Silent Salient Street

Monday, August 03, 2015


The Kenyan sun sinks in the West just like any other sun. Though not at the same time. It has always done so. To most citizens, dawn means it is time to part with the daily activities and trudge home.

The moon sailed high and shooting stars made an impressive firework. However, the stars and the moon were not the only objects that gave 55 Street light. As wolves howled their lungs out facing the cheese-like object back in the rural, street lights were enough sunlight along 55 Street. Women, almost not dressed, criss-crossed the road. These were the nocturnal animals of the city basking in the luminance from the towering lights. Among them was Jezebel. A tall, bounty woman.

The first client arrived around eleven in the night. Ladies surrounded his car as if he was some Congolese celebrity. Who knew? His name sounded something close to Dogs-will-die-in-spetember-and-all-hyenas-will-be-baptised-on-christmas. To make the name short, the fifty-five-year-old boy dripping with pure gold was nicknamed Kijana. The hookers knew him very well since he frequented 55 Street. The well-behaved ladies gave him a chance to see what he was to see. He sampled his goodies, swiping them as he swiped his iPhone. He was allowed to touch and see with his fingers; still seated in the driver’s seat. One hand on the steering wheel and the driver’s window lowered a bit.

“This one,” he settled for Jezebel.

“Why not this one?” a large, pardon the underestimation, woman like a well-fed hippo challenged. She dangled what was to be dangled. Pata-pata-pata! That which was dangled made the noise. Kijana’s mouth has since been agape.

The young man, not wanting to hurt Jezebel’s feelings, chose to have a double feast. The hippo’s name was Madwong’-Achieng’. So the trio with the ratio of two to one walked arm in arm into Club 55. A special order for a room had been taken earlier on. The young old man was sandwiched between the two African women.


“Who is he?” nobody bothered to ask.

“You don’t know the OCPD, you idiot!” no one dared whisper.

“Is he spying us?” was the most ridiculous question any fool would ask.

His presence meant the club was safe. And patrons would revel till the wee hours of the night. Laws would in no way bar them. Only that they had to be orderly in their drunkardness. Cheers!


The dim light in the room, Room 55, was all that the trio needed. All rooms had dim light as at that time revelers were occupied. Kijana read his books like a true book-worm. At 1am, he was done and ready to leave. He knew how to keep time hence never overstayed in the library. Two hours were enough for both his research and studies.

“Don’t go yet,” begged the book entitled Madwong’-Achieng’.

“What is it?” Kijana was not happy with the nagging. He had finished the transaction. What was with the girls?

“Your boys,” Jezebel commenced. “We don’t like what they do to some of us.” She paused. Her cheeks inflated like a Standard Two pupil whose pig-tails have been ridiculed.

“They harass us a lot!” Madwong’-Achieng’ backed up with a frown enough to scare any creatures in a mad-man’s head. “They often come here, take us to those filthy cells and do it without pay. Then we’re fined!”

“Fined!?” Kijana was bewildered.

“Fined,” the duo sang. Madwong-Achieng’ finished the song with, “we wonder where you want us to get the money yet you’re the same people who are so much against people earning from this trade.”


“Yes,” Jezebel. “You tell us that we should not practise it yet when you fine us we use the same money we get from it to pay the fines. Where does the money come from? Why do you take the soiled money?”

Two questions that needed not to be answered by the human lips but the brain. Kijana’s bald head was not his.

“Methinks we help the nation a lot,” observed Jezebel. “We have helped maintain marriages. You see, we are not like mistresses. We just help in repairing the punctures. Mistresses add more punctures.”

“Yes!” they said in unison and giggled.

“It is the same vice that helps ‘major’ people; the same who hunt us down like jackals!" Madwong’-Achieng’ philosophized.

“In fact we should receive pay-slips monthly; just like other public workers,” Jezebel strengthened the philosophy.

The three laughed.

“But I have a better idea,” was Kijana teasing them?

“Which one?”

“How about me coming up with a rehabilitation centre?”

“Can you ‘rehabilitate’ all of us? There’s a good number of us nationwide,” Jezebel. “You can’t save the whole world, can you?”

Could he?


Adapted from
Man of The Cloth and Other Stories
An Anthology of Short Stories
by Brady Kenya
First Edition

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