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By PHILIP ETEMESI
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One of my former high school buddies recently got married.

He is so excited about this new chapter in his life that he cannot complete a sentence without including the words ‘my wife.’

He can even find a way to include those words in a greeting.

Like “How are you Philip? Personally I am good. My wife is good too.” He is like new car owners who never fail to mention their rides.

This newly married friend lives in an estate not far away from mine invited me to visit him. We hadn’t met in a while so I figured it would be nice for us to catch up. I also wanted to see what married life was like.

Apart from that, I was also eager to see the wife that had made him so happy.

Who knew? Maybe she had a sister. And if the wife was as good as advertised, the sister had to be too.

On Sunday, I arrived at my friend’s place quite on time. He welcomed me inside, before quickly retreating to another room.

Sitting on the carpet was a very beautiful, petite woman.

Her soft, well-sculpted shoulders defected from her well-fitting lacey lavender blue dress and her dark curls of Latina weave waved down her neck with ease. Her oval lips were pleasantly tinted purple and her skin was Nutella magic. Her big white eyes shone like chandelier lights in a deluxe ballroom.

She was watching Game of Thrones on the huge Smart TV. And as I was making myself comfortable on the seat, her phone rang.

“Hi Moraa. You done with jobo? Mimi I’m done. I’m just chilling here watching telly. Si I’ll meet you jioni then we go have some chipo and burgers kwa ile joint?” she said softly as she smiled.

After minutes of giggling and joyous conversation with her friend, she hung up.

“Hi…. Nice to finally meet you. I’ve heard so much about you,” I said as I extended my hand to her.

“About me?” she asked, surprised.

“Yes, he always speaks highly about you… his wife. I can now see why he loves you so much,” I told her.

“No, I am not the wife. I am the house help. Wife ako huko bedroom.”

What? I was shocked. She was the house help? I had to rub my eyes the way cartoons do to confirm that I was indeed in reality.

A few minutes later, the real wife came. She greeted me before going on to engage in a debate about the state of the economy with the house help. Yes, the state of the economy.

Wow! This encounter made me realise just how much house helps have evolved.

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A few years back, all of them belonged to a specific phylum – they behaved in a certain way. When you pictured a house help, you imagined a woman with an ethnic accent. You could never find one without an accent. The ushamba was always there too, not to mention the absurd dresses and adoration for gossip.

They would investigate domestic issues like detectives in CSI and broadcast the same issues to anyone who was willing to listen.

One would excavate information about a ‘mama so and so’ then she would disseminate the information to her best friend (the neighbour’s house help). The receiver of the information would formulate an extended hypothesis before adding chumvi to the story and broadcasting it to the watchman. What resulted, in the end, was fake news capable of making Trump apologise to CNN. 

Old school house helps used to be so good at commentating about soaps and Nigerian movies too.

They could even predict what was going to take place next. They would say “Aki Gustavo atapropose. Sio uongo. Acha utaona.”

Fifteen minutes later, Gustavo would be on his knees, with a blushing Isabella in front of him.

Most of their chores were done quite late too, before the owner of the house came back home from work.

The newest breed of house helps seem quite different.

They complete their work early before sitting down to watch TV.

Like their past old school counterparts, they still can’t keep their hands off the remote control.

They’re still the reason tokens don’t last but instead of spending the whole day watching Nigerian movies and Mexican telenovelas, they are watching things like Game of Thrones and Dynasty.

What’s even more interesting is that they have very good relationships with their bosses.

Instead of gossiping about mama wa nyumba, they are sitting down with the boss to discuss the economy? Wow. And they’re speaking in Sheng and English.

In fact, I’ve been seeing a new lady in our compound tweng’ing hard on the phone as she hangs clothes to dry.

I thought she was a relative to one of my neighbours but I recently discovered that she is a house help.

At this rate, I should also get myself a house help. I mean, why not people? Why not? And since they are evolving from Mshamba-pithecus to Slaying-Sapiens, maybe mine too can evolve from Slaying Sapiens to Wife-o-pithecus.

I have no idea what I just said there but never mind.



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