Reality for me,
A house in the leafy suburbs
Lush grass, 2 storeyed building, bungalow they call it
Sufficient room, compound with trees especially banana trees.
Paved roads and iron gates to keep out riff raff, hawkers (mari mari)
And thieves who come to steal with guns,
Watchmen who doze instead of keeping watch or seducing the housemaids.
Running water paid for electricity and look no running sewage,
We can’t have that in the suburbs.
Well fed children, posters of health and wealth,
Playing with technologies and watching cartoons,
Ben ten to be exact, and wearing with the t-shirts,
The watch and having the bag to match.
And the obesity lets not talk about that,
It’s a rich man’s disease you would not understand.
Oh my is that a cough,
Remove a medical card, hospital charge it to the account.
Yet I travel,
To shacks of tin, timber and mud,
Rusted, painted to hide the shame.
Houses are multi-purpose,
One rooms a shop, the other for sleep.
Children see what goes on at night,
In the iron bed behind the thin curtain that separates mum and dad.
No compound, no grass, just weeds,
And plants planted in ditches, and squatter land,
And in sewage I beg to not go there.
There’s thieves who come to steal with only pangas,
Stealing life savings all held in fast consumer goods for sale.
Children play outside, with not a care,
Mucus running down noses, but there’s no money for medicine.
They run in tattered clothes, some of them, young running
Without bottom clothes, free to the wind they run,
As they moon life and their situation.
They play in groups and sit out on the ground,
Happy as happy could be.
But this is where hope runs deep,
That one day we shall make it out of here,
And into those mansions and bungalows.
Some shacks hold millionaires,
Who wear dirty tattered clothes,
And who walk, or take a matatu, no Toyotas please.
But they are rich, get more than I,
Overeducated fellow shall probably ever see.
Yet we look at area code,
See only the large suburb house.
Our dreams is to have a car, a big house, 2.5 children,
Yet somewhere in a tin house, somewhere they laugh,
They have more money then you and me,
Use their money wisely, buy land and build.
In 20 years, broke because the bank mortgage bleeds,
We shall look at them in envy,
They shall laugh, in their beautiful houses,
With shops and properties to their name,
All debt free, no bank vultures hanging over their heads.
So who’s laughing now?