EVER SINCE I got my Kiraka, I have been trying to avoid keeping up appearances. I mean, I have tried to keep a low profile.
I have learnt my lessons. You see, several years ago, I tried to gloat around Kigali city. I had just come back from the Diaspora and here I was boasting and claiming to be a rich dude. During those years, I happened to get into a relationship with a candidate for the name of Mrs. Diaspoman.
I tried to impress her by pretending to be rich. That is why I took her to Aggrey’s posh bungalow for lunch. I assured her that the jeep in the compound and indeed the bungalow belonged to me!
My true identity, however, was different. Diaspoman did not even own a single suit? While in the Diaspora, we dressed in Jean trousers and Elvis Presley jackets. We always tried to avoid buying suits due to the nature of our jobs. This is because our jobs in the Diaspora were not the type that you would refer to as an “Office” job.
Instead, we used to go for the other types of jobs, which related and were not limited to; washing public toilets, selling meat at the butchery as well as polishing peoples’ shoes. That is why you would never find me dressed up in a suit.
The only time I dressed up in suit is when I received a call from someone who had just arrived at the airport and wanted a ride from me. I had previously created an impression that I was a big shot, working in a bank, and making real money.
That day, I had to rush to a friend to borrow a suit and his car. He was kind enough to get me one of his brand new suits from his wardrobe. He tossed the car keys to me and I sped off to the airport.
I was feeling on the top of the world as I headed for the airport terminal to meet my old friend from Africa. I gave him the usual high fives and helped him with his luggage. It was when we were seated in the car, that my visitor asked me a curious question. “Do you guys put on suits without plucking off the price tags?” Wow and damn! I had forgotten to remove the price tag. Moreover, the tag portrayed a really cheap price indeed!
Anyhow, here I was with my future bride at Aggrey’s Nyarutarama balcony, sharing a cup of tea. The breeze swept across as we gazed at the beauty of the thousand Rwandan hills. As we enjoyed the scenery, my future bride looked up at me with the most romantic smile I had ever seen.
She then asked me whether I would travel with her on my next official trip abroad. I swallowed hard and found myself nodding in the affirmative. “But first, could you please get me a new passport?” she asked. Once again, I swallowed another substantial amount of saliva and nodded in the affirmative.
As if she had prepared for this before, she sprung up from her seat and dashed for her handbag. She pulled out some documents and a couple of photographs for her passport application. I promised to get her passport in a jiffy, as the Director was a personal buddy of mine. Deep inside my head, I was wondering where I would get cash to pay for the passport!
But there is always a redeemer at that crucial point in one’s life. My redeemer was not in form of a loan from Aggrey. No way! My redeemer was in form of the news that I received from the Immigration officer who scrutinized my fair lady’s passport application forms. “Sorry madam”, the officer told us, “Your ears are very tiny and are not visible in these photographs. We therefore cannot process your passport” YEAH!