Monday, May 11, 2009


I went shoplifting on the weekend. Ok, let me explain. I was out shopping for a cast iron griddle pan when I spotted this beautiful square glass dish exactly like one I have at home. However mine doesn’t have a cover anymore. A while back Imelda the housekeeper told me the cover shattered on the stone-floor when she was doing the washing up. I’d been looking for a similar piece but every shop I went they’d told me I couldn’t just buy a cover without the dish. Now seeing this possible replacement my deviant mind started ticking. I tried the glass lid on the griddle pan and it was a near-perfect fit. Because it’s not perfect it was meant to be! My life’s mantra. So I took the newly wedded set, griddle pan and glass cover to the till, I was so frightened of discovery I feared for the white shorts I was standing in. I can tell you though, Oakley Whisker shades in black do a splendid job of masking guilty eyes.

I said to the guy who took my 5999 shillings, ‘Sweet baby Jesus! Nairobi today is hotter than high noon in dusty Lokichogio in January or September.’ (Now go back and repeat it loudly without pausing; it’s just how some of us speak in Nairobi). The guy's smile waned, he did a half 'whatever' with his eyes and then told me he’d heard the same expression twice that day. Crucially he thought the griddle pan came with the glass cover. Then he handed me a receipt saying thanks-very-much and please come again.

So I stepped out of the shop onto the walkway swag in hand. I went past the shop that sells boots that say you know Africa but only announce you don’t when locals spot you wearing a pair out on safari. Each stride was getting me further from the tap on a shoulder. Now I was walking all manly-like, clenching ass-cheeks tighter than a married ex-rent boy who’s getting a massage from the wife. The chorus of shoplifter, shoplifter, shirtlifter! reached a crescendo inside my head, the shopping bag heavier and it wasn’t just the weight of the cast iron pan. Then the parking lot and my car came in view. I’ m getting away with it; I felt euphoric.

Thrill over, I turned and headed back to Kitchen Pride or Housewives’ Wares, I can’t remember which one it was this time but it wasn’t Uchumi or Nakumatt. I said to the man, ‘There’s been a mistake.’ Steady now. ‘This glass lid doesn’t come with the pan.’ He said thank you for your honesty and I felt good because it was the truth.


  1. Now Tamaku, convince me that the last 3 lines of that post were not an after-thought..:)

  2. Hi Anengiyefa,

    I swear on this bottle of olive oil which we don't use for cooking, that is the truth! Well most of! olive oil is wonderful for massage just incase you're wondering! xxx

  3. You did good.

    I had the same high recently.

    At the Mercado Central the Chicken Lady only charged me half the amount due (4lbs of Chicken Breasts/filets por favor)...I was rushing down the corridor into the veggie section clutching my new found winnings when suddenly I turned around, went back and said ¨sorry you gave me too much change.¨

    I guess we are preprogramed.

    Mom would have been proud.

    It´s a very nice feeling, I think I´ll strive for it, conscientiously.


  4. A thrill that must have been. Have you seen The Thomas Crown Affair? If not, you should.

  5. Tamaku,

    You are so burning in Hell!!! Hope to see you there!

    Who returns stolen merchandise?! You'd have at least given it to me. I have no conscience!

    Like I said, see you in the eternal fires! I'll be in the extra-hot-special-sulphurbromite-suite! You cant miss me!

  6. Hi Leonardo,

    I couldn't get away with robbing anyone. It would probably have ruined the rest of the day wondering who's trailing me. Lol! Apart from the fear of discovery I'm a strong believer of karma...keeps me in check. xxx

    Hi Anon,

    I haven't seen that movie. Now I'm intrigued, I'll see whether the guy outside Sarit Centre has a copy. Thanks...xx x

    Hey Pater Nostra,

    Please Father, I have sinned. It was a near steal does that count? Have a lovely day. xxx

  7. There is an old Afrikaans saying (My mother tongue) that says the person sharing in the stolen goods is as good as the person stealing it, meaning - every time you cooked with that lid you would feel bad/have diaria/stomach cramps/rotten teeth etc etc....

    Just kidding - you did well rafiki!

  8. Hi Billy,

    Did you hear the one about the man who had his bicycle stolen? The thief left the pump behind, so the chief called a meeting and the entire village was there. So the owner starts to blow the pump hard, soon a man shouts from the crowd 'stop! it was me, I stole the bicycle.' When the crowd looked they were shocked to see the thief's stomach sooo swollen allegdly with air from the pump!!! lol! xx

  9. Ha! So you were taught well my friend. Remember 'Every day for the thief, ONE day for the owner.'

    I'm glad. For your own happiness, yaani. Didn't want to visit you hapa and find you sitting on clenched butt-cheeks for the rest of your life. LOL!

  10. Hi Mama Shujaa,

    Do you think a defense of 'typing error' would wash? I hear Kenyan prisons are no holiday camp, I never wish to confirm it for myself! xx


Hey you, leave a comment but don't just be an asshole about it - try to be decent. That said you are welcome to heap abuse or ridicule if it makes you feel better. However in order to get published it must not be homophobic, racist or sexist. OK?