The stages of life one goes through once receiving HELB money in campus

Everything in your possession is sell-able, as long as it gives you instant cash [PHOTO: COURTESY]

(1) On the first week: comrades eat CHICKEN

At this point everyone is rich enough to battle The American Sharks for the cover of Forbes Magazine. Bank accounts are swollen with the study loan. Chicken, pork, nyam-chom and above become the order of the day. At this point of richness, a comrade can insult you and pay you, beat you and foot your medical bills, break your legs and hire you flying doctor services…plus, there’s always that urge to buy an entire supermarket before getting in for shopping! Every weekday becomes a Friday. Anything that is sold is bought at market price with no bargain! Forbes here we come!

(2) On the second week: Comrades eat CHICKEN PRODUCTS

You realise that the previous week did serious damage to your bank account and you need to “go slow”. At this point you can’t just eat chicken; it will drain you completely, so you go for chicken products. Eggs and its family become the order of the day. Your expenditure is considerably reduced; you spend when necessary and justifiable. Ukiendelea vibaya, utakosa kulipa fee!

(3) On the 3rd week: comrades eat CHICKEN FEEDS

Chicken is now history. Chicken products too are increasingly becoming expensive; so you resort to chicken feeds. Grains, corn, fillets, cereals, greens that chicken would happily feed on, become your favourites too. After all “balanced diet” is a scientific lie. At this point your expenditure is hugely reduced; you scarcely spend unless it is a matter of life and death!

(4) On the fourth week: comrades eat LIKE CHICKEN!

At this point, you are beaten with life! Let whatever come may! The +40,000/- that was disbursed in your account some few months ago by the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) has been depleted. Now you survive at the mercy of nature. Normally, chicken eat whatever comes their way as long as it is edible, so is you now. You are no longer choosy. Anything that can go through the throat is acceptable, as long as it fills the stomach. Luxury is that point when someone tells you “it is lunch break, we should go for lunch”. You only eat when nature allows. You begin to wonder why people “waste money”on “luxuries” such as chewing gum and evening “mahindi choma”, when you can’t afford a regular date with the mama-mboga. 10bob is just too hard to find!

And when it boils from bad to worse, you realise that you can become an entrepreneur. Everything in your possession is sellable, as long as it gives you instant cash; beginning with your phone and all the bad memories in it, like MPESA transaction messages, that prove you once had it all. After all, HELB is just some cursed money set to last for four weeks in depreciating stages. The wait begins for the second and subsequent application!