Several years ago, I was working at a small private school in Naivasha. I was earning a meager salary and living in a single room at a place called Kayole where I met a man who happened to be a con and gay.
At that time, all I had was a 4 by 6 bed, a low density mattress, two old blankets, a small wooden table, a love seat, a suitcase, a stove and utensils, a 11 inch TV and a DVD player. Not that I own a lot more than that now but hey, I can still picture that tiny house and everything I had then.
There was a shop called Roho Safi in the neighbourhood where I used to buy my supplies, mostly bread, milk and airtime. It was just 100 metres from my room and so I could just walk there in my slippers at any time whenever I needed to buy something.
The shopkeeper, who we shall call Roho Safi in this story, was a very friendly and social middle aged man. I think he was between 35 and 40 while I was in my early 20’s. He would always ask me about work and things like that. “How was work today?” he would inquire as he poured milk from a jerrican to a jug and into a plastic bag.
“It was okay”, I would say and hand him a Ksh 100 note. “Give me a loaf of bread too.”
“By the way, how much do they pay you there?” he once asked me as he neatly parked my bread and milk in a plastic bag. Roho Safi was that kind of guy. He was very talkative and inquisitive. He would sometimes tell me stories from his workplace, which I couldn’t tell whether they were true or not.
Apparently, he worked either in the Office of the President or the Interior ministry at Harambee House. He claimed to travel to Nairobi every morning and back to Naivasha in the evening, to open his small shop. That in itself sounded suspicious but I never cared to ask for more details. The shop was always open every time I came from work (around 5pm) and he would tell me he had “just arrived.”
“And how is your boss like? I hear she is very tough, is it true? That woman seems to be rude, si amewakalia sana?” Roho Safi was at it again when I went to buy eggs one evening.
“Yeah she is like that but we are used to it.”
“And the way she pays you guys peanuts, why don’t you look somewhere else? Your colleague told me she is leaving that place.”
“Oh really? I’m also searching for greener pastures.”
“By the way, can you work in the police force?”
“Mmmh yeah.. why not?”
“There is a recruitment coming up and I normally take people there. Last year I took my niece and even one of my neighbour’s cousins. Now they are working. Why didn’t you tell me before? I could’ve organised for you.”
“I didn’t know…”
“Aah I wish I knew you were interested but don’t worry I can give you one slot this year. They are recruiting 3000 Administration Police (AP) before the elections and I have been allocated 4 slots to give to whoever I want..”
Roho Safi was such a sweet talker and I was totally convinced that he would get me that job. I trust people too easily. I was young, desperate and was more than ready and willing to join the force. He said that the recruitment was to be in a few months’ time and I trusted him. “AP’s are paid well nowadays, it’s a good job and I can help you get in. I know the top police officers and I take people there every year,” he assured me.
Moving to Nairobi
Meanwhile, I got a call for an internship that I had applied for in Nairobi and I decided to quit my teaching job. I left unceremoniously and didn’t even claim my dues. I told Roho Safi that I was moving to Nairobi and him being Roho Safi, he offered to keep my stuff in his house for a while because I couldn’t transport them to Nairobi immediately. The first mistake I did was to trust him and the second was to take my stuff to his house.
I carried my utensils, my TV and DVD, my table and chair, my 4 by 6 bed and low density mattress and other paraphernalia and took them to his house. He promised to take care of them until I was ready to collect them. I travelled to Nairobi with my suitcase only and planned to go back for the rest once I settled in the city.
I moved in with a friend in Nairobi and Roho Safi kept updating me on the progress of the police job. After a month or so, he called me and asked if I had some money because his boss was asking for a Ksh 8000 bribe for every direct slot. I told him I didn’t have any money on me and he promised to do everything to help me secure the job. A few days later, he called and said he had Ksh 3000 and asked me to top up the remaining Ksh 5000 before it was too late. He also told me to get a Certificate of Good Conduct and be ready for the job.
I was very broke then so I borrowed Ksh 5000 from the friend I was cohabiting with and promised to pay back in 1 month because I was sure of landing the job. I then called another friend and borrowed Ksh 2000 for the Good Conduct, which I applied for immediately. I sent the 5k to Roho Safi and yeah, you guessed it, it went just like that. I never got the job or the money back.
Whenever I called him to follow up, his phone went unanswered and he would later return the call saying he was in a meeting or something. I didn’t know where exactly he worked and so it was hard to trace him. I couldn’t go to Naivasha to face him because I had an internship to attend and I didn’t have enough money to spend chasing money.
He told me he would call me when the recruitment started but he never did. He asked me to keep checking the papers for the advertisement but I didn’t see nor hear anything. This went on for a couple of months until I almost gave up and with the internship over eventually, I ended up jobless in Nairobi and living in someone’s house and with a 7k debt to pay.
I decided to go to Naivasha to meet and confront Roho Safi face to face one morning but I did not find him at the shop. He had hired a young lad who refused to let me in to check my stuff and I understood why. I had planned to ferry some of my things that day so I left and went back later hoping to find Roho Safi.
It was quite late when he came back that evening and it was not practically possible to start packing and transporting the stuff at night. Besides, we needed to talk about the job. Roho Safi released the lad and told me I could spend the night and leave in the morning. He avoided discussing the job issue whenever I brought up the topic, only saying that there was a delay somewhere and assuring me that the announcement would be made soon.
He cooked supper and we ate in silence as I read the day’s newspaper which he had brought. When it was time to go to sleep, he offered me one of his shorts and I took it without thinking twice. I considered him a friend and male friends share everything from clothes, shoes to even a bed. I therefore did not find it awkward to wear his shorts and sleep in his bed with him. It was after all for just one night.
But Roho Safi had other ideas. He probably thought he would have a one night stand with me because no sooner had we settled in bed than he started touching me inappropriately. He began by caressing my arm while talking to me and then slowly slid his hand into my shorts. My heart beat was at an all time high. At first, I didn’t know how to react, I was astonished. I am straight and the only guy who had ever touched my member before was the doctor who performed my circumcision.
But there I was in bed with another ‘civil servant.’ I was very uncomfortable but at the same time very curious to see what he was up to. He started fondling and stroking my penis which had by then responded to stimulation. He took my hand and placed it on his rock hard penis which was already out of his shorts. That was the first and only time I have ever held another man’s penis in my hand. I quickly came back to my senses and within a split second, I withdrew my hand, pushed him away, pulled up my shorts and moved closer to the wall, facing away from him. He did not touch me again but I didn’t sleep that night.
I remembered the lad that I found at the shop and wondered whether he was doing such things to him. I wondered whether his neighbours knew what kind of guy he was and what they thought when they saw me entering his house. Roho Safi never talked about his wife or kids and I wondered whether he had them or not. I thought he was going to sodomize me in the middle of the night or God knows what. I was scared to death. I didn’t know what to expect that night and I was very glad when morning came and nothing had happened to me.
I woke up early and started parking without saying a word to him. He opened the shop and continued with his business as if nothing had happened. I could not carry all my things then and I left them there without the intention of ever going back for them. I have never called him again and neither has he contacted me. What do you do with a man who has unscrupulously taken your money and also wants to take your virginity?
I never looked back. I decided to forget about everything and move on.