Oluoch knew he had taken the right step. He didn’t regret it up until now. The last few months have been filled with work; he was excited, busy scripting, brand strategy creation and enjoying himself, with close to nothing to show for it. He was three months behind in rent, scavenged for food and was now in debt for borrowing money from people to pay for his internet connection, bus fare and phone airtime.

His phone calls went unanswered, and because of his foolish enthusiasm, had lopsided contracts, he commenced work without having the client sign the paper work. So what he had was nothing binding and making the client liable. He had close to 200,000 shillings floating around and completely inaccessible. He was desperate, and dealing with insincere people was driving him insane.

Oluoch woke up at 9am, fed up, tired and wondering what the point was, he was in trouble. An auctioneer had shown up earlier in the morning and slipped a 2 week notice of auction to cover the rent arreas. He had one and half weeks to raise 100,000 shillings, and had no idea how he was going to do it. Rent alone was almost half the amount. Oluoch had exhausted all avenues of borrowing.

Just ten months earlier he had just completed a bank loan repayment and had not followed up if the bank had removed him from the list of bad national creditors from the Credit Reference bureau. So a financial institution was out of the question. Oluoch sat on his bed, hungry, sad and lost. He had no idea what to do. He didn’t even have money to buy a loaf of bread, let alone return fare from town.

He thrust himself back in bed, head facing ceiling, hands clasping the back of his head. He heard some chatter from his bedroom window and heard someone yell his water meter number, “Kata Hiyo!” and just like that, his water was disconnected. Oluoch began to sob painfully, his face and pillow drenched in a floodgate of tears, his body shuddering. Oluoch had no idea what to do.

“God! Why? Why me?” was all he could mutter. And he spent the next two hours crying, and he fell back asleep. When Oluoch arose it was 2pm. He was extremely hungry; the crying had made it worse. He heated some water and stirred in some sugar, which would keep him for sometime. He sat infront of the TV screen. It was off, his eyes were fixed on it, and his forlorn face spoke volumes of what was running through his mind.

A bang on the door jolted Oluoch. He yelled, “WHO IS IT?”

“It’s Kip!”

“Kip who?”

“Your neighbour Kiprop.” Oluoch sighed and stood to open the door. He secured his robe and flung the door open.

“I am not staying. I just needed your help. I know we haven’t spoken in several months.”

“Yes?” Oluoch rudely interjected.

“I run a company, not that big, medum sized and we are in need of urgent services, we are willing to pay premium upfront since it is you.”

“OK?” Oluoch leaned in closer.

“Could you offer us your creative genius for a schematic for a brand launch? We need something within the next 72 hours to present to executive team? You can sign the paperwork as soon as we get to the office?”

“Sure! Sure! Sure!” Oluoch began to cheer up.

“Can we leave together in the next hour? I had been working from home toay, but you can make more headway in the office with the equipment at your disposal.”

Oluoch nodded. And just like that, his problem seemed solved? He slapped himself hard after shuting his front door. Was this for real?


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