There once lived a carpenter by the name of Joseph. And no, I am not talking about Joseph of Bango, this one did his thing in Bethlehem. Joseph the carpenter of Bethlehem happened to be the father and teacher to the greatest carpentry apprentice who ever lived. The apprentice went by many aliases one of which was Jesus Christ. Don’t ask me what the said apprentice scored in the final exam or whether He sat for one at all. All I know is that He redefined carpentry to include mending of the human soul.
Such dirty tricks like eliminating a competitor had long been discovered which is why fellow carpenters used their knowledge to manufacture a cross that was used to crucify JC. According to Kisangau, from that day the profession was cursed.
Among the guys who inherited Joseph’s profession is Koigi. Probably due to the curse in his profession Koigi is a most wanted in many estates of the city under the sun. Koigi is a nomad simply because within three months you will find his clients fighting over the best way to cut his life wire. At this point Koigi will decide that dying is not an option and that is why he will vuka to the next estate.
Kogi is such a tough carpenter when he makes a sofa for you visitors will always find a story to lengthen their stay. You will become Koigi’s telephone directory because every visitor shall leave your house with his number.
If you are the visitor you will fall in love with the sofa on the first sitting. Since you know you only live once and that life is not a rehearsal you will pay Koigi a visit the next day. You will say sofa and Koigi will smile like a private developer who has found a plot to grab. With his smile still in place, Koigi will mention a figure that will make you see stars. Koigi knows how to convert nightmares into sweet dreams and that’s why he will narrate how everything nowadays is costlier than the engine of Madaraka Express. He will confess that he gave up his dream of becoming a Bill Gates years ago and that he is a carpenter ‘for the sake’. For effect Koigi will ask if you know of a job opening and crown it all by asking what the government is thinking. Since you are neither the government nor its mouthpiece you will end up asking for the ‘last price’ for the sofa. Koigi will smile and tell you that since you look like you will soon own a hotel and that the order for chairs, beds and tables will be his he has knocked thirty percent off the price.
Koigi knows how to hurry the shilling out of your wallet and that is why he will promise a sofa set in three days if you pay in full. The prospect of having the comfort in your neighbour’s house in your house will make you invade your wallet and empty it smiling.
Shortly after your departure Koigi will fish out a senior relative of my Kabambe, speed dial and say, “Lollipop, if you are free I can make you feel like a real queen.”
Of course ribs will always be free for free things. Koigi the carpenter will graduate to Koigi the sponsor and will be seen perched on a sina taabu shouting ‘chafua meza!’ He will be heard telling his rib that if things go on like this she will honeymoon in Dubai. Koigi will proceed to remind anyone with ears that he migrated from the land of walalahoi long before Joshua Tinga started his journey to Canaan.
You will visit Koigi after three days picturing yourself nestled in a brand new sofa. The first thing that you will see on arrival will not be a sofa but an under-18 boy who is massaging a stool with sandpaper. He has been at it for such a while he looks like he took a bath in posho. The boy will proceed to tell you that ‘boss’ is out. Before you can raise hell a rib who looks as if she has swallowed a packet of baking powder will join you. The boy will dutifully tell the rib that ‘boss’ is out. The rib will open her mouth to say that two months to wait for a coffee table are enough and she is leaving for the boys in blue. That is when you will realize that getting a sofa from Koigi is as hard as becoming a Bill Gates through betting.
On this day Koigi was at his workshop waiting for a client to collect a coffin who had a balance. There was movement and when he peeped outside what he saw made his heart do a double somersault. Standing outside was Ositu, the guy who had paid for a wall unit in full a month before. What made Koigi wet himself was not the rumour that Ositu had served ten years for manslaughter, it was because Ositu had a machete and Koigi knew it was not an ornament. Koigi’s legs had long gone on strike and he decided the best thing was to tell his Creator to consider him for dinner. However, after adding two and two Koigi realized that unless the clerks up there were promoted from City Hall and were still in the mood for kitu kidogo his name was not in the book of life. The realization that he could end up as a tenant of Lucifer was enough to kick-start his mind. Before you could say ‘kifaranga wa computer’ Koigi was in the coffin.
To be continued…