First timer: Nairobi hawker shortchanged my jeans trousers for torn underwear–MP Ngeno


The Member of Parliament of Emurua Dikirr, Johana Ngeno Kipyegon, had quite a memorable experience in Nairobi when he first visited the capital in 1994.

In his words, he says: “I was told you have to pay for being in Nairobi, and it is true; I paid a price.”

Mr Kipyegon shared with Citizen Digital how a Nairobi hawker 21 years ago conned him of his Ksh100 after shortchanging the pair of gratifying trousers he’d bought for a bunch of grotesque torn underwear.

The easy and full of life legislator, intimated prior to the discomfiting incident, he had never set foot in Nairobi.

“My first time in Nairobi was in 1994. It was after my secondary education, and after being employed as a PTA teacher in Chepalungu, that’s when I decided to visit the capital. I did not have any other business, I just wanted to come to Nairobi and see how it looks like.”

And when he finally landed in the capital, the lawmaker recalls, “I was very confused; I met conmen.”

How was mheshimiwa conned?

“I remember it was in Luthuli Avenue. A friend who’d been to Nairobi had advised me when I’m in the city, I be observant of my bag by feeling the weight. He told me: ‘somebody can cut a section of it while it’s on your back. You’d be walking with its straps resting on your shoulders, not knowing the content had already been made away with long time ago.’”

“I was watchful of my bag’s weight,” told the MP.

With all the precaution and pre-city knowledge in place, who managed to disengage mheshimiwa’s suspicion? Your guess is right – a hawker!

“I met a hawker who was selling trousers: ‘mia moja, mia moja’! I got interested in a pair of jeans trousers; I had never bought or worn one before,” said Ngeno, before adding: “he measured my waist and height, and found the pair of jeans trousers I had selected fitted me perfectly.”

Gratified, he was asked to pay for the commodity.

Once he did, he says: “The hawker folded the cloth nicely, and put it in a black polythene bag.”

However, little did he know, the hoax plan on him was yet to be implemented.

“When he (hawker) was almost handing it (jeans) over to me, another person came running, shouting ‘kanjo, kanjo!’

“All of us scattered to unknown destinations; I followed the hawker. So, when we reached a particular ‘safe’ corner, he handed over the black polythene bag which I presumed contained the pair of denim trousers.”

Ngeno added being a first timer in Nairobi, and receiving such a ‘hostile’ reception; he did not want to stay any longer at Luthuli Avenue.

“Because of that confusion, I did not want to stay any longer in the CBD, so I put the paper bag in my back pack, and I disappeared.”

He however got the shock of his new Nairobi life when he reached his hotel room.

“Nilipofika mahali pa kulala; sasa jioni, nilikuwa nataka kupima hiyo jeans yangu nione vile iko. Wacha nitoe! Hee! Can you believe the black paper bag contained torn underwear, and all those kind of rubbish; I was shocked!” he said.

“I just laughed, and told myself, “kweli, Nairobi lazima ununue. That was my first experience.”



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Brian Okoth
Story By Brian Okoth
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