s the worst that could happen’ mentality.
So I’m not so surprised. This cell is everything I ever heard it was. Or maybe a little different because when I was younger, I was told there would be an old man in the cell in tatters and an ugly beard who would order other inmates around. Every inmate would pay tribute to him whenever they got in. He has a number two who is his right man. Maybe a random mjango in a coat that opens up to his hairy bare chest and pot belly. By the way, ladies. How do you like our chests? Hairy or not hairy? At least we are courteous enough to ask. Any form of disrespect to the king of the cell would be punishable by his right hand man. The punishment is not distinct. It will depend on the mood of the king of the cell who is barely ever sober. If he says he misses watching wrestling, believe you me you will turn into a punching bag. If he says he feels cold, you will be made to strip so he’d make beddings using your clothes. Don’t ask to be given back. He will give back when he feels like. And if you consider this as the worst thing that can ever happen to you, then you don’t want to be thrown into a cell one day; If he feels like he has missed the benefits of having a wife or a hooker, my friend you will have to play the role either without question or after you have been turned into a punching bag first. What do you call that? By force by fire? Anyway that was a narrative that was meant to warn me from ever playing poker with the law. The law always wins.
Not that I didn’t listen. I just thought I didn’t have a choice. Sometimes life puts us in such places, right? It’s a desperate times call for desperate measures thing. I was caught trafficking drugs to high school students in the middle of the night. Yea drug trafficking is what I do. We call it supplying mboga. The demand for food will always be there as long as mjangos will always feel hungry. So as not leave room for doubt, the demand is also there for those who eat to live. Such people are just here amongst us. These people don’t eat to get satisfied. They eat in order to maintain their chances of seeing another day. They are the voice of opposition behind the hill of ugali on the table that was once a mountain in our households. Watch out for such mjango. The enemies of progress. So the demand for mboga shares pretty much the same concept with that of food.
As long as there is the devil, people will always want to spice up their spirits during parties. They will long for ways to escape from the real world that has billboards of their problems erected beside every lane they take. “If every road you take reminds you of your problems, why then don’t you just fly? And go high and beyond you problems down here?” Says the voice of the guy in a red coat, a monkey tail and goat feet. They fall for that idea and what do you know, they try a puff, a sniff and a sip or two. Just when you feel you’re are two feet off the ground from the real world, you want to go to ten. Maybe that will be high enough but only before you get to ten feet. When you get to ten feet, you realise you’re irritated by the proximity to the ground. So you bargain with gravity to allow you to roll at thirty feet. Thirty feet it is but there is just one problem. You can still see the ground. Gravity refuses another bargain and that is where you grow wings and fly like bird.
At this level of intoxication is where mjangos do the craziest of things. And none of them is liable to their actions that follow after getting high. When they think they had things in control, they are already addicts of the same. I don’t mean to say it’s a good thing but only good for business. High demands like those meant something for me as a supplier. People mostly love ordering weed. Interestingly enough, I am here because I was caught with rolls of bhang outside the fence of a secondary school at midnight not so far away from campus. I didn’t know my clients within the school had been caught with the rolls. They were forced to say how they get the supplies and that was how I was set up. My forty days had run out. It wouldn’t have made a difference if I had counted them down. So by now word has it that a third year student was the one supplying drugs to high schoolers.
But I have seen worse days. There was a time I used to supply mboga to an MP’s daughter. Her mum is the MP, a tough lady whom people fear crossing paths with. The kid had just joined first year and became an addict in no time. She told her fellow punk friends about her new supplier and just like the spoilt brats they are, they teamed up to try out the hard stuff. There is trust and protocol to be followed before my dealer honours a demand for the hard stuff. If he says no, it remains to be a no. But the kids persisted and so did I, because they had a good offer; maybe their entire inheritance from their wealthy and prominent parents to squander. When I got a green light from my dealer, I must say that was the best day in this bad business. I enjoyed it while it lasted. It lasted upto when my dealer, an ally of many even the men in blue – called me and told me that there is a man hunt for the one who supplied hard shit to those brats. Her mother had found out about her addiction that almost cost her daughter’s life. What do you expect of an angry mother and more, a politician? With the long hand of the government that she has some say over, I was hunted down like a stray leopard.
I wanted out after that life and death ordeal. But the fact that I am seated on the cold floor of a cell, tossing and turning to capture any airwave of fresh air means that I didn’t really opt out. Heaven knows when the last time some people here took a decent bath was. Well, I am not going to be any different because it’s Friday night. I can’t be bailed out until Monday; that is if fate happens to be my grandmother. The convictions and regrets bombard through the four walls and ricochet back to me with an impact greater than the previous. Peace escapes my mind through my ears. I am not left with in so much as a straw to clutch on to. My hope is constantly being roasted by flames of guilt. And it’s the same man in a red coat and a lousy tail that is adding dry wood to the fiery state of my guilt.
I feel guilty because had I performed well in my first time in second year, I wouldn’t have been pushed to the wall by the corner by this life for what has now turned into a brutal defilement. I had acquired numerous supplementary exams and missing marks that forced me to repeat that academic year. All because I spent most of my class time nursing massive hangovers. Sometimes I’d try to nurse hangovers with the same substances that made me high. Getting to know that I’d have to repeat an academic year was not threatening. For some ratchet like me by then it simply meant I had more time to indulge with what campus has to offer. It was like so until my parents sat me down though after a struggle to get me on a day I was sober. I was ready for one of the endless lectures I used to say that was all they are good at. I was shocked to hear them say only one line, “For the pain, shame and losses you have cost us, we have decided that we shall no longer support you in any way. You will pay your own fees and every other bill you are obliged to.” And that was it. The end of my high life and the beginning of the desperation to survive and if possible, thrive as well but this time, I would be on my own.
This mboga business came in handy at a time I needed money the most. In the same way alcoholics advise others against alcohol, I advise every young soul listening to the aching voice of my conscience to stay away from any handshake that will land you into a similar job. It sorts my school fees and daily needs in a way. But only if I am not behind bars like I am tonight. Who knows whether I will be in a black and white uniform by Tuesday? Being matched by a warden who escorts all his orders with a fire ball of insults – through a corridor that smells like a concoction of piss and sweat into a prison cell with an able bodied prison-mate who loves to sleep naked. If only the mother of mercy would add just one more day to my already used up forty. If only.
Disclaimer: Drug trafficking is not a business opportunity. It is an opportunity for endless miseries of life. Abstain from drugs, they do kill. Just like Kenyans say, “Bhangi sio mboga!”


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Written by The Mjango

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5 years ago

Nice piece.. Youths should find legal ways of earning income….

5 years ago

hha very true Mjango .. bhangi sio mboga …it’s high time the youth start thinking of ways to build there lives rather than destroying it…Nice article?