The parable of servants as masters and their small kingdoms in the village

Thousands of motorists spend long hours on traffic along Nairobi-Nakuru highway as Kenyans rush to join their families to celebrate Christmas festive. [Standard Photo]

Folks who have mansions in rural areas, and where they retreat once or twice a year, like the colonial governors of old, have been derided for keeping “dead capital”, apparently because they are unable to convert their investment into profitable entities.

Yet others say there is merit in spreading cash to every hamlet in our land to rejuvenate local economies. And that houses could easily convert into Airbnb to promote domestic tourism.

A buddy who owns one such home has a unique take on his investment. He says he essentially built the mansion for the house-help, who enjoys the facility all the year round. And he gets paid for occupying the house.

And when something is broken, usually as a consequence of his occupation, the servant calls the boss and says what needs replacing and its cost.

On this score, the house owner, my buddy says, is taking instruction from the house-help. He remits the funds needed to fix the broken item and life goes on.

But the servant isn’t done. He will call to ask for seed and compost manure for the kitchen garden, even though he consumes most of the yield. This means he has full control over what lands on his plate, unlike his boss in Nairobi, who relies on vegetables from suspect vendors, grown in pesticide-riven greenhouses at best, and sewer lines at worst.

The servant’s organic kitchen is augmented with fresh kienyeji eggs and chickens, also courtesy of the boss.

So, by the time the master retires and retreats to the village, the servant will have enjoyed the home longer than the master ever will. In any case, extensive repairs will be needed before the owner can settle in, while the land will be over-worked and unproductive. The worker simply is the master and he gets the best of everything.

That’s the way things are.

By Brian Ngugi 40 mins ago
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