I haven’t been to the Village Market since around 2 years ago and I felt a bit lost when I got there. They have been renovating, so the place looks much nicer. I also got to realise that the Tribe Hotel is right next to the Village Market. At least now I can take myself there for a random Sunday brunch.
I took a walk after my meeting just so I can refresh my feel of the place. The last time I was there, it was nighttime so I didn’t see much. This time, I figured that the Village Market is easily the prettiest mall in Nairobi. It’s not just a commercial building filled with expensive shops. The architecture of it makes it feel less commercial and more leisurely. Some people might say Two Rivers is better, but I haven’t been there yet. I will definitely let you know once I get there. I knew that the place is a gem once I spotted a very handsome Maasai man in headphones, busy working on his laptop. On closer inspection, I realised that the Maasai man was a bronze sculpture.
I’ll call him Moran Kajuaji because I envy him his headphones. And the kids just love to be around him. I think he’s a man of great patience. And parents would just gush over his babysitting abilities. He’s probably into IT and codes websites as a side hustle. His girlfriend must be a very sophisticated woman who wears lace weaves and red bottom shoes and thinks only house helps cook. She probably studied abroad but didn’t finish the African History course she was taking. She loves him for the culture. He’s always impressing her white friends. She feels Kenyan every time she’s with him.
One kid literally pulled old leaves out of the man’s briefcase. After she made sure he was actually typing and not idly watching porn. Another one just politely sat next to him and quietly glanced at his laptop screen like Frozen was showing and not another episode of ‘code my website’. Its hard to drag kids away from this guy. Adults love him too, but it’s not the same.
Then there is the woman washing clothes outside a jazz bar at night. I’ll call her Justina. She broke my heart because she looked so beautiful bent over as she was, doing the laundry with her child strapped onto her back, surrounded by flourishing ferns. I wanted to sit with her all day, and gossip. I think she must have all the news and the happenings of the Village Market mall. But it must be very lonely there. People pass there every day but they don’t really see her, or her struggles. I wonder if her husband is inside with a ndogo ndogo while she struggles? Does she live next to the jazz bar? Is she a nanny for someone working the bar tonight? Is her baby a boy or a girl? Does she like Jazz? I guess I’ll never know because people from Rusty Junktown don’t speak human.
I was able to meet some more citizens of Rusty Junktown. All of them fascinating but none quite as intriguing as Moran Kajuaji and Justina. Most of them are made from refurbished junk metal and its a very refreshing take on sculptural art. So now it seems I’ll soon be going back to the Village market. Of course, I’ll pretend to be going for the wonderful pastry at Tiramisu. But you all know I really mean to get some gossip from Justina.