by George Matsheke
posted in Editorial
We hit one of the roads recently constructed by the Chinese. It was slightly past 1am, the road empty. He accelerated to about 100 km/hr then slowed down abruptly to 30 km/hr or so. ” Hawa wa Chinese kweli wanafanya kazi” ( These chinese are really working) he said. Its the common ice breaking phrase in the city. I grunted in acknowledgment. “Ukiwa naa gari kama hii ndio una appreciate better” ( When you are driving a car like this you appreciate better ). His was a Toyota Avensis or one of those new big Toyota models. I decided to up the game by ignoring some of what he had said and gently go beyond the pedestrian.
” Why do people seem to trust the quality of Chinese roads but notmost of the other products? ” I asked in English.
” You cant appreciate a good road unless you own a car” he said. He was right that I don’t own a car but wrong assuming I will never own one. Owning a car is one of my distant dreams. But that was besides the point, he had subdued my kimbelembele, and he loved it.
“FYI China is the next super power” . I grunted because I didn’t
have a clever quip to reply to that. After some seconds I remembered
something. Something I had heard on BBC, the station I prefer listening to because most of the local stations will in one way or another end up reminding me of my work. And I don’t want to be reminded so much of it.
“Isn’t interesting the Chinese don’t seem interested in pushing for the
dominance of the Yuan like they are pushing everything else?” I asked
a little curt .
In the room he was rough. He twisted and pressed me hard. His ego was
hurt and that was his way of subduing me, of redeeming it. I didn’t
struggle and looked physically and mentally humbled. He loved it But there was one final thing, just to be sure. He paid me an extra Ksh.500. I thought that was his way of saying “It doesn’t matter what you think you know or pretend to. You are still a prostitute and I have more money and respect than you do. That’s what matters.”