Something interesting about Ruaka town, Mtaa Ya Maslay queens, this is what happens at night every end month.

On Friday like today, when our employers have interfered with our bank balance, Ruaka is two towns in one.

During the day, the place is flooded with local men dressed in shabby used clothes. They are pushing mkokoteni, washing and repairing cars. They fill the air with foul stench of sweat.

The local women line up the streets selling arrow roots and Ngwaci. They are dressed in long, dull coloured dresses. As if this is not enough, they pull coloured lessos on these dresses.

The only noise you hear is that of makangas and other hustlers trying to make an extra coin. 

This is Ruaka the way God intended it.

By 7 pm, the second Ruaka is born. Hundreds of young educated men dressed in crisp suits and neck ties stream in to taste their fresh salaries and bring it down to ‘manageable levels’ 

The picture of Ruaka changes to a middle class hang out. The noise you hear is no more of the poor trying to earn but that of ‘rich’ men spending.

A flood of young beautiful girls replace the market women. The stench of sweat is replaced with strong marashi fragrance..... you may think you are walking through a flower farm.

The skirts get shorter and brighter. Whereas the daytime women spread their wares on the ground, the night ones have no wares.....(I think here I am lying)

The young men start prowling the street to ‘greet’ the ladies. It's the official ‘identification parade’ before the choice is made. The evening has just started...... The young guy needs company, someone to ‘show him around’ Deals are sealed faster than the Harambee House handshake. Salary meets ‘love’

The devil finally takes over the kingdom at around 9pm. All law abiding poor Christians have exited the scene and retreated to their rural homes in Mucatha, Ndenderu, Banana and such other Godly places and are now replaced by rich sinners......

The ‘rich’ youngsters and their ‘tour guides’ fill the glitzy pubs and dance floors. They sit in lovely pairs enjoying the fruits of independence. Alcohol has softened the morals of these new friends, looking at their ‘love for each other’, you would think they have known each other since November 1958. What happens between 11 pm and 6 am will not be written here or anywhere else.

By 6 am Saturday, the shift changes, matatus are back, mama Ngwaci and mboga are back and so are the mechanics . .... Ruaka is handed back to God.

Ruaka, the tale of two cities.


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