Celebrating East African Writing!

House Hunting by Annette Lutivini Majanja

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It was the recommendation of a friend of a friend at the supermarket. This friend of the friend says that the best thing is to go to Rongai and talk to a watchman called Tomaa who is the go to guy in the area.

“Am telling you just him five hundred shillings and he will help you get a house definitely.” The friend of my friend said emphatically.

I have to move out of my one bedroom extension near Bomas in the next three days because my landlady decided to raise the rent from seven thousand to twelve thousand shillings. Nairobi!

“Let me tell you, there are plots for sale, really cheap. Wacha tu.” Duncan conspiratorially points to the horizon.

This morning instead of going to work, I called and said that I have a meeting a client outside the office. I got into a matatu and landed in Rongai nine sharp to speak to Tomaa. At my first stop Biston Flats I asked Tomaa, who has been waiting for me, to show me houses that were available for rent.

The next thing, because he cannot leave his work station, he introduces me to this young jamaa Duncan who is now showing me where I can get a place to rent. Biston Flats has a place but they want 3 months deposit upfront so we move on. At Hightop flats just a few minutes away, a one bedroom house that is within my budget except the shower head is directly above the toilet bowl so I decide to continue the search; there must be something better.

Half an hour later the single bedroom house in Maua Court is poorly lit and only has windows in the kitchen and bathroom. No problem considering I will only be at home on Sundays the only day I don’t work.  It’s on ground floor and all the laundry from four floors above is dripping at the door – this will not do. We find a bedsitter which is cheaper and perfect but the caretaker insists that the landlord only rents out to single women. Two hours of walking and I haven’t found anything I can rent. Time is running out and I had promised to be in the office after lunch.

Duncan enthusiastically talks about plots of land for sale. “You know,” he says, “the plots I was talking about are just past those shops” he points.

Resigned to the fact that I may not find a suitable place, I follow along and see these plots which according to Duncan are really cheap. We are walking in the blazing sun towards this stretch of land with a few scattered houses. At the back of my mind I keep wondering how I will find a place within the next forty eight hours or maybe I should just turn back and take the first place I saw.  Will Tomaa give me refund since I have not found a place? I wonder.

© Annette Lutivini Majanja

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.


2 comments on “House Hunting by Annette Lutivini Majanja

  1. kyt
    August 17, 2010

    yah i totally feel u 8.


  2. Mueni
    July 17, 2012

    I like it. Good stuff :-). I’ll give you a 6.


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