coldturkey

At times writing is effortless. Other times nightmarish. But it's always therapeutic.

The Distraction

with 4 comments

I met Wibgha in person in France. A very entrepreneurial spirit of a man, he had first moved to Germany to study mobile technology before going back to his native Burkina Faso. In Burkina or BF as we called it, he registered a company, bought equipment and worked with mobile operators in both BF and Niger, which share a border. He was now in France for his degree.

One of the mobile equipment vendors he dealt with was one based in Nairobi. His contact person in the vendor company was a man who headed the West African account. They had corresponded online for 3 years. I was that man. Towards the end of my employment, I had also registered my company in the same industry and later came to know that Wibgha had one of the technology platforms I wanted, but which I could not afford then. He was not using it and was willing to have me run my services for a cut of the deals I developed. It worked well.

A year later we had met and shared great visions of developing Africa’s mobile telephony industry. On this day we were in a chicken-only restaurant. Everything they sold here was chicken and chicken products, including soup. We always ate ours standing, eyes roaming the place like mobsters on a mission. We felt good and powerful. Like baboons. We had the skills and had now come for knowledge. We were very active in most of the telecommunications fora that took place in the universities or the city. It was great.

I must say we felt some pride sleeping for 5 hours 6 days a week, arguing in front of the beloved white board, writing product specification documents for our companies, which we were now running remotely, sending proposals on power point to countless operators in Africa, preaching emancipation of Africans through aid cutoff; it was fulfilling. Very fulfilling.

Wibgha was actually HIV positive. He had gotten infected in Germany, by a girl he cohabited with for a year and even had a child together. A boy. The girl later died leaving the boy in his grandparents’ attention. Wibgha promised to send them money every month when he got on his feet. He had kept the promise. Now standing in the restaurant, he was for the first time telling me the story and I was not shocked. A number of close family members had died from AIDS after all. Instead I was impressed. Here was a gentleman; a man who took care of his son though from far away, sending money from BF to Germany, working like a hunting wolf for his company, laughing and praising his God.

As we waited for chicken soup, aka ‘gasoline’ he did what he did all the time after a meal together; encourage me to marry. He said when you marry you grow bigger and jokingly announced his wedding gift would be his own son whom I could adopt or sell. I was 27 and marriage was the last thing in mind. Well, not last but still a thought in the fridge. I was quite unorthodox with women. For instance I had discovered how hard I found it to walk a girl. Either I walked a step ahead or stepped on her toes. I liked watching the evening unfold, standing at one point for hours watching the sky. Few women could stand that nutty disposition. It worked well; they kept away and so did I. I also practiced some metaphysical theories as taught time back in the university by the perpetual Vicks Kingo chewing Prof Wanjala. And so I knew I was boring company and did not put much effort towards changing that.

All that would however change when I one morning visited the French Embassy in Nairobi. My visa allowed me to travel home and back. Every 4 months, if money allowed I would come home, see friends and family and attend to the business closely. This morning I was here to request for an update list. Eleanor served me. She printed the list as I sat in her office. She came from Le mans in France and was in Kenya as an assistant linguistic attaché.

I was about to enter the most theatrical 3 years of my life in the world of fraud; complete with carthasis and props. A story which would reveal that the law was far much weaker than scammers. A story in which Wibgha will be the silent hero playing the role of Lord the redeemer of men in wiles of the devil.

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Written by coldturkey

January 30, 2011 at 10:46 PM

Posted in fiction

4 Responses

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  1. hehe i like the name of ur fictional friend

    pitzevans

    February 3, 2011 at 3:15 PM

  2. :-)..i think you (the fictional self that is) are what we ladies call the ‘the strong silent type’…and we find them fascinating as hell

    Nyambura

    February 4, 2011 at 11:09 AM

  3. I was about to order in the popcorn as I read the account only to find that it was fiction. Great read though!

    The Spinster

    February 15, 2011 at 9:05 AM

  4. Give us some more…was it all fiction?.Cant get over *gasoline..Good stuff.

    kwj

    February 21, 2011 at 9:08 PM


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