10 things you can’t buy on credit in Kenya

Coffin [Photo: Courtesy]

A grown up Kenyan man can marry a whole breathing wife on ‘credit’. She sires his children, cooks for him on her way to being a house keeper, cleaner, bed mate and a punching bag.

All on credit since bride price can be paid when they get their ninth brat.  But there are some items you can’t buy on credit.

1. Coffin

No carpenter worth his wood will give out a coffin on credit. Once the stiff is planted six feet under, getting repaid can call for exhumation with legal, cultural and social implications. The most a carpenter can do is slice the cost to “ease the burden.”

2. Mutura

The much loved E.coli infested African sausages which are usually sold and best eaten at night are never munched on credit.

Mutura [Photo: Courtesy]

The sausage, which is only delicious if you are unaware of how’s it prepared, and you ignore the dirt under the seller’s fingernails is a cash on delivery product ranging from Sh10, Sh20 to Sh100 for some butcheries in Nyayo Embakasi, Nairobi.

3. ‘Kodoshe’

When a damsel says, “Ok, but please come with protection” men will knock on neighbour’s doors or wake up shopkeepers at 3am to buy condoms which will be the thin sheath between five minutes of pleasure or a lifetime of paying child support.

4. Lodging

Before you book a room at Kunguni Inn, you have to pay for the rickety bed, half cut slippers of different colours and blankets that stink of burned onions. The receptionist has to ensure the M-Pesa message imefika and demand to see the notification before handing over a button like key attached to a holder the size of a timber door.  

5. Mortuary

Like taxes, death is certain but no matter how tearful your tale of woe, the guys at the morgue will never give credit, otherwise your loved one might rot in that godforsaken slab.  

Mortuary [Photo: Courtesy]

6. Kanjo toilets

It doesn’t matter if the diarrhoea is coming faster and in full force like an Actros truck with no brakes, but before you get into a Kanjo toilet, you have to brake at the door, pay Sh50, and break into sweat as the attendant fumbles to give you back your Sh40 change.

If you run into the toilet, the ‘shit bouncers’ guarding the facility will yank you out of the cubicle with your trousers around your ankles and unused toilet paper still in your hand.

7. Government fees

No one in the Lands office will issue Stamp Duty on credit for that title deed. No one at a Huduma Centre will allow you to apply for a passport and pay the processing fee later.

8. Bribes

A traffic cop will flag you down, identify several problems with your jalopy, including a cracked dashboard a steering wheel without a cover.

Bribes [Photo: Courtesy]

He will issue court threats forcing you to negotiate a bribe. Even a born again police officer won’t trust a Bishop when it comes to bribe. It has to be paid on the spot. Hakuna deni ya hongo.

9. Lungula

The only lungula you can have on credit is with your long-suffering wife you married on credit during ruracio. But huku nje even a mpango wa kando can’t glide her ngotha down kwa deni. 

10. Reddy Kilowatt

This most wired of monopolies will light up after payment or else you will operate like a member of Wizara ya Giza. Reddy Kilowatt never issues credit.


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