DIASPOMAN: Memories of Kiyovu of the poor

I felt so sad when I saw my good old Kiyovu of the poor being demolished. Gone are those good old days when Aggrey and I used to harass bottles at Béa’s joint.

I felt so sad when I saw my good old Kiyovu of the poor being demolished. Gone are those good old days when Aggrey and I used to harass bottles at Béa’s joint.

Now the place is going to receive a huge facelift and is set to become better than the Kiyovu of the rich.

During the mid 90s, we just had it easy by trekking all over the place on foot. Sometimes we would find ourselves at the famous Cosmos bar in Nyamirambo.

The ever noisy and hectic Cosmos bar used to be our safe haven. We would enter this place to a standing ovation. Patrons would surround us and shower us with all sorts of praises.

This would normally be followed by a drinking marathon, in which our pockets would fall victim. We would toss rounds of booze until our pockets went dry.

The only negative aspect about this famous Nyamirambo joint was that we would enter the bar in total peace but leave late at night in pieces.

The next morning, we would pick up the pieces wondering how on earth we had made it home. Neither Aggrey nor I would recall who brought us home in the wee hours of the morning.

There were some really good nights when we would get too zonked to recall who snatched our valuable wrist watches and money purses. Such a loss would serve as a wake up call.

We would wake up cursing and swearing in the name of God never to return to Nyamijos for a drink. But late in the evenings, we would somehow unknowingly find ourselves hoofing through the shortcuts and eventually ending up at Cosmos for yet another binge.

But then these binges came to an abrupt halt after Aggrey and I decided to make a U-turn. We took this decision after facing humiliation at Afande Niko’s Gisenyi party, in which real segregation showed its true colors.

It was the popular Cinderella dance which exposed the two of us. No lady was interested in picking our tired looking shoes.

That is why two lousy torn shoes were seen idle in the centre of the dancing hall while couples waltzed away through the night.

It was then that we decided to cross the bridge to where there were no more sorrows. We decided to taste the life at the rich end of Kiyovu for a while.

So after a couple of days in our newly furnished home at the heart of Kiyovu of the tarmac, we decided to send a message to Afande Niko in Gisenyi.

We requested him to come over with some chicks and grace us with their presence at our new home. There were enough rooms for everybody and so the weekend was all theirs.

Well, Afande Niko is not the type of man who can decline any invitation to any kind of party whatsoever. Within hours, he had found his way to our home. In his jeep were six young and pretty ladies packed inside like sardines.

Afande gave us his most stubborn wink as he led his troops inside our house. The ladies looked exhausted.

They immediately laid down one rather expensive request. They all wanted to visit the health club for a massage. Wow, the six of them plus the three of us would cost a fortune!

This was no time for complaining, so we hit the road.
At the health center, Aggrey and I walked around with our small chests protruding outwards with an air of arrogance.

We paid the hefty sum and all moved into the cubicles for a good massage. This was heaven indeed! Imagine after this, we would stroll down for a number of cold ones. Life could never be better, could it?

Aggrey and I were in for some unpleasant surprises. You see, it was the very first time for us to be treated to a massage.

That is why we acted like real jerks when the health club personnel began to gently rub their smooth palms on our naked bodies.

Instead of falling asleep like our dear friends, Aggrey and I started to laugh and giggle out loudly as the fingers tickled us!

We laughed so much that it became unbearable. And so like lightening in a storm, we sprinted out wrapped in towels. We never looked back until we reached our doorstep. What a mess!