Diaspoman:When the days of free accommodation came to a halt

There is a time during the mid 90s when Aggrey and I were forced to find a new house at a very short notice. You see, we had been enjoying the services of a free house which we had occupied after the owners had vacated it!

There is a time during the mid 90s when Aggrey and I were forced to find a new house at a very short notice. You see, we had been enjoying the services of a free house which we had occupied after the owners had vacated it!

Those were the days when people grabbed houses which had been abandoned by their owners after the 1994 mayhem. Aggrey and I had been lucky as well.

We had found ourselves this huge house which was fully furnished with property all the way from Europe. The king-size refrigerator was packed with all tribes of booze. 

When we entered that house, we were shocked when we discovered that everything was intact. In fact we also found some cash stashed away in drawers. It was like a miracle!

So we started to enjoy ourselves from the word go! Every evening after work at the Gikondo based NGO, Aggrey and I would rush back home to guzzle the endless litres of Heineken beers.

We also invited friends to join us celebrate the goodies. We always convinced our female visitors that everything apart from the house belonged to us. Wow! We told them that our NGO was responsible for paying our house rent and refilling our fridge.  

The truth of the matter was that the house belonged to other people that we had never seen before. There was nothing like house rent and indeed all those glittering chairs and beds did not belong to us.

If anything, our meagre salaries from the NGO could not last us 2 weeks let alone pay for house rent. In short, we were just living for free and consuming free drinks from the abandoned fridge.

With this kind of lifestyle, we became a target for all the hungry and thirsty chicks of Kigali. Aggrey and I were so generous and that is why we never bothered when our so called girlfriends came over with their friends.

Sometimes they came visiting with ‘male’ friends claiming that they were cousins from Butare University. 

But somehow, we would get suspicious when these ‘male’ cousins behaved in a certain manner especially after mixing Heineken beers with Red wine.

These ‘male’ cousins would then turn on the music on the huge music system and proceed to dance in the most sensual style with our girlfriends.

This kind of behaviour caused us to believe that these chicks were just double dealing behind our backs at our own expense.

Anyways, what mattered most was that we were having fun in abundance! However, this great party mood was abruptly cut short when we received unpleasant news – the owners of our house had returned to claim it back! 

This implied that we had to find another house and shift within 3 days. We then started to hunt for a house everywhere. The problem is that the kind of house we were searching for would go for around Rwf 150,000 per month!

Besides, what would our girlfriends think if they found us in a 2-roomed lousy house somewhere in Nyamijos? Eh? Things were becoming monkey for us. But we had to stand up and be counted!

Eventually we found a house in Remera that would suit our needs. As ever, our girlfriends were always around to help us with the shifting arrangements.

For them, they understood very well that we had a huge task before us since we had to shift all the property from Kiyovu to Remera. 

In order to help us, our chicks went to Gikondo Magerwa to negotiate for a semi-trailer FUSO truck which would help us carry our beds, chairs, cupboards, wardrobes, music systems and sofa sets.

While Aggrey and I were at Kiyovu handing over the keys to the house owners, we were surprised when we saw a semi-trailer truck FUSO negotiating a corner into the compound.

Seated inside the truck was the burly driver plus our girlfriends smiling from ear to ear. Behind the truck was a group of muscular boys who would have to lift the equipment from the house.

With our heads bowed down in shame, we entered the house and loaded the truck with our 2 suitcases – that was all!  

We then asked the driver to turn back and drive. “Hey, but where is the stuff that we came here to load? You mean you hired this huge truck to carry 2 suitcases only?”

Our girlfriends were also in a state of shock. The air was then cleared when the house owners explained to the rest of the onlookers that all the property belonged to them – “These 2 gentlemen had kubohozad our house”.

That was the last time we ever saw our chicks…