The disgruntled landlord knocked with a loud bang on that metallic door. She sheepishly walks towards the door; her heart throbs heavily as though it would burst its way out of her chest. She reaches out to pull the door open. She is struck with a frowned face, it was the landlord. His bright red anger filled eyes stare at her like a predator would stare at its prey. His posture is damning, short, dark complexion with statuesque shoulders that tapered off his short, thick neck like a coat hanger. He gazes at her suggestively, with haunting eyes and an ignorant attitude.

Brought with him is an extra padlock, the lock of shame it has been called. A tool employed by most dictatorial landlords to scare the hell out of their unsuspecting tenants. She was just from sipping some leftover wine that she had bought over Christmas. A classy woman, with a glossy bottle of liquor. A hefty price tag attached on it too. She reeks of drink, she is aware of the thin space she stands in. A lady stationed between a boulder and a wall. She got no money in her Mr.Price handbag though, that is for sure. She ogled at the distasteful landlord once more, scanned his facial expressions keenly and upon realising a thick blood vessel that protruded on his foreheads skin, she quickly sensed this was a Davidic and Goliath experience.

Some wars are meant to be lost, that is a fact she clearly understood and this was one of those wars. As her beautifully, lips ticked red lips widely opened to give way to her meekly expressed words, the air was filled with the sweet scent of her expensive alcohol. ’’Happy new year bwana landlord.’’ she muttered fearlessly, of course she was tipsy.’’Wapi rent ya November na  December msichana, wewe ni kunywa tu pombe na kodi haulipi,ntakufungia mlango wewe.’’ He roared mercilessly. This was it, she had to pay up despite her broke or else she would have to spend the night in the unforgiving cold.’’Kelele ni ya nini,unakuwa mkali kwani nimekatalia pesa zako ama unadhani mimi bibi yako’’she replied hesitantly with a fearful tremble in her soft, amazing voice.

She gets back into her house, heads to the bedroom and picked up her pricey iPhone from the bed. She impatiently scrolled down her contact list and dialled a man she had saved Tumbokubwa Sponsor. His phone rang, he immediately picked up as though he expected her to call at that particular instance. As he clicked on the answer button, her angelic voice that he truly cherishes hit his ear,’’Hello,aki sweetheart I need a favour……’’

The clatter of cutlery naturally diminishes to pave way to this serious, dreaded and feared month of January or Njaanuary as it has been satirically baptized by the ingenuity of the creative, burgeoning population of millenials and troops of comrades who flock social media to air their empty opinions on this new found court of public opinion. A lot is oft said about January. Some true facts while most of it is mere banter, unsubstantiated remarks. The rest is but propaganda, worthless tales we make up to mask our inability to control our expenditure during the feasts of December, which happens to be equally sunny and probably more hotter than the dreaded January yet the meat and chapatti always flows in plenty. My disgruntled self can barely standby and watch as such acts of cruelty is perpetrated against January. Broke as I may be, I choose not to blame it on January.

It’s about time we pointed the index finger to December. She is more a culprit as opposed to our innocent January. In any case the misfortunes that often befall January are caused by the Delilah called December who shaves all the good fortune that were preserved for my Samsonic January. The gigantic proportions of appetite that men master during the last week of December are a subject due for scientific review. The fearless spending, the worthless things we buy, the unnecessary journeys we take, the expensive robes we purchase and not forgetting the generous gifting’s and donations are the devils in disguise that usually steal the glory of an otherwise supposedly joyful January.

Hold on to your knickers though, behold, I beseech you. Ultimately you will learn that it is ever that serious. Maybe just out of my pure strength of character or my viscerally controlled aura, I can confidently articulate to you with the exactitude of the good old Jews prophets that you should worry less. Chant that Bob Marley hit song always and surely I profess to you that it is surely going to be a January of blessings and abundance despite all false evidences and utterances to the contrary.

So what if they said it will be hard, what if they said it will be hot, scarce and unbearable. That is what they said and they are entitled to an opinion, just don’t make their opinion your reality. Don’t get in the habit of taking the words of such lewd psychotic men seriously lest you end up suffering in their forecasted doom. Here is a remedy that has worked magically for me, let me be caring enough to share it with my fellow countrymen who are phobic to January.

Get a pen and a note book; write all the good and marvellous things you want bestowed on you this January. Carry the note book with you every place you go through out January .Everywhere you go because you will meet misled men who will tell you of the hardships and ills you should expect during January. When you do, get your note book and read what you wrote  softly to your soul like a romantic adolescent would read a love letter to her new found boyfriend then whisper a short prayer to the man upstairs saying ‘’GOD,THIS IS MY LOT THIS JANUARY.’’ Try this technique and thank me in December for  an amazing 2018 that you are bound to have.

By Emmanuel Simiyu Waswa

The African Wordsmith.


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