By Nyainda Manaseh via fb

I touched my first million in February 2019 as I had indicated last year at such a date. It was so ecstatic. I had just transacted some lucrative business. But of course not in fake gold, money laundering or wash wash.

Of course not. I had diligently offered public relations services to a Kenyan-based South Sudanese for sometimes and I raked in the million. Before I had that million in hand, my mind was packed with numerous plans. Ambitious and overambitious ones.


To build my mother a new house. To clear my outstanding school fees balance and that of my siblings. To set up an office for my Consultancy Firm as the side hustle. To invest some money by buying shares in different companies. And to donate some money to a children’s home in promotion of charity.

And then the one million came through. Unforseen expenses started rearing their ugly heads. Some adrenaline rush to extravagantly spend the money took me by a swipe.

My water bill suddenly hiked from Ksh 600-1000 to around 10k. I just don’t know how my caretaker got wind of my deep pocket in order to inflate my bill. My house immediately became smaller. I had to upgrade to a spacious house and enjoy the trappings that come with a bathtub.

Cruising around in dilapidated matatu became a thing of the past. I became an exclusive Uber rider. The aroma from the cuisines at Intercontinental Hotel couldn’t allow me to just pass that edifice without grabbing something. I stopped taking lunch in those Somali restaurants in the Central Business District.

My ego couldn’t even allow me to grab a cup of coffee at Dream Bean Coffee House. It suddenly became shady joint. I went a notch higher and myself footing bills of strangers that we would be sitting with in the same table in a restaurant. Tips for my favourite attendants then moved from Ksh 50-100 to Ksh 500. I just don’t know how.

The atmosphere around Moi Avenue and Tom Mboya Street couldn’t become more toxic than this. Those were back alleys for street urchins. I started spending time within Kilimani Area and having some good time with the other gender in those uptown apartments.

My wardrobe abruptly became very disgusting. All my shoes were in bad shape. I had to do a total overhaul. My few suits were not fitting and bespoke enough. I started patronizing Magman.

Suddenly, I became seriously allergic to any green leaf that is hell-bent to go down my throat. Sukumawiki started smelling like a concoction of poison. I felt like switching from BlackBerry Priv to the latest IPhone in town.

Ah, my mum’s calls were a perpetual nuisance to me. She was a burden to me then. I needed to offload her. And so, I blocked her number. I stopped shaking people’s hands because they soiled my palm. I only waved at people, especially those I deemed low class.

I looked at those vulnerable street families as accursed. The thoughts of kicking their begging bowls engulfed me. I couldn’t imagine setting my eyes on a matatu tout twice. Even my Facebook friends became mere deplorable in my sight. Hanging out with a certain calibre of flashy boys was now my forte.

I had just quit my usual kikundi for a club of men savoring life from the first lane. I suddenly lost my conscience. My humanity. My compassion. My empathy. My sympathy. My natural love. My humility.

I looked down upon others and chided them for wallowing in material poverty. I conveniently forgot that I had just walked out of the same poverty but I was wads of notes away from slipping back into squalor. I saw the poor as lazy and not befitting my time and attention. Human beings stopped being human beings in front of me.

I attached value to their heads. I treated them with contempt. Deep inside me, I felt all-knowing. No one would tell me anything. It would either be my way or the highway. Not your way. Not at all. Simply because I had started flipping a million notes.

There is something that suddenly changes in people when they make an instant kill. Something. Something. Just something. I wish I get to know it one day. And I know I will, one day.

Personally, I have never touched a million shilling in my life like I have indicated above. But I hope that God will one day see me through because he has been very faithful.

However, what I am simply affirming is that you should never lose your Humanity on account of money. This world is a cycle. It can turn upside down on you.

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