Njugu! Njugu! Njugu!”
Njuguna has been a hawker for as long as he can remember. Straight out highschool, he started selling njugu karanga(peanuts).
On Friday evenings Njuguna meets with his colleagues in the hawking industry and they open a cold one and cheers for better times ahead. kanyam chom, ugali and some kachumbari on the side. When he goes home, he finds his wife and kids asleep having eaten ugali and sukuma for supper.
The next day, Njuguna wakes up at 6 o’clock and pushes his smokey vehicle to the corner near the mpesa shop. You can smell the smoke of the grilled smokies coming through the small chimney where an empty plastic fanta bottle with a hole has been attached. He takes a few coins from his back pocket and passes by mama mboga to buy 4 tomatoes, 2 medium onions and some dhania(coriander).
He reaches his spot. Cleans his tomatoes and peels the onions. He takes his sharp knife. (You know, the kind of knife that you need to cut off toxic people in your life?) That kind of knife.
He cuts the onions into halves then dips them into some salty water. Meanwhile he cuts the tomatoes by removing the stud and cutting them longitudinally then across. He begins to form small cubes making sure it’s filling the transparent plastic container. He then takes the onions and cuts the same way. The dhania is next.
It’s 9am now and Njuguna has to head home and get his carton with assorted snacks, including the njugu karanga. He heads to his small town and goes from matatu to matatu hawking the items.
If he’s lucky, he’ll sell half his items and go with a few coins home.
Sometimes in the evening when he gets home, Njuguna assists his kids Huru and Amani to do their homework.
“Kama ningesoma tungekuwa na gari na nyumba kubwa. Someni kwa bidii msikuwe kama mimi.”
(directly translates to: “If I read, we would have a car and a big house. Work hard you don’t end up like me”)
Would you guys want to read more of these stories?
Sending light and love your way.❤️✨