Every market has a mad man, and it might be you.

Every market has a mad man

I have heard this saying all my life, but it was only yesterday at 12:17pm that I realized how true it is.

I made my way to the largest open air market here in Kisumu, Kibuye Market, to meet a friend who wanted me to accompany her to the supermarket so she could buy the Diva Soap that I use.

When I got to the market, I called her and she said that she was still waiting for a matatu and as such would take a while before meeting me. I was bummed by this so I chose to walk around the market and check out clothes and shoes.

My first stop was a lady who was selling ladies shoes at one hundred and fifty shillings. I tried on wedges, flats, heels, until I finally settled on a pair of blue wedges. I had the right shoe so I had to look for the left…in a heap of shoes. The lady looked at me and said, “Just look for it, then you’ll pay.” See, in Nairobi at Gikomba market (there are plenty of mad men there) the sellers always help you look for the other shoe, apparently that part of customer service is not available in Kisumu. So I adjusted my bag and bent down to start my search and this woman pushed me with her butt making me land on all fours. I looked up at her and she did not even acknowledge that she had shoved me. The lady selling the shoes laughed and said, “hapa ni soko, kila mtu ana nguvu.” (This is a market and everyone is strong)

I found my shoe. Some girl was stepping on it with her right foot. I tried to pull it out, but she said…”Natafuta hii kiatu,” I am looking for this shoe.

The seller came to my rescue as I started to withdraw my hand. She told the girl that I had seen it first and she reluctantly gave her the shoe. I paid for the pair and left.

The second stop was at the guy who sells some amazing handbags. When I arrived he saw me and smiled before saying, “Customer, aki hakuna vitu poa leo.” I told him I would visit his stall next  weekend for a bag and he said he’ll set aside something great for me. I could not get being shoved aside by that woman out of my head.

My friend had not yet called so I walked around the market looking at ladies blouses and skirts. Every seller was praising their goods you’d think they had the best stuff, but one man stood out. I crossed over to his heap and had to endure insults from a tuk tuk driver who almost ran into me while driving on the wrong side of the road.

There was this large heap of clothes and the man was selling dresses.

He had a red scarf covering his head, a green one around his neck and he was wearing a dress on top of his clothes. He was shouting, “Mama kaw nanga, rinda maber mondisi ma ka jaodi oneno to kata news gini gi be ok chande nikech in e good news! Rinda ondisi makata e landi mon ok nyal ting’o lew gi, nikech in high class! Neye kaka ondisa, red, green white and black kaka flag! Rinda siling’ mia!”

Now that was in Luo, but in essence he was calling all the women to buy the dresses on sale at a hundred shillings each. He was saying that a woman would look great in one of the dresses so much so that her husband would not have to watch the news on TV because she was the good news, and that other women would not gossip about her for she was better dressed.

I bought three dresses- and I am yet to see whether it turns out to be great news in my case, but I had to make my way to the main road where my friend was waiting. She had to try the Diva soap and I hope she’ll love it just as much as I do.

When we were leaving the market we came across a mad man. They call him Omondi here in Kibuye. He was hitting his head repeatedly using his right hand.

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