Juma, a humble man in his forties, works as an askari (security guard) at the home of a wealthy Kenyan businessman in Nairobi. One morning as his boss hurriedly leaves for work, and slips Juma a tip. His boss leaves and as he unfurls it, expecting the usual 100 Kenyan shillings he instead sees a crisp 10 United States dollar bill. Juma can’t believe it. He heads home that evening to his humble home in Kawangware, a large low-income neighborhood in Nairobi. He ponders how he’s going to spend what he considers to be a large sum of money -will he spend it on the things he’s dreamed of? Will he send it to his wife and son? He contemplates for a moment then after a little ‘encouragement’, hatches a plan. He gathers the rest of his cash savings and heads out intothe bustling streets of the neighbourhood. Juma drops a little change here and there to smarten himself up for a big evening, but he keeps the $10 intact. He boards a matatu (bus) and requests the driver drop him at The Grand Royal Msafiri—the most expensive hotel in the city. He is welcomed by a skeptical concierge, who eventually lets him into the near-empty dining hall. A young waiter assists him getting comfortable, and then Juma flips open the menu. There are no prices on it. Nonetheless, he decides tonight he’s having it large —he orders one of just about anything he fancies. Chicken, fish, salad, vegetables, even a couple of bottles of champagne, one for him and one for some ladies he fancies. A grand feast ensues. Finally, the bill comes and the total is eye-watering. Nevertheless, Juma confidently slips his $10 in the wallet, and nods to the waiter. The waiter returns hurriedly, and informs him that isn’t going to do. Juma looks confused. He has no other means of payment, so the waiter fetches the maitre’d. The maitre’d apologises for what’s about to happen next. Juma is arrested and taken to a police station by two grumpy police officers who’d rather not be having to bother with him. They demand to see some identification, and Juma slowly produces from his pocket… the $10 American dollars. The police officers accept it, and he is cut loose into the night.


Hugh Mitton




Hugh Mitton


Angela Muriuki