Last week, I told my new boss that I could easily get him more revenues if he could allow me to export my Kiraka to Bujumbura. All I needed from him was some money for transportation by bus and for accommodation.
He reluctantly agreed and said he would deduct the funds from my salary if I returned empty handed!
So, I picked up my phone to call an old acquaintance who resides in Bujumbura. His name is Claude. We first met during our diaspo days abroad. We had both rushed overseas to try and find greener pastures. It was a tough life indeed as we toiled day and night. It was not until some sense crept back to us that we decided to head back to our respective countries. Claude was lucky, he landed a lucrative job. As for me, things became elephant I had no real papers to show on my C.V.
Anyways, I called Claude. He appeared to be in a jovial mood. He implored me to go over and we share great memories. “So you are a consultant in Kigali?” Yes yes, I confirmed to him; “I have a consultancy firm in Kigali with branches in Kampala and Dubai. I am coming to check out any new opportunities in Buja”. Wow! Claude was ecstatic. He was so thrilled about my visit. “Hey my friend, I am gonna wait for you at the airport!”
Airport? Now that’s a problem. How was I going to inform Claude that a whole senior IT consultant who has branches in Dubai and Kampala will not arrive by air? Should I confess that I am really a fake who is trying to make ends meet in Kigali? Should I reveal to Claude that I am a kiraka owner in this ICT office? No way! Once a fake, always a fake! So I responded thus; “Claude that would be very good of you, I’ll see you at the airport!” I then immediately rushed to Nyabugogo to buy myself a bus ticket.
Within 2 hours, we were in Butare. By the look of things, Rwandair Express must have jetted in Bujumbura as our bus crossed through Muhanga District. I could picture Claude at the Airport waiting for Diaspoman in vain. At Butare, I requested the driver to stop the bus as I had to take a short call. I dashed to the nearest restaurant and instead of heading to the toilets; I positioned myself near the TV set and increased the volume from 25 to 66. I then loaded my phone with airtime and called Claude.
“Hullo Bwana, you know what happened to us? Our flight was diverted to Nairobi due to bad weather. I am calling you from the Nairobi airport. I think you need not worry as our connecting flight will arrive very late.” I was in Butare placing a call from a noisy background so as to convince Claude that I was at an international airport. In fact, I could safely say that I was calling from a non-existent Butare International airport!
Meanwhile, the pilot of the bus was running impatient, as I was busy speaking to Claude on the phone. The other passengers were also becoming restless. That is why the Pilot decided to re-start the engine and sped off leaving me stranded at this Butare restaurant turned airport. I rushed out chasing but the bus had disappeared towards the Akanyaru boarder. I had no other choice but to hop onto a Butare Boda-Boda which directed me to the border.
But when problems emerge, they come with their cousins, aunties, uncles and in-laws. That is when the skies decided to open up. Instead of sending rays of sunshine, the skies decided to send a heavy downpour accompanied by thunder and hailstones. I sat tight on the moto taking in all the torture as wind and lightning threatened to toss me off the machine. Funny enough, it was at this juncture that my phone rang. I innocently picked it and answered. To my dismay, it was the voice of Claude calling from Buja.
“Brother! What’s happening? Where are you speaking from? It’s so noisy over there! Are you safe?” I managed to find my voice to respond. “Oh Claude, you cannot believe what is happening. We are stuck at the Nairobi airport in this very long queue. I tell you Claude, next year I am gonna budget for a private jet…”
Half an hour later, I rejoined the bus at the border and prepared to cross over to Kira dodora land. My fellow passengers looked at me as if I was coming from the South Pole. Wet like a fish…