Celebrating East African Writing!

A Change of Hands? by Lillian Kithia

Photo by Jerry Riley. Click on image or Visit to see more pictures of Kenya

“Sir! These men have worked here for thirteen years! Shouldn’t you at least think about their families before you let them go?” Lisa implored as she tried to catch up with the managing director.

“See, that’s what you don’t get Lisa, this is a profit making organization not the damn charity. If we keep them here we will soon close down!”

“What about a notice? Shouldn’t you give employees one of those before firing them? This is too sudden… What if they sue?”

“Ha! Ha! Ha! Lisa… These people can’t afford to sue…”

But Sir…” She pleaded, half walking half running.

“No buts… if you are so worried about them you can open a damn refugee camp!! Now if you will excuse me, I have a company to run”

“Sir, with all due respect…” And before she could finish the door slummed shut in her face.

All the while, Mutiso and his colleagues listened to the shouting from outside the building. The new watchman had been given strict instructions not to let them anywhere near the premises lest they steal themselves some souvenirs.

Mr. Opindo…Sir! … Arrrghh!” Lisa cursed as she kicked at the shut door.

“Those two fight like a married couple!!” Juma the janitor said and his colleagues nodded in agreement.

Mutiso shook his head slowly as he opened the front door and slid into the driver’s seat of his dark blue sedan.

“They are a married couple!” He thought to himself.

Lisa could fool the others, but she could not fool him with all the loud begging and screaming at the M.D. At least not since the day he had walked into one of their late night ‘working’ sessions.

He lit his last cigarette and took a long drag as he admired the interior of his car. The first loan payment was due in two weeks! He then stubbed the cigarette off against the dashboard and tossed the butt out the window. He needed to think!!

At least they had a reason for getting rid of him- he knew something he shouldn’t have. But shouldn’t the others have at least gotten a notice?

When he saw in the News that the company was changing hands, the idea of working with new investors filled his heart with joy. The company would make more money, which would mean better pay for him and his colleagues- he had thought.

He turned the key in the ignition and the engine came to life, but where would he go? Back home to his wife who now wanted him to buy her, her own car?

Did they fall for it?” Mr. Opindo inquired, almost in a whisper.

Of course they did, I told you I’m a good actress…”

“Ha! Ati they will sue… Those guys can’t afford to pay their rent leave alone to sue this company”

“I was running out of ideas dear, so when can my brothers report to work?”

©Lilian Kithia

If you would like this piece to be the Story of the Week, please vote below on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being weak, and 10 being excellent. The numbers will be tallied on Friday and the story with the highest figure shall be Crowned Story of the Week. Be sure to fill in your name and verifiable email. You can include your critique/comment after the vote.


8 comments on “A Change of Hands? by Lillian Kithia

  1. kyt
    August 31, 2010

    eish hii si mzuri change of families or what? 9


  2. willpress
    August 31, 2010

    Well, well, very few would have thought of a conversation going on behind the mabati, story captures the pensive mood of the pic too… Very sly end to it too. 8.5


  3. Steve
    August 31, 2010



  4. joe
    August 31, 2010

    captures the fear of every salaried person,that fear of the unknown if…


  5. eve
    September 2, 2010

    very nice i must say…a definite 9.5


  6. alex
    September 2, 2010

    very good story line ,but i again have to try and visualise Lisa ,who if am not wrong is a feminine name ,yet no females in the picture.


  7. alex
    September 2, 2010



  8. Japheth Korir
    September 2, 2010

    After the paragraph of “Lisa could fool others …”, the use of He is confusing on who the reference is whether it is Mutiso, Juma or Opindo.
    But the hypocrisy works perfectly. My take today is 7.5


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