Am certain you may have heard the rhetoric regarding the poverty line. People who control it, the rhetoric, say it’s there, only that we cannot see it. It’s just like the line which denotes the disparity between rich and poor, need and want, love and hate. Or the Greenwich Meridian and Equator. I mean, it’s not like you have ever heard someone drive over the Equator and go like, oh that bump was the Equator, i think i broke it!
So while some people are miles above the aforesaid poverty line, others are way below, earning less than a dollar a day, which Baethewei in the times we are living in is a pretty small amount.
And talking of the times we are living in, the cost of living has really escalated. Price of essential goods just keeps rising. It’s not like the way things were during the Nyayo era. Back then it was very rare to have prices rise without warning, Baba Moi used to have announcements done on radio informing us of increase in prices.
Bread for instance was quite cheap. That was before they increased the prices and slashed the weight from 500gms to 400gms, a rather cruel move on their part.
But today we are not talking about bread……
Today we want to digitize someone.
Meet Odhis, your kawaida hustler who lives or rather has been living in Githurai 45 for almost 2 decades; same house, same job, same shopkeeper, same everything. He is in real Estate though promotion in his particular sector doesn’t come easy.
Odhis is neither below nor above the poverty line, he is on it; not like an acrobat balancing precariously on some rope but actually hanging on it, like upside down! I want you to get a clear picture of his position; he hangs on it the way you would hang a trouser on a clothesline to dry.
His real Estate portfolio is not white or blue collar, none of that. The gigs are on and off and it’s hard to put an approximate amount he earns per month or per annum. But since he has been living in the same house, it’s either his earnings have remained that low, he is saving big time to buy airtime for Safaricom’s bonyeza ushinde or he is downright stingy.
Oh, wait, i hear he moved after the Mukorino landlady called Mama Zephaniah sold the plot, leaving him, he was the caretaker FYI, to move elsewhere….a similar house at the same rate!
And now, thanks to CA’s decision to switch from analogue to digital Odhis is in the dark, he doesn’t even know what’s happening in the world. I mean, the African continent could have shifted to Asia or something and he has no idea about it. He just might head to shagz one day and find himself on the door step of China and he will be like, oh, Shaolin temple, how did i get here?
I pity him because he is not the kind of guy to tweet and FaceBook and watch videos on You Tube to keep abreast with current affairs. Hanging out with the boys is just as social as he gets, the media part is non-existent to him. He loves local TV shows which is actually commendable since patriotism requires us to buy and promote Kenyan stuff. He also loves wrestling, he has been a staunch fan since i met him years ago, i guess that’s what inspired him to start working out.
His favourite wrestler was Scott Steiner, the Big Poppa Pumping, bicep kisser who always did push ups after slamming his opponent. He had a picture of Big Poppa Pump pinned on the rough wall of the makeshift gym; he inspired him, gave him a purpose in life (am yet to see Odhis in a wrestling ring). I used to train at his gym so i know how much the man inspired him.
Now, makeshift gyms are a thing of wonder. Anyone who has been to such will tell you as much. The weights are normally made of concrete poured into a bucket slashed halfway. A hole is carefully put at the centre so the weights can easily be mounted on a bar. They never weigh the same and there is a tell tale difference between a man who works out in a normal gym and one who lifts weights in a makeshift facility.
You will see the latter walking like the leaning tower of Pisa. They also tend to forget leg day and end up looking like cartoon characters, think Johnny Bravo.
Odhis walks like the leaning tower of Pisa.
And now he is in the dark. He is not a Google kinda guy and usually finds himself at a crossroad when he needs to get 411 on his favourite wrestlers. He is not an EPL fanatic so you will not find him in the numerous joints aroung Githurai showing soccer for twenty bob a game. He no longer has the gym, Mama Zephaniah made sure of that, and all the guys he used to train with have moved on.
All he had was his 21’ TV and Smack Down and RAW. Now he has none of that. Hopefully after today’s seminar organized by BAKE regarding the raw between CA (the outfit formerly known as Communication Commission of Kenya) and a consortium of several media houses. He will get, or rather i will explain to him the beef that has led to him being a mere spectator OF the digital wars.