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The untold tale of “Kanjo Kingdom?”
By John Kalya | Updated Sep 02, 2016 at 11:16 EAT

The place is along Mfagano Street, one of those crowded shops that host cellphones and accessories among other things. It is a cold and dry mid-morning, and vendors are bored having exhausted their morning chitchat. Most of them are scrolling on their computers or smartphones, occasionally getting startled at the prospective customer milling through the corridor. Oloo* is holed up in the extreme end of the small corridor lit by florescent and neon lights announcing various businesses. It is a quiet day as customers have not yet started coming in.

An old Land Rover pulls up outside and a man and woman get into the shop. They walk straight to Oloo’s shop. They look at him curiously and ask him if he knows them. Oloo responds that he has no idea who they are. They accuse him of feigning ignorance to evade justice. Oloo is now jostling in his small cubicle. The man tells him to close the shop and follow him. He tells one of his friends to take care of his shop while he settles some issues outside. Since no one has overheard their conversation, they conclude that they could be some of his clients.

Outside, they remind Oloo that they had been in his shop two weeks ago and had confirmed that he was carrying out some fishy business. It then all comes back to him. He has gone to chat with one of his friends and her shop just in the same row, when the two strangers walked in. As usual they stop talking to allow the customer ask for their services. They ask if there was anyone who can do some alterations on some of their certificates. His friend said she does not do such but there is a gentleman at the end of the corridor who could help them. One of them picked a call and they exited the shop. They tell him now to get into the Land Rover, when he enquires what law he had broken they threaten to call the police. Oloo obliges.

He is sandwiched between the driver and the lady. They drive around town. They start telling him that he is one of the people they have been looking for- people who make counterfeit certificates. They tell him the penalty for this is not less than 30,000 or a jail term. Oloo asks them what evidence they have against him. The man starts threatening him. They tell him there is nothing he can do once they write the charges they can always get evidence. The woman tells him that she knows he is a hardworking young man and it is not worthy to waste time when he could run his business. She turns to the gentleman and asks: “huyu tutamsaidia aje?”

After some negotiation they tell him to pay Ksh. 10,000 for his release. Oloo is appalled and says he has even not made any money since morning. They converse again and speak to him in dholuo. They tell him that it is good to look out for a tribesman. After a lot of haggling they tell him to pay Ksh. 2000. Oloo says he is just an employee. They ask him to call his employer; he says he is in Australia. Frustrated they tell him to call one of his friends. After a few calls they realize they may not get anything out of Oloo. They stop the car and get into another shopping center along Luthuli.

“Kijana! Enda tu lakini wacha hiyo biashara kabisaaaa unasikiaa?”

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