The way I am hungry – can life just give me lemons?!
Rich kids will never know this but living in a bedsitter issa hustle!
I don’t know who needs to hear this but bedsitters are underrated.
If your father did not steal his way in the epoch era of runaway corruption, you are probably reading this from a bedsitter.
Bedsitter people are a community. As a matter of fact, we even have our own code name. Call us ‘Bedz’ – short for beddies. We know each other because we were all led to drink the Kool-Aid that you have to start life from the bottom.
Started from the bottom, and we’re still here.
“19 Nigerians arrested in Umoja, Kasarani and Roysambu for alleged online fraud. On the upside this means there’s a vacant bedsitter to let.” Mocked a tweet.
Bedsitters, for those of you who can’t relate, are a class above Single Rooms and just below DSQs in the social stratosphere. We are the upper class of the lower class.
Is it just me or does Twitter make everything sound ridiculous. In fact, Twitter can totally shred every ounce of esteem you have. Especially if you live in a bedsitter.
Last name: Dignity.
First name: Your.
A Toyota Vitz has more space than a bedsitter. If you are living in your parent’s house do not correct me. 70% of people in Nairobi are below 35 years. And you wonder why Kanjo wako na utoto.
The problem with a bedsitter is that when you yawn in the morning, the whole house ends up smelling like Khaleesi’s toilet. Because, dragon breath. Gerrrrriiiiittt???
In fact, you don’t live in a bedsitter. You survive.
You can’t even buy a bed because the whole house is a 6 by 6. Or when you are lucky and move into those humungous bedsitters in Ngong or Rongai – God bless Maasais – and you have so much room you can comfortably host the devolution conference.
And so you decide to invite your friend over, and they remark, “Oh Jonte! Your house is very spacious!”
Do not be fooled. Your friend bought a sword. Called it ‘kindness’. And now he is killing you with kindness. It is not that your room is spacious. You just don’t have furniture to occupy it. It’s a coup de grâce. You are not a minimalist. You are just poor.
The only advantage of living in a bedsitter is that you can bathe while watching your favourite series.
You only have to be careful the shower doesn’t add water to your mukimo stew. Or that moment when you are boiling ugali water – the steam fills your house and booom! From a regular bath to a Steam bath!
As a matter of fact, bedsitters are renowned for their ability to let you do everything while in one position. You can make tea, switch off the lights, lock your door, wash your hands and flash the toilet – all while in bed.
Everything is a convertible .. the microwave is the coffee table, the gas cooker serves as the visitor’s seat, the TV doubles up as a mirror.
In bedsitters, you don’t pay rent. You give the landlord a token.
Chwarni makae tindo tindo. (The bed bugs are also very small – for fear of killing you, they ration your blood.) In fact, even your one rat eats at the neighbour’s place and only comes back to sleep in your black Toughees that have seen more days than the sun.
You never have to buy an alarm when you are in a bedsitter. “Ya neighbour ikilia mnaamka wote.”
You can even change the bulbs in your house without climbing a stool. Not because you are tall, but because the roof is actually your floor.
Sadly, we are discriminated and are not even added in the apartment WhatsApp group. Children of a lesser God, we are tired of being used as a reference point.
‘Eti oh you are busy hating on Willy Paul na wewe uko hapo kwa bedsitter na Airtel bundles.’
“Ati oh you are dissing couples na umeshikilia Vaseline Cocoa butter hand lotion kwa bedsitter yako Uthiru.’
‘Ati oh ushaileta dame kwa bedsitter anakojoa kwa nguvu mpaka unasikia ma-neighbour wakisema “Leteni mitungi maji imerudi.”
The nerve. The audacity.
Here’s a bedsitter life hack – you just need to place your Bluetooth speaker inside a drum and you have a Sony 3D surround home theatre.
Even when you have a fight with your prayer partner, best believe you have to sort it out, because she cannot slam the door on you ati oh she is going to the next room, ati oh you will sleep on the sofa. What sofa?! 😂
But imagine your girl cheating on you with a nigga in a bedsitter. The ultimate insult. Serikali saidia. How do you recover from that? What would Jesus do?
The upside of dating a bedsitter crooner is their romance. If romance lived in Kenya, it would probably stay in a bedsitter. I mean, when a bedsitter whisperer tells you he will serve you breakfast in bed, girl, he means it.
And your bae is on FB like: ‘I like it when he carries me to the next room.’
But you live in a bedsitter…eh eh my sister. Which room? In a bedsitter – there is no room – even for improvement.
Never grow a plant in your bedsitter – you might die at night as you compete for oxygen. Unless you are Luhya. Luhyas are nosy. By that I mean they have big noses. I mean look at Eugene Wamalwa.
You know how he has been able to stay relevant? He can smell trouble before it comes. He always nose what to do.
(Sidebar: A special shoutout for social media, which has made us all equal. You can put down a Top World Economist with a single tweet from your bedsitter in Wangige.)
When KPLC switched off our illegally connected electricity, and we had to walk like there are landmines because you don’t remember where you left the knife.
And you wonder how men have an evolved sense of intuition? Methinks that before we pass off cadets, the last test should be locking them in a dark bedsitter full of knives. If the lil nigga comes out without a cut, he makes the cut. See what I did there? Sharp mind, eh? Oh oh. I did it again.
Visiting the toilet is usually the most dreaded moment in a bedsitter. That is why most of us keep sending our CVs to various multinationals. It is not the job we are after – it is their washrooms. (Note the change of lingua franca.)
Because bedsitters are usually walled like Jericho, the only window simultaneously serves as the door – leaving its inhabitants to suffocate as the individual declares a state of emergency in the toilet.
And we all know what a steady diet of chapati, eggs and avocado can do. My fren, it’s not a joke.
When you finally open the door to let in some fresh air, you can quietly make out the agitated voice of Mama Oloo shouting: “Boi! Boi! Kuja hapa! Nimekuambia mara ngapi ukienda choo ufunge mlango! Kuja na slippers ya red saitan!”
Of course Boi is innocent but you are a disciple of Peter. You figure that is information that should be shared on a need-to-know basis. And she doesn’t need to know this. You don’t want to be declared a persona non-grata now, do you?
So you watch as Boi takes the fall for your lethal sh*t, and you set aside in your budget 10 shillings as token for his tribulations, and penance for your God-forsaken soul.
I know Governor Ferdie would like to offer his opinion. Not to pre-empt anything, but he would probably have a condescending solution. “Toilets should not be built inside bedsitters. Bedsitters should be built inside toilets.”
And I don’t know why but most bedsitter people are egg addicts. You will miss a roll of tissue in a bedsitter but you will always find a tray of eggs hidden somewhere. Mayai ya kienyeji is their staple diet, with a side of peanuts going down well with a mabati glass of thufu and firifiri kwa umbaaaaalii.
Or that awkward moment you have a nightmare that thieves are strangling you only to wake up and realise your curtains are on your neck. Because of your sad life, your subconscious mind subconsciously tried to kill you and make it look like suicide.
But this hot season bwana we in small bedsitters are suffering. You buy eggs at night for breakfast, and by morning, because of the heat, the little f*ckers have hatched.
Some rooms are so small, especially in Mwiki – the bedsitter capital of the world – that you have to step outside when you want to change your mind.
The pièce de résistance about living in a bedsitter is that you can see your life’s worth – all in one blink. 😂
Et tu, Ashioya?
No. Nigh. Never.
Put some respec on my name.
Aaaaaiiiiii don’t relate. Aiiii don’t stay in a bedsitter. I live in a studio apartment.
EXTRA! EXTRA! EXTRA!
Have an interesting Bachelor/Spinster or generally beginning life’s journey story?
I’d love to tell it.
Ping me on firstname.lastname@example.org or WhatsApp +254 733 735631.