6:30 a.m and Davis is woken up by his alarm. He wakes up and wakes up her sister Helen. Hellen prepares strong tea as Davis tidies up the one room iron sheet house. They drown the strong tea without any accompaniment. They live in Kibra, one of the informal settlements popularly known as slums within Nairobi Kenya. They cannot get to take a bath at this time. Water here is a luxury. They each use one cup just to brush their teeth. The water is used sparingly and the little that gets to remain is used to wash the face. They live with their mother who is a single parent. She had left the house at 6:00 a.m. in search of a casual job in the neighbouring estate.
At 6:45a.m. they leave. Each one of them carries their face masks and properly wears it. They bid each other farewell as they go their separate ways. Davis hopes to catch the train and hop on to it then alight near Nyayo Stadium before proceeding to Industrial area on foot. Mind you, the train doesn’t stop at the point where he is to get off. He has to skilfully jump off. A slight miscalculation and he dies or at the very least breaks all his bones. Luckily he finds the train and hops onto it. Hellen on the other hand leaves for Lang’ata estate which is nearby. It is an hours walk. Davis hopes to get any casual job in the vast Industrial area. He does not discriminate. He can work as a loader or at a construction worker. Hellen goes out to seek clients who need their clothes washed or other house chore done.
Hellen arrives at a certain spot outside one of the lavish estates within Lang’ata. The time is 7:55a.m. She meets other women here. It is at this spot where the many of the estate dwellers get to go to get a person to help them with house chores. She greets other women who she finds. She wishes them all the best in their day’s endeavours.
Davis on the other hand gets to Industrial area at around 8:10 a.m. He moves round looking for a construction site or any lorry that needs to be loaded or unloaded and try his luck. At 10:00 a.m. he gives up and joins others who are on a mission similar to his. On this day, he is unlucky. His colleagues are also unlucky. Nothing comes his way. Hellen on the other hand gets a bit of luck. A client whom she had washed clothes for the previous day calls her. She gets to the client’s house and does chores such as cleaning the house and sweeping the compound. At the end of it all, she is paid a sum of Kenya Shillings 250/- (about Two dollars and Fifty cents). She goes back to the waiting spot but nothing else comes her way.
At 3:30 p.m. Davis starts his journey home. Again, he is counting on the train to get back home. Hellen starts her journey home at around 5p.m. They want to beat the curfew time. Hellen communicates with Davis and learns that luck was not on his side. Their mother too was unlucky. Hellen is the only one who made some money. She buys kerosene, maize flour, kales, tomatoes and onions. She gets home first and starts preparing supper.
Davis and their mother get home a few minutes before 7p.m. looking all gloomy. Were it not for the little money that Hellen earned, they would have slept hungry. Sleeping hungry is not unusual to them more so during this time when the Covid 19 has affected the economy of Kenya and economies of almost all countries in the world. They later take supper and sleep. They whisper a prayer and ask their Supreme Being to guide them for lady luck to be on their side on the next day.
Davis and Hellen are students in one of the prestigious public universities in Kenya. They did so well in their KCSE exams that a well wisher decided to sponsor their university education. However, owing to the Covid 19 pandemic, this has been their daily routine. The question remains, until when?