A synopsis of my ‘Nyumba Kumi’

nnumba kumiinsI watched with interest the re-action of one Senator Aggie Zani to the zany appointment of one Joseph Kaguthi as the new Nyumba Kumi security initiative.

Here’s a perfectly loopy idea to give nosy neighbours the perfect patriotic excuse not just to peep over the fence, but barge in right through one’s front-door, and we are spurning it?

Having recently moved into a new neighbourhood, I look forward to spending time with my new neighbours, at least ten of them, and have hen-marked the twelve days of Christmas, between December 20 and December 30, as the perfect time to pay them homely visits — and in so doing, figure out who throws the best parties.

When we moved out of the apartment block we had lived in for four full years, last month, I had already gone digital with the ‘Nyumba Kumi’ thing, because it is a grand thing to stay one step ahead of the law.

From the top-most floor in a three storey building, there was the single-minded career lady with a nice derrerrie but other than the odd funga when times got too lonely, she seemed happy enough with her big car and her life.

Next to her was the short, brown, stout chap with the old BMW and a habit of picking up a few bar honey-bunnies for hanky panky. I always thought they’d have made a nice couple with the girl-next-door, but alas, methinks she found his night habits alarming.

Then there was the single mom with the fat five-year-old brat who liked screaming so much, one was often tempted to march right over and beat the crapolla out of the lad. Lord help me, but if I got such a son, I’d be an abusive dad – and expect a medal from City Hall.

In the middle storey, the story was of the mysterious second wife of someone with a little girl. But she would often sneak other young men in and out when I guess mzee was not around. Next to her were two wild party girls, sharing a house, playing deafening music all weekend — but because it was rock, we rolled along. And then the serious engineer at the corner, who looked slightly anti-social, but was probably just a geek.

The ground floor had interesting people. The loud friendly lady who played the part of mpango wa kando to a tee — complete with the weaves, the morning jogging, spa visits, shopping and … a pink Vitz.

The house in the middle whose occupant ( male) we glimpsed in Jesus-like appearances and disappearances, complete with carton boxes. If ever there was a terrorist amongst us there, I’d have laid my wager on Mr Stranger.

And finally, some ample bodied woman with a sales firm, who held loud Friday night parties with booze and boys, lived life footloose, and once found her kept Congolese man with her maid in bed, and threw him out, and told him he could go mooch off in the nearby ‘Mukurwa kwa Something’ (where, I imagined, he would be a regular at Nyumba Kumi Kumi.).

And what about me, the tenth resident? Was I the classic spying neighbour? No,  not at all. Think of me as a patriot, ready to lay my eyes down for you, in the interests of national security.


Eve Magazine




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