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MAN IN THE HOOD: My neighbours are spying on me.

By PHILIP ETEMESII should start by saying that I love my neighbours like I love myself, just like the bible requires of us. My adoration for them is unequalled.

To be honest, I have never loved any of my girlfriends as much as I currently love my neighbours. Granted, that probably says more about the girls Ive dated all through the years than it does about my dear neighbours.

But you get it. I love my neighbours more than I love my own kids.

Oh wait! This might also be because I dont have any kids yet.However, I have one problem with those living close to me.

They stare at me too much.I am trying to narrow down the possible reasons they keep staring.

Maybe I am ugly as hell. Maybe I walk like James Bond.

Maybe I am a moving tourist attraction. Maybe my nose is shaped like a pyramid.

Maybe my ears rival those of a Fennec Fox.STARING FEEAt this point, I feel it would be wise to start charging a staring fee the same way national parks charge an entrance fee.

A standard fee of Sh500 for locals and Sh2000 for foreigners would do. Scratch that.

Make it S000 for foreigners.Its a Kenyan thing to assume foreigners have lots of money so I wont even try being lenient.

Every time I do something, theres always one neighbour peeping or just looking bluntly. You know those scenes in movies where there are two detectives seated in a car just a few meters from a house, watching? My neighbours are like those movie cops.

They never miss a detail.Not only do they stare at me but they also stare at whoever comes to visit me.

They stare keenly like a Khoisan bushman tracking a deer in the Savanna grasslands, knowing that if his eyes lost focus for a minute, he wont have supper.I knew things had worsened when a slay queen told me Aki I cant come to your place anymore.

When I asked why, she said my neighbours stare too much.With a slay queen, every little thing that doesnt please her ends up being a deal breaker.

They have no perseverance and tolerance.As if staring isnt enough, my neighbours spy too.

Throughout history, there have been phenomenal spies like Mata Hari, a Dutch exotic dancer who plied her trade in Paris and spied for Germany during World War 1. Just look at that combination of countries.

Then there was Giacomo Cassanova too who doubled as lover boy and a spy for Venetian Inquisitors. I could go on and on.

The list of the legends of espionage is long and I am of the firm opinion that after 50 years have, my neighbours ought to be included in the list of historys greatest spies too.What they dont know is that I am onto their ways.

I know exactly who is doing what. Mama Wambo always stares through the torn part of her sitting room curtain.

Mama Mike usually sends her kid to my house to do the dirty work for her. Mama Boi usually pretends to randomly walk out of her house whenever she hears me unlocking my door.

Then theres Mama Odhis who just prefers asking about me than giving herself too much work of gathering data.COMMON DENOMINATOROh snap! There is a common denominator here.

All of them are Mama Somebody. I now see why they are referred to as Wamama Wa Ploti.

It was a relief to hear that it doesnt happen to me alone. Wamama Wa Ploti are known to be serial lookers wherever you go.

To them, staring is something of an art form. They can write a New York Times bestseller novel about your love life because they have all the details on the tips of their fingers.

Like I mentioned earlier, the most intense form of spying happens when I bring a lady over to my place. They say Wamama Wa Ploti can pinpoint the exact time and second a female visitor left your place.

Uliona ule msichana mweupe alitoka kwake saa mbili na fourty two? Mama Mwende will ask Mama Akoth.Surprisingly when one of your belongings gets stolen, there are usually no witnesses.

PEOPLE SLEEPA few nights ago, I arrived at home at 1 am with a visitor after attending a late event. Logically, no one should be watching at that time.

I mean, people sleep right? To the best of my knowledge, they do. Well apparently not.

Early in the morning, one of the friendly neighbours knocked on my door and asked if I would like some cake that she had baked. She then asked whether she would bring some too for the visitor who had come with me in the night.

How did she know? Is she Batmans assistant?Despite the fact that this behaviour bothers me, Ill learn to live with it. They mean no harm after all.

They say the hardest thing about business is minding your own.The aim of professional spies is usually to gather intelligence and maybe capture you but Wamama Wa Ploti just do it is a hobby and for gossip purposes.

In that case, I guess its okay. Knowing that I am not the only guy who is subjected to this practice, I believe Ill see it as normal behaviour with time.
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Publication:Daily Nation, Kenya (Nairobi, Kenya)
Date:Jun 22, 2018
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