You grow up and instead of independence, you find bills. Lots of bills. And you think about these bills in traffic and when you are lathering your back in the bathroom. End of the month comes and you are not filled with triumph and celebratory glee because all you do is think of what needs to be paid and what debts are pending. Plus somehow you still have a dream to own a car even with your meager earnings. Bills wait for you at every corner, in every empty room you walk into. Even in the bar, when you sit at the counter and the next chatty guy making conversations extends his hand and says, “I’m Bill,” you want to scream, “Can’t you just leave me alone!” The older you grow the more bills seem to come out of the woodwork. You would imagine that life would give you a break as you grow older and your knees become weaker, but no. Life is a merciless slave owner who turns everybody into a workhorse with no day-offs.
When starting out in my little servant’s quarter, earning 20K (before tax!), my only bills were rent, shopping for a month (four tissue papers, toothpaste, sugar, soap, detergent, and bread), fare, water bill, airtime and money for movies. I washed my own clothes. I didn’t pay for garbage collection or security (what would they steal, my soul?). Life was so basic and carefree (I ate eggs for dinner every day except Sunday. Cholesterol has got nothing on me.) Even though I earned a pittance I was happier and free and bills didn’t bother me much because they were so negligible. Once in a while I’d buy a girl I liked hot chocolate, or take her to watch Tom Cruise jump off trains in a movie, but that was it. I didn’t drink alcohol because I’m a late bloomer. But somehow my money would run out by 9th of the month and between God’s everlasting grace and the beauty of advance from the accounts department I got through.
Then I grew up. And here we are. The bills are still here, only now they are more. But it’s not as bad as it might sound. Actually, it’s not that bad because back in the day I had to take a matatu on Saturdays and go and pay my water-bills in town. I’m certain you haven’t had the pleasure of paying for a water bill lately. You’d queue. For hours, sometimes. The staff didn’t care. Sometimes they’d leave you peasants in the queue, vacate their workstation and go for their tea break. For an hour you’d stand there staring at his coat, which was the greatest metaphor of bureaucracy. There was no manager to complain to…actually you could complain…to his coat.
Things have changed.
Now I can pay all my bills from my seat at work. Loop has Loop Pay Bills. Cool app with cool features for cool people. Too cool to queue in government offices. Cool because they have better things to fill their days with; like make art, dominate the space of creativity, shape social agendas and remain with some time to make memes. If only we had these facilities back in the day, we would be less traumatized citizens. We would be less angry in traffic.
But it’s never too late. It’s never too late to save time using online banking apps like NCBA Loop.