After retaining her position as the chairlady of the giant chama at Aberdare, my Queen underwent a complete social metamorphosis.
She is no longer my wife who crouched at the passenger’s seat of my Volkswagen Beetle as we traversed the breadths and widths of Aberdare campaigning. At the time, as is usual when she is misusing me, she was calling it our family car.
Now, the high season is upon the Aberdare women as their chama declared the highest rate of dividend pay-out ever. Men whose wives are members of a well-managed chama are walking on egg shells. Yours truly is topping the list of this laughable statistics of men. During this season, Queen is ever busy in meetings before and after the all-important day of the declaration of chama dividends.
Last Monday was actually the last day I saw my Queen face to face. That was only one day after I sacrificed my physical, psychological, financial and political acumen to ensure that she retains the highly coveted and hotly contested seat. Since Monday, she has been leaving the Palace before me and arriving after me. To put it in more heart- breaking words, she is picked from the palace before I wake up and is dropped late after I have slept.
That Monday, Queen woke up earlier than usual and from her sharp dressing and make up, it did not require a professor to tell me that she was headed to the bank. There is a way in which she dresses, walks and talks when she is dealing with large amounts of money, whether hers or chamas.
“You should have told me that you are going to town today so that I get ready in good time,” I said. That was my way of breaking the ice, and finding out her day’s programme.
“How did you know I was going to the bank? Anyway, I did not wish to bother you. I already disrupted your work sooo much during the campaigns,” she said.
“But I have not complained that you have disrupted my work. I will just drive you to the bank and leave you there. You can alert me when you are done,” I said.
“Oh, thanks so much for the offer. Actually I should really say thank you for your support during the campaigns. I wish you had always supported me like that. We would be very far by now,” she said.
“But I have been supporting you ever since but you did not notice because the competition was not stiff. You have now appreciated my contribution, at least by word,” I said. I knew she was going for the annual ritual of dividends and there was no harm if she gave me something small.
“What are you suggesting? Could you be saying that I should pay you for doing what all other caring and supportive husbands do as a routine?” Queen asked.
“You are now putting words into my mouth. Have I mentioned money anywhere?” I asked.
At that very moment, I heard loud and persistent hooting at the gate of the Palace. I rushed out to check who it was—a bank-branded Toyota RAV 4 made a grand entry into the Palace. The driver did not even wave at me. He must have assumed I was the gateman to Chairlady’s home.
“You can now see you have already made me get so late that they came for me,” she said as the driver opened the back left door for her. And with that Queen entered the vehicle, and I was left standing there listening to the soft but bullish sound of the car disappearing.
I must have stood there for a long time before Makena, our CPA (Comptroller of Palace affairs), rudely interrupted my reverie.
“Kuna shida pahali?” asked Makena. Before I could come back to this world, she read my shock and changed tactic. “Madam ameenda zile shuguli zake za chama. Dividends ziko karibu sasa,” Makena said.
“Oh, nilikuwa na fikiria mambo ingine,” I said, and left like a watchman who had been caught by his boss sleeping on the job.
Since that Monday, first out and last in has been Queen’s modus operandi. And although I know she is out on very serious chama business, the way that was communicated to me was very ‘unwifely’. For the last one week, there hasn’t been a good opportunity to register my displeasure at such ‘unwifely’ treatment.
As I pen this missive, the good God has opened the taps of heaven and the rains are here with us. In that regard, the bank’s car will soon be withdrawn and my all-weather and terrain Volkswagen will be a must have for both Queen and the bank. Come rain, come.