“Excuse me madam ……excuse me madam…….,” Jerry, my amazing secretary who was now getting impatient beckoned me in an almost angry tone.
Yes Jerry ,how’s your morning like?, why do you look rather disturbed this morning/, I asked having an idea of what was bothering him.
“Well I don’t want to seem like the boss here and I mean no disrespect but I don’t understand why you keep that drunkard man around here, this is a place serious work, respected by many and we have high paying clients walking in and out of the office everyday, I don’t want to imagine what picture they have of Zedi and his behavior. The guy hardly does anything but show up drunk and smelling worse than a skunk, I mean no one has anything against him but his alcohol needs to be checked, “Jerry busted out with some kind of hope in his eyes that he wouldn’t get fired after all he had said.
Well my dear Jerry before we check Zedi’s alcohol, we need to check your pressure levels first, I said as I offered him a seat hoping to cool him down.
You know Jerry ,some years back ,not so many , and not so few I knew a girl who was chased away from home by his step dad and ended up in the streets ,with no money ,no friends, no shelter and the only thing she owned was her form four education that seemed useless, a pair of rubber shoes and an oversize overall that she wore the night she was chased.
Life was really hard for this girl since she was not born in the streets and despite the fact that she was not from a wealthy family, she had a fair middle class life, where she at least had three meals every day and a place to sleep but things changed quite fast after her mom died and she was now left at the mercies of her step dad.
As most step parents do, the dad married another woman who was cruel to the girl and in less than a year the girl found herself begging in the streets.
At the beginning things were really hard since, she was used to see and once in a while buy food for beggars but know she was the beggar who had to readjust to this life. And I know you’re asking why the girl didnt go to her relatives or find a decent job ,but life wasn’t that easy as you think, All her relatives denied her and yes she looked for work ,even house help work but the wages she got were not worth the mistreatment she received from her employers.
So, in the streets she started off as a simple beggar, with her kasuku tin she would sit next to big offices and wait for people to pass by and in a sad, low voice ask for money. Some days the girl would get lucky enough and end up with 500 shillings plus a plate of chips that a nearby hotel offered her and most days her luck would change into a curse where all her money got stolen by street bullies and she ended up with a beating from them.
As time passed this girl adjusted to this life and even got a night job in the streets as a drug peddler. Through some connections she came to know of BIGGIE,yes I know right ,why are all drug bosses known as Biggie,but anyway yes the girl met Biggie who was big as the name suggests and was in charge of transportation of drugs ,he did small businesses as small as weed ,to big deals as big as heroin and cocaine, and his way of transportation was street kids ,where he would wrap the drugs on their bodies and have them deliver them to his clients.
In one night the kids will take back around ten thousand and only get one thousand ,yet they were the ones who underwent the danger of getting caught or the money being stolen, but none of them had the guts to complain since this was better than begging and ending up with nothing, plus biggie had now become a father to these kids ,where he even offered shelter to the kids, not so much but he had set some mabati houses in the slum where the kids that worked for him would sleep at night.
So, yes this girl was lucky enough to join Biggie’s cartel but being the youngest in the game she really had a hard time . Most of the nights the older guys stole her package and sold it, other nights the police arrested her while most nights she would get lucky enough to escape the bullies and police but as soon as she delivered her package the buyers would refuse paying her, and now she had a bigger problem of facing Biggie and having to explain to him why he wasn’t getting money from her.
So one day as she was struggling with life and trying to run away from the bullies, the girl met some street drunk who was always drunk and sang reggae songs, who knows, maybe he dreamt of being a musician before life hit him hard, I said while shrugging my shoulder and adjusting my seat
Jerry are you still with me?
“Yes boss, what a poor girl, what a drunk fellow, maybe we should link him up with Zedi since alcohol is their thing,” Jerry sarcastically said as he leaned in as a sign of how interested he had become.
So where was I ,yes this drunk man stopped the girl ,and with fear the girl retaliated by pushing him away, please don’t steal from me, I only have two bundles left ,six have been stolen and I don’t know what to do, she said as she shrunk in tears .
Noo, nooooo, am not a thief, am just a drunk, and I know am drunk, but can I follow you today am sure no one will try and hurt or steal from you when am around.
Laughing her ribs out the girl accepted the offer from the drunk though deep down she was dying of laughter because honestly she was better off a lone than with the drunk who would probably fall and sleep in case the police appeared.
The two went for the operation and funny enough and not to her expectation ,no one hurt her that night in fact the buyers paid her double the amount of money when they saw the drunk man with her and all the bullies just let her pass without saying a thing.
For the first time in her street life the girl slept at peace but wondering who the strange drunkard was and why he commanded such respect. The following morning she decided to find out who the drunk was only to realize that he was Biggie’s younger brother who had wasted away due to drinking.
When night came as usual the girl went for her package and asked the drunk to accompany her, and without hesitation he did so, this went on for a while where the two became really close and even through the girls saving they were able to move out of the streets and rented a house in the slums.Biggies business grew with no time and through Biggie’s brother the girl was promoted from being a transporter to an accountant, where she got the chance to enroll to a university and study.
With no time she completed school and got a job, and her life changed tremendously.
So, Jerry that girl is seated in front of you, all smartly dressed and with no trace of once being a beggar and I think you know who the drunk is, so that why I keep Zedi around, because he kept me around when I had no one, and for me that is friendship.
Confused, and amazed Jerry cleared his throat as he walked away, “then maybe that’s a friend you should keep”, he said as he smiled and notified me of my appointment that was waiting for me outside.