Breaking up with mpango: 10 ways to survive broke Njaanuary

Njaanuary is two months rolled into one, let the calendar not cheat you. It’s made longer not just by the heat, but also the coldness of the wallet due to emptiness after frolicking, cavorting and ‘womening’ around drinking January money in mid- December.

It is on this month that most parents finally realize they have school-going children after assuming they were visitors from a jirani. They also learn, suddenly, that they have menacing landlords. Here are 10 ways to survive Njaanuary:

1. Austerity measures

Married men will take over the shopping duties in the house, and frown when they open the cabinets in the kitchen saying to the house help from Nyalgunga, “Hii toothpick nimenunua tuu last week, inaisha haraka aje?” to which she innocently replies: “It’s Mama Baby and the children who use them, then throw them away. I usually return mine into the container after use!”

2. More God, please

Many turn to God when the going gets tough.

Churches are packed to the rafters most Sundays, but this doesn’t translate to more sadaka as many adults will drop Sh20 coins in the basket and give their children Sh5 coins.

3. I hate traffic jams

People who usually drive to buy groceries just outside their gates will see no need to waste fuel, time and money on traffic jams and parking fees in town.

This January, when you meet in them in a Buruburu route matatu queue at Ambassador, unprompted, they will let you know how it’s healthy to walk, and it’s easier to take matatus than drive and face ‘horrendous traffic jams’ and nightmare parking in CBD.’

4. Hello shylocks

It’s the time of the year when Mama Watoto won’t realize the logbook to the family jalopy isn’t in the file hidden under the bed.

If she is keen, she might also notice the title deed to the piece of land they bought ‘as a family’ along Kagundo Road isn’t at the bottom of the suitcase. Shylocks are doing a booming business!

5. I’m on diet

Gone are the Kitengela mbuzi choma escapades. Phrases like, ‘Hii mbuzi ya town ni ngumu, twende tukule mbuzi ya wamaasai huko Kajiado,” won’t be said anytime in January.

Instead, there will be a fierce battle between managu and madondo as both affordable foods will feature prominently in your lunch or supper.

6. Changing networks

People will suddenly realize there are mobile phone operators who, for Sh100, provide 500 minutes talk time, unlimited text messages and 8GB data bundle. Gone will be the habit of sending random slay queens you met on Facebook Sh500 airtime to call you.

7. I’m on detox

Many people use the January financial draught as an apt way of detoxing under the excuse, “Hii Dec tulikunywa sana, daktari amasema niwache pombe at least for a few weeks mwili irudi poa.”

8. Breaking up with mpango

Many married men, reeling under the burden of paying fees and other expenses with no money coming in, see it best to break ranks with the slay queen they have been paying rent for in Zimmerman.

“Huyu dame ni gold digger, naanza mwaka and I want to be faithful to my wife,” a broke man will tell his friends.

9. Hello online loans

Many men will be very happy to download and use mobile money lending applications that dish out money instantly but charge an arm and a leg as interest.

10. Resolutions

Broke people will always have a New Year resolution to stop drinking. The resolution works so well because there is no money to drink. All that ends on January 30 when the salary checks in.

The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of