I think you will agree with me that this year most folks hit the ground running in 2024, unlike most years when people enter a new year behaving like zombies.
Most years it takes at least two to three weeks before people become accustomed to the hassle of normal life, that is why it was common to come across grown up men talking to themselves in the streets and corners.
Most of those who were having serious conversation with their inner selves in January are usually men, because in most cases these were the fellows who were behaving like brand new millionaires before Christmas.
We used to find them in bars and ‘grosaris’ ordering the bar maids to bring drinks on the table, shouting that they did not come to stare at the counter, they came to drink.
However, it is unfortunate that although most men have become wiser and treat December like a financial trap, there are still other chaps out there who still behave as if they inherited a lot of money from a rich uncle.
I remember just before Christmas I met one of this fellows called Odundo at a certain bar in Manzese called ‘Sina Chuki Bar’ in the company of three women and five men.
He was stripped to his vest because of the afternoon heat while wearing his cap backwards, dancing to some old song from the huge speakers as if he was the owner of the song.
“Muhudumu, come here, you are walking as if you have jiggers in both your feet! Don’t you see we don’t have drinks here? I told you, kata mti panda mti, shenzi type, weka tatu tatu!” he shouted at the hapless girl who looked harassed and overworked.
When he saw me, he shouted my name over the noise of the giant speaker, motioning me to join his table for a cold drink.
“Baba Boyi, welcome to my humble table, you know you are a very important member of our society, that is why I will be honored if you swallow some cold beers on my bill,” he said as he pulled a chair for me and shouted at one of the women to make room for me.
He stood up looking for the young bar maid, and when he spotted her, he shouted at her to bring three very cold beers for ‘mheshimiwa’.
Of course I never say no to beers, so I swallowed enough beers to float a small boat, and by the time I was ready to go home, which was late, I left the fellow and his friends busy singing circumcision songs at the top of their voices.
That is why when I saw him talking to himself and making mental calculations in the air, I knew he was feeling the effects of his generosity a few weeks back.
It took him almost 6 seconds for him to figure out who I was, and I watched him as his mind slowly managed to move away from the tricky calculations he was making in his head.
“Baba Boyi, I am glad I have met you my old friend, can you imagine I just lost my wallet, and I am supposed to pay for my children’s school fees. It is unfortunate, because a few minutes ago my landlord also called me to inform me that I should vacate his house if I don’t have his rent in full, and my wife, mama Stella, is having a baby any time from now,” he told.
I pitied the fellow, because I was sure his mind was reminding him about the ‘violence’ he committed before Christmas, but as they always say, regret is a tough but fair teacher.
I pity him because have you noticed that in most years January is no longer a month but is a year? It is no longer new to us that every January of a year is always longer than every other month.
It is surprising that most people know how December can be, a lot of spending for Christmas and also the preparation for the new year begins right from December and this makes it a spending month.
We all want to buy clothes, buy chickens, buy all sorts of things for Christmas and new year but have forgotten that there are important bills that will come up in January after all the festive season.
Yesterday I was on a bus going home after my collection of metal I call my car refused to cooperate, when the driver was listening to a particular station on the radio, they were talking about how people flaunt their money during December and at the end of the festive period, they start blaming each other.
The anchor of the programme said something, he said many will borrow money during December to celebrate Christmas and new year, and many will borrow to show their friends, neighbours that they are up to what they think of them whereas they are not up to it, they just want to show pride and fake life.
That is why my family almost kicked me out of my own house after I refused to take them to Bagamoyo for Christmas, because I knew I would pay the price in January.
That is also why this January I have resorted to sending my domestic thug to Zakayo’s Pub to get cold beers for me, which I drink peacefully in the comfort of my home under the protection of my warlike wife, mama Boyi, who has a reputation of smashing the head of any uninvited visitor with her frying pan at more than 20 feet away.
I have decided to do this because this month of January has a weird reputation of finding yourself bumping into total strangers in a bar and they confess to be your long lost friends or relative, all because they want you to buy beers for them.