In one of my many statuses on WhatsApp (you know those people who post statuses as if they have Shares onWhatsApp?) I’m not one of them. Am of the Maumau era. In one of my many statuses though, I shared a Greek proverb. Ngim comes from Mut. I went ahead to show you the Mut (Unga) I came from and wished my mum a Happy Birthday. 😊😊 I feel proud of myself already. Am not sure why though.
Whether my mum saw those thousand statuses or not is none of my/your business. At least the world saw it. And while still at it, who knows? My potential future bae vis a vii (sijui ata kama inaandikagwa hivyo) wife, saw I am good at keeping track of important dates. Right? Yes right. Thank you.
Now that’s not the story today. Ngim comes from what? Mut. This is a saying in Greek lingua that has no maana ya juu and maana fiche. It only has maana. This proverbs translates to Ugali comes from Unga. Good. Let’s get to the unga part because am the Ngim here.
Flashback. 1958. Kwa Wanjiku Centre. My age is 10 or so. My Mother WaWanjiru. (by this time, she had not earned the title waCynthia) not that Cynthia had not been born but no one in our village would associate themselves with the Muthungu names with all the pain they had caused us. So we just called her Wanjiru wa Kiwiri. And we loved it that way.
My brother Kimani wa Kiwiri and I had just come from the forest. Wawanjiru had sent us with food and information to take to Wanjiku caves. Here my dad and other men were camping strategizing on which muthungu to take out next. Strapped well in a bundle of firewood were food, a gun and a letter. These, we were given instructions to ensure we personally got them to my father by ourselves and not any other fighter.
My father went by the name general Kiwiri by then. He led the troop of guerillas. He was the most feared of all the warriors in this area. Word around was that he could communicate with wild animals. In such instances, the animals would attack the muthungu and the collaborators and leave out the Maumau men. People also said that he actually could communicate with the wind.
On a certain day, a strong wind had come up over the village from the direction of the forest and had swept out the roof to a white man’s house. Word is, he had sent it. People say he was in that wind because thereafter, guns and ammunition went missing in the white man’s house. The previous year when our village was struck by drought, he single-handedly attacked a neighbouring white man’s camp and drove off with a lorry full of foodstuff and brought it to our village.
Let me pause here. The Ngim and the Mut thing. Haven’t I in so many instances brought you guys, sweets? Eh? Who hasn’t seen me talk to the wind? Am not sure it listens, but at least I try. And the Maumau thing, have you seen my hair? Leadership nayo you think being a Whatsapp group admin ni mchezo? It takes courage, confidence, determination and experience my friends.
Okay… Where was I? We got to the forest, and back. Safely. Then we were sent a second round. The men in the forest were too many to be fed in one round without carrying a bundle that wouldn’t raise suspicion. We were used to taking up to 7 rounds a day. At some point, we thought their work was just eat and sleep.
It was at this second round that all hell broke loose. Some informer had told the muthungu of our many trips to the forest and back. He had trailed behind us on the first round and back watching us from a distance. On the second trip, he had waylaid us at the front. Safe distance from both the caves and the village.
“Good Morning boys” a voice stopped us from behind. We could here it sounded as if the owner of the voice had his nostrils half closed half open.
As had been instructed, we were to pretend we don’t understand the white man’s language and if he had a translator, we were to tell them we are collecting firewood for my mother who works in the white man’s farm. Lakini Kimani ni nani.
“We don’t understand that language, ” he said confidently.
“And what are you doing here?”
“Here in the forest? ” Kimani asked.
“Yes here. “
“We don’t understand that question sir” he replied. The white man made faces that showed we had started annoying him. As the big brother I am and ought to be, I took charge of the situation.
“Sir, you have a problem? Aren’t you in the same forest as we? Have we asked you what you are doing? Have we any business with you? Are we you? Are you we? Look me well in the eye and shoot me if you like!! I will die for my country but not kneel down for man. I cant huh mwak and huh Mundu!! Never! ” (My people, this is the ngim and mut thing am talking about)
My people, composed like never before but face redder than pepper, the Whiteman pulled his pistol from its place, pointed right on my forehead. By now, you already know my trousers were wet. I think its the rain or something. Body shaking like a tambourine (Sauti sol) Then he pulled the trigger.
“click click! ”
“Click click!! ”
Like seriously?! What did he expect? Am the son of the man who speaks to the wind and it listens. Dah! I started bragging about my father’s deeds and might. Dancing around a shaken mzungu. Telling him that just by pointing that gun towards me, he had written his death wish, signed it off and sent it to the Maumau fighters the way we had been sent.
“So you guys have been sent to them? “
“Yes. Do you want to take your death application letter yourself or send us? “
And then it hit him. His gun’s magazine was empty. Laughing hysterically, the man took out two bullets from his blazer, loaded his gun, pointed it at my forehead again. My leg shaking game continued. Sweating profusely.
“Say your last prayers boy!?”
Watu wangu kama hauna nguvu ya vitu zingine usijaribu kuota ndoto zingine. Such dreams are for the strong. Not us. Nimeamshwa na hio boom!?! I think ni neighbour amebang mlango. Acha nikojoe nikalale. Goodnight people.
Do mosquitos have like a celebratory buzz or noise or something when they are happy? Say like its sucked all the blood out of you and need to celebrate its victory. Ama it wants to call the others to a feast in celebration say to the birth of another mosquito.
Ama the way they disturb your peace all night long, do they celebrate? When they hear you tell your friend how they are not giving you peace, do they look at each other and smile? Hi-5 each other and say mission accomplished and burst out in a song of jubilation?
Ama, when it goes to suck blood say from a, slay queen and cant seem to get to the skin, the body today seems to have grease and bicycle oil thanks to layers and layers of make up. Does it click and walk away depressed. And some peoples blood: especially these tall guys eddu, gach, et al, does a mosquito spit such immeadiately after spitting. Blood became stale on its way from the heart before it gets to the toes. Ama they call the others who like damu mala and they drink their hearts out?
Have you ever seen a man drunk that they cannot see their own nose and wonder what the hell ails them? How one could just waste all his income on such in the name of fun? What folly!! (Story for another day) now when a mosquito sips blood from such, does it fly away in a straight line or zigzag?
I recently saw one and I knew it had sipped some blood from my brother jackson ama dan. Their behaviour tells me weed is their cup of tea. The mosquito had hugged a kiKPLC pole tight and somehow I could read it was trying to sip out something from it. From there, it perched on a nduthi guy’s helmet. Me let me tell you!!
Ama when you kill one mosquito, do they hold requim masses for them? Observe a minute of silence or two for the fallen soldiers?
“Mutigaire Kinuthia arakuire thutha wa kuguthana head on collision na ikofi ria gusto! Aromama kwega…. ”
Then all of them will wage a revenge war against gusto. To them, I am the ‘muthungu’ killing them ruthlessly for their own soil – ah! Sorry blood. And they buzz around my ear all night long. Since I took away the life of one of their own, they will take away my peace.
Just thinking out loud. Because I want to sign a peace treaty with them. Jack Ma could u probably know?
True story before I get to Wacu. Cases of car theft are in the rise around Thika and its environs. Why would this bother me though, I have no car except for my sons toy police car? Right? Well, not any more. A friend of mine woke up to an empty garage space where he had parked his vehicle the previous night. For those of us who own cars (tihihihi hebrews 11, now faith is the assurance of things not yet seen) you will agree that this feeling is not the best. Especially if you produced to your last dime to get that car. You know he searched hadi kwa wallet yake. True story. He went back kushower just to see if he’ll wake up. May God help those guys. Pole sana. Bro.
Then last night happened and I knew I should worry about cars being stolen. Those of you who have been to my place will attest to the fact that we have one of the biggest parking spaces around. Open space all the way from the tarmac to the house. You can park anywhere… there is no limitation – in terms of fencing I mean. And until last night, this parking space was used to the maximum. Last night. I was chatting with one of those crazy friends. The one who actually inspired this story. Lets call her Nazareth today. Where Jesus lived haha.
Somewhere around midnight, akasema goodnight nkaachwa hapo na Thor RagNarok (Its a movie. Has nothing to do with Narok btw.) It ended at around 1.30 hivi when I went to bed and until kindu 2pm, I was going through the day, the chats, how the hell they shot Thor, where sugarcane gets its sweetness from and every other stupid stuff on the planet. Then noise. At first I thought it was the usual walevi who come in saa nane but this one was sober noise. The caretaker waking us up.
Apparently, some guys had decided that our parking lot was next to be deprived of its own. Cars. Si mimi warrior wa kijiji nikaitikia mwito nikatoka mbio. Just chukuwaad my kaphone and a kibat I usually keep at the door for instances as this. Out all the way from my karoom in 2nd floor. Down to the parking lot. Having heard alarm raised and the difficulties they had with the vehicles, the thieves took to their heels and left one engine raving and another car door broken.
I was among the first few people to get to the parking space determined to break someone’s neck especially with fresh memories of my friends car. By now though, neighbours had trickled out in numbers to find out what it was all about. And then it hit me. I had run out as I had been in bed. Pair of boxers. Full stop.
The journey back to my room was one long embarrassing one. Me my boxers and my bat. Fast as my steps could take me, I moved. I met ladies on those corridors. The men were already out. As I passed them, I could notice the giggles… sly especially…well, for those of you who say am not blessed, ask those ladies I met on those corridors why they were giggling. Btw I still cant get it, I was embarrassed and they were also dressed half naked, they actually come out to anika their wares on the hanging lines with shorter booty shorts.
Anywho, I got to my house, nkavaa trouser na kitshirt kingine hapo nikarudi. From the corners of my eyes, I could see them looking at me. Smiling, whispering to each other n stuff. Who cares man. Am just a warrior who wnted to save the day when their boyfriends were still sleeping.
Then the policemen came. 3 of them. Assessed the situation, asked questions and picked up some stuff the thieves had left behind. I hope they do something about it. We went back to sleep. 6.30.AM. Knock on my door. Maaaan! I just slept some minutes ago. Who knocks on your door this early. I lazily wake up and get the door. Still sleepy.
Sleep evades me completely as soon as I see who it is. Its my neighbour from across the corridor. Beautiful is understatement and I have been eyeing her since I came to this place. This morning, she just picked up her towel wrapped it up around her and knocked on my door. I think there must be a mistake. I cant help but notice all that smooth skin left bare and the way her towel is miles away from the ground. The slender legs all the way up. Her towel seems shorter than it should be thanks to the big future behind her raising it to newer heights hehe…
“Sasa Gusto, therez no wora at ma place. Could you please allow me to fetch one bucket from yuo haas ya kushawa tu?!” (The way she talks, I think she thinks she’z made it in life.) She asks with a voice you cant say no to. So I agree to her request and she tells me to give her a minute “nichukue bako nikam.”
Am staring at her as she swings her hips walking towards her place. She stops midway, turns to find my eyes fixated on that breathtaking view behind her. Splendor. haha. Blessing galore. She smiles that smiles that says more than words could.
“Btw jana I saw you. That was brave of you gusto kutoka hivo ustopishe wezi. Couldn’t help noticing though…. O.M.G aki si umebarik… ah wacha tu lemmi come..” I smile back.
“Hehee… sawa. N thank you. It was nothing. Anyone who cares would have done the same” I answer. Ofcourse tunajua hapa ni marks tunatafuta hahahaa
“Amaaa… si I can just come and shower at your place, lazima nibebane na maji all the way na kwanza yako ni hot shower? Ata kama ni baridi I think you hot enough” slyly smiling…
MY PEOPLE!! Mans Hot!! And she started walking back. This is what we call goal goal. I want to leave it at this because I have a task ahead. I want to tell a tale. Tale of how it all went down. Tale Of thunder n lightning. Fire n brimstone. Of Water n sulphur. Ndugu zangu I would have said i’ll be back shortly but shortly…. apana. Tricky sana. track record tells a different story. I’ll be back friends.
* locks the door behind him*
“Ke.. Ici Nicio Cafi cia gwakwa. ( Take, these are the keys to my house)” He said as he stretched out his hands waving a bunch of keys towards her.
“This one opens the main entrance, This one opens the kitchen door, Ino ni ya store, Ino ingi ni ya kwa nguku. Nayo ino niyo most important. Ni ya Master bedroom. Kuria urikomaga. (This one is the most important. It opens the door to the master bedroom, where you will be sleeping) Ici igiri ni cia bedroom icio ingi(These two open the other two bedrooms) na cio ici ni cia kurituhia cafi incase cingigua ninguigua” (The rest are on the bunch to add weight just in case the keys fall, you’ll hear the sound) He added in finality as he waited the slay queen to pick up the keys.
“What kind of man is this? We just met. Does he even know my second name to even start telling me about where I’ll be sleeping? Mschheeew!! Nkt!! and Four other expressions meaning the same thing.” Shie wondered to herself as she looked at the poor thing with dark sullen eyes, pupils dilated lust showing all over his face. She wondered why he had picked her out from the pack of ladies she normally walks in. Again, this kaman though, should she even give him this much airtime?
Men of class are following her left right and centre. Seeking her number like it’s their leeway to heaven. Her pack is best known for the socialites and slay queens around campus. Their mere presence in your bash is the licence to stardom. People seek them out as arsenal seeks a trophy. And now here he is. Trying to Katia the best of them all. The paradigm of beauty. She slays the slay queens themselves. Her hair is the talk of town. Her shape almost got a sophomore dead as he was overrun by a bodaboda guy as his eyes strolled after her. He was only saved because the bodaboda guy had also slowed down to have a glimpse of her behind. Her ass speaks volumes, It speaks for itself.
“Mzee, Kwanza, your coat is oversize. Secondly, I don’t know you, we just met. On a sidewalk. Do you even know what that is? Ni apa penye tumesimama. Mscheew!! Go find a kimama downtown. Kule kwa those changaa dens labda unawezapata mtu wa class yako. Look and look at me well. My class is way up here.” She stretched her hand up to the furthest it could reach.
“Yours is somewhere below those boots of yours that speak of days without water and polish. So if you excuse me, I have an appointment with the dean of faculty” She started walking away then stopped.
“Oh, and take this number. 0700845…. It’s my boyfriends. He owns that jeep over there. The one and only around here. He could give you better pick up lines….. Tukatiane 101.”
Then she walked away swaying her hips you’d think they were running on K.P.L.C generated energy. The man was already too ashamed to say a thing. Especially by the kamammoth crowd that had started forming around thanks to Shie’s loud voice. He walked fast away from the crowd towards the same direction as shie. Zoomed past her the way speed bikes overtake your matatu on Thika road. You’d think your mat is not moving. He could hear the ladies laugh sarcastically behind him.
30 mins later.
“Please come in” A voice called from inside.
Shie took her time as she always does, unbuttoned her top to reveal… well… The two hills even with all the buttons intact normally had men salivating. How about now? Then she walked in. Swaying her hips slowly and gracefully towards the dean’s desk. Her steps well articulated as though calculated. Then she stopped midway.
“Whaaat!!” She exclaimed.
There seated behind that desk was the Kaman. TF is happening? Changed into decent attire and a tie. Slyly smiling at her. That smile that says, “It’s my turn now” She felt like leaving the room. He was still seated. Composure all over him and a sense of pride lingering over his face.
“Hi beautiful, what took you so long?”
She sits on his right hand. From there she comes to judge the living. The dead have God to judge them. But here, she is the judge. Prosecutor too. Sometimes she adds up as a witness as well. Gasheri.
She sits at the right-hand side of the pulpit. Where Muhunjia Thamweli spends the best part of his Sunday. He is our man of God. A staunch follower of Christ. A perfectionist. He says we should be sinless. Perfect Beings. Offenders of the law of God face his wrath. He is the senior judge prosecutor and witness. Any matter as pertaining misconduct and non-conformity to the word is brought to him. He is ruthless in his judgement. Strictly in accordance to the word.
In some instance, he even wanted one member caught in adultery stoned. People say he is a direct descendant of the lineage of the Pharisees. He is fire and brimstone at the pulpit. Speaking vehemently especially against impurity and sexual sin. He gives direct examples of church members he has punished.Gives direct warnings to members who have questionable traits. He preaches zealously. With a vigour and gusto that can never be matched. He preaches to the point of foaming at his mouth. He sometimes loses his voice in his preachings. Enter Gasheri. She serves him water. Lemon water.
She equates herself to Mary Magdalene of the Bible. Si you know the women who served Jesus during His ministry on earth? The two have presided over many fornication cases. In all, the accused were found to have sinned. Guilty as charged. Pastor Thamweli ordered they wear sack clothes and repent outside his church office. Its the room adjacent to the church of holy waters, fire and spirit Ministry INTL. That’s our church. They were to pray kneeling after every 30 mins and standing after every 20. Two days without stopping. Those who couldn’t be ordered out of his church. Outcasts. Never to be seen anywhere close. You cannot disobey the word of the Lord.
Thamweli’s words are final. Anything he says comes from God and no one should resist or oppose it. Not even the church elders. They perfectly know this. He says that ‘sinners say he has sat on them. He doesn’t care though… The kingdom of God continues to suffer violence. He shall charge on in view of the ultimate prize. The New Jerusalem. He is determined. He says he is celibate. The man of God used to have a wife. In his previous life. Then he met Jesus. He says he left his past life behind him. And everything around it. His wife forms part of that life. He is now devoted to serving Christ. The old is gone.
Gasheri strives to be perfect. Like father like daughter. She calls him papa. Daddy. She says he is her role model. She wants to be perfect. Just as he is perfect. Just as Jesus is perfect. She ‘follows him as he follows Christ.’
She is a humble lady. Meek is an understatement. Obedient to his every word. She serves the Lord. Service to the man of God is service to God himself. Her reward is in the afterlife.
That a man of God should be unable to serve God fully due to household chores, Unacceptable. So Gasheri has set it into serving the man of God as best as she can. She gave herself up to his ministry. As Muhunjia Thamweli is out there tending to the Lord’s sheep, Gasheri is in his home. She has a personal key.
She tidies the place up, washes the dishes, his clothes and house. Then she cooks supper for him, irons the clothes and leaves before dusk. It is a sin for young women to walk at night. Thamweli has insisted time and time again. She cooks food so that the man of God just comes home and serves himself before he is off to sleep. She will come wash the dishes tomorrow. Men of God need the energy to partake their tasks. And who would want her papa unable to take care of his duties due to a burn he got when trying to turn ugali as he cooked?
Last Thursday, Ushirika was at Pastor’s house. Being the celibate man he is, Gasheri knew her area of ministry and headed to the pastor’s place early enough. Tea and snacks were ready hours before shirika la wateule members started trickling into the man of God’s house. And Pastor Thamweli took the time to advise Gasheri about purity. Chastity and Sinlessness. Then the Shirika people came. Song, dance, The word, Tea and then they left at their own pleasure. Gasheri had the busiest of days. She was left to clean up after the washirika. Alone. The pastor saw the guests off one by one. Until the last one left. At this point, he just wanted to go slump his now fatigued body on his bed and sleep. He opted, however, to check on Gasheri first.
Right there in his kitchen, Pastor’s eyes were opened. How comes he had never seen this beauty, Gasheri had curves and edges. Her waist thin as grass strands (sijui ka zinakuwaga thin am just trying kuwa poetic haha) Her backside was humongous. She reminded him of his previous life. Nevertheless, It didn’t matter at the moment. The view was breathtaking. Her hips,
“Oh My God Shikantalalaa….”
Thamweli could not hold his tongue. Gasheri looked back just in time to see the pastor gazing at her behind as an African kid gazes at a mzungu.
“Gasheri tigana na indo icio. Man of God needs Message.” That’s what they call massage in our village. 6.30PM.
It’s 9.00AM Friday Morning. Pastor Thamweli is not yet up. Neighbours say they did not sleep well last night. Noises from the pastor’s house were disturbing. They think he was praying. For the country, elections, NASA and Jubilee.
Mama Gasheri is knocking at the pastor’s door. With her are the Assistant Pastor, Area Chief and two policemen. They want to find out if the pastor has knowledge of where Gasheri went after leaving the pastors house last night. They have been standing there for the last 1 or so hours. However, No one seems to be opening the door any soon. The pastor must have been too tired from last evenings Ushirika. Wagasheri is not planning to leave any soon. She needs to know where to start searching for her daughter. I hear they want to break into the pastor’s house. He might be ill or something.
I am seated on the other end of the road facing pastor Thamwelis house. A pen and book scribbling down the occurrences as they happen. From this end, I can see the curtains to Pastor’s house moving in small bits. As if someone from the inside is trying to check what is happening outside. The officers are searching for something to use to break the door open.
Nitazidi kukujulisha matukio kadri yanavyotujia mahali hapa. Kwako studio.
They say you can get a villager from the village. But the village from the villager, that’s a different issue altogether. Meet Kiarie. Village weddings, Kwa Nguku village, Nakuru County.
Back in the village, it’s the rice that matters in wedding ceremonies. What else do you gain from weddings? The bride is not yours, the bridegroom is not yours, the bridesmaid is your sister, other bridesmaids are too young for your age. The one that seems a little bit mature you hear is from Nairobi. She has this kacity accent whose origin you cant fully comprehend. She refers to God as Guard. Ati
“oh my guaaard its beaurifu”
And you are wondering si aseme tu oh my Goood!! Alaaa!! I think she thinks she has made it in life. Self-actualization. Haha. She has this kiguy (I think he is also from the city) all over her. They don’t do Swahili. English is their main. They keep on whispering tuthings to each other and laughing. I think he is trying to make a statement here. You, therefore, have no option but rice. Cake is for the chosen few whose parents and the cake matron know each other.
Rice is served after the official union of groom n bride. They are supposed to hold hands all the way from that moment to their honeymoon. With the brides gown-tail on the groom’s shoulder. As they leave for a photo session to one of those gardens in your village that is used by all new couples in town, you line up for what brought you here. It’s what takes you to weddings. Rice. It’s now your area of expertise.
You line up among the first ten or so guys so that it will give you ample time to work on your plate and still go back for a second share on time. You are holding two plates just in case the line ends and you are not done with your plate for round two. Students from Lower Subukia C.D.F self-sponsored Jitegemee P.T.A secondary school (Esther Joj‘s school) call it paper two.
In case you still make it on time, paper 3 will be an added advantage. Tripple blessings. There is a person on the other end of the Sufuria serving everyone. You tell them that one plate belongs to your grandmother sitting in church. Ati she is too old to come to the line. Deep inside, you are laughing because your grandmother lives five counties away. She is probably winnowing millet with not a clue of where you are. You find a secluded place, set one plate aside. Hidden. Hold on the other to start working on it. Then you decide to first find your best friend Kiarie. You need to show him your prowess in dealing with matters food. Set the plate next to the other safely hidden and leave.
In such a wedding, there are people and then there are very important people. People serve where you have just come from. V.I.P have their place. A table set aside specifically for them. They call it High Table. Here, the bridal party, relatives of the spouses and ‘Men of Guard’ are served. This table is no ordinary place. Children are supposed to stay 400 metres away. Elections style. Here they eat like kings and queens. All kinds of food you have ever wished for. Masquerading as a member of the bridegrooms family, Kiarie the genius has his plate full of these goodies. You have no prowess to brag about now. The guru himself ousted you on your own game. You want to pick a plate as well and pull a Kiarie stunt as well. The high table matron has something different for you though,
“Kijana hii ni ya bridal party na familia. Yenu iko ire pade igine” she says.
You want to add that you are the cousin to the nephew of the bride’s grandmother’s son’s but she adds in finality;
“Si wewe ni wa mama gatheca ule wa makaa?! “
Saitaaan!! You walk back to where Kiarie is and lead him to where you left your two plates but Alas!! Except for the bones on the ground, evidence of someone having had a sumptuous meal minutes ago, there are two empty plates safely tucked behind the leaves. Some boys from the village are standing some metres away looking at you. They look suspicious. That’s all you can say about them.
All is not lost though. The devil is a liar. The people’s line has not ended. You pick yourself up fast and join it.
“Wewe hujakula wewe? Si nilikuona hapa na sahani mbili?” The lady serving asks.
You hurriedly explain to her how you had to give your second plate to a guuka who was sitting next to your grandmother. She praises your selflessness. She says you deserve two plates.
Whaaaat!! Kiarie gotta here this.
Misery just went a notch higher
You pick up a second plate before she changes her mind. You hurriedly brush the praises off saying its part of social responsibility. And anyone in your shoes could have done the same. Deep inside you still have a grudge with those boys. If only you could have evidence of their involvement in bringing you misery. Then you look at the Sufurias. Empty apart from one. The one with cabbages. That’s the only thing everyone in the line is being served.
“Msijali hio harusi ingine tutapika mingi.” She says.
Your legs are now shaking. A tear is quickly forming on your left eye. You shrug it off fast. No strength left in your limbs. The reality is hitting hard on you. You didn’t see this coming. It’s your turn to get served.
“Heh! Kijana wetu. That was heroic of you. Advice vijana wenzako… ” You, however, cant even hear what she is saying. You place the plates on the table instead…
“Ama wacha tu.” You say as you leave the line. Downcast is an understatement. You feel defeated.
Walk of shame
Go to check on Kiarie see if he will give at least some bite of what he has left on his plate. He is on his last chunk of meat before dropping the plate on the ground. He says he wants to mourn with you. The serious grumpy face you put on cannot help though. He bursts out laughing. First bits then uncontrollable. He has one statement for you amidst the laugh. You know the situation is funny. You could laugh too. only the victim today is you. So you just look at him.
“Enyewe siku ya nyani kukufa miti yote huteleza…hahahaha” He says as he signals you that its time to go home. You agree with him. The activity that brought you here just disappointed you. So you walk towards the church gate. Thinking of whose wedding is next. Then you look at Kiarie.:
“Ata sijaskia vibaya by the way”
Last Sunday was historic. One of the Sundays my village church and my church pastor especially will always remember.Githingi gave his life to Jesus.
This brings me to Githingi. Githingi is our local butcher. If you remember well, I come from one of those villages where each member is known by everyone. Those that own Shops and other businesses in the area are the affluent and most prominent. They have a special place in the leadership of the community. This is not, however, trying to say my village is somewhere in shags interior. Am just saying we are one of the few closely knit communities in the country.
Our village is developed. Muchina General Merchants is where we charge our mobile phones from. His is the only building with access to electricity. From our place, you don’t walk for long before you get to the tarmac. Just some miles. Fairly developed. C.D.F also saved us when they erected a big kifloodlight at the centre of the village. It lights our way up from stage to your home.
Githingi owns the only butchery in the vicinity. Thus he is well-known by every villager. Children to adults. Most of his clients are the business owners. They carry meat home almost daily. We the village members visit him during important days such as when Maraga is making a ruling. Or when Chebukati is announcing the winner. In other days, once in a while especially the few first days of the month when the pockets are itching, we treat ourselves. Our pastor was one of his prominent customers. Either he got free meat from Githingi ama he uses our tithes and offering to buy his chunk. We have not seen him there since Sunday though.
Another reason Githingi is well-known is due to his character. Part of the reason our pastor gives for visiting him often is that he has tried to win his soul to Christ.
Githingi has a crazy appetite for women. His energy for women is way above average. His taste makes it worse. He is inclined towards married women. Particularly those that seem to have added a little weight especially on the back side. This is Ironical going by his slim body and few pieces of flesh covering his bones. Rumour has it that when he takes off his shirt, his back seems to have a hump due to the visible bones protruding out. Some say he is H.I.V positive with his appetite for women and his wanting weight. He has been in several fights with the women’s husbands. He has a way to pull himself out of their grip. I think he pays up with chunks of meat.
Sunday. 10.30A.M. The praise and worship team is leading the congregation to Christ through their melodious voices and uplifting songs.
“Ihiga ria tene mah! Nigwihiitha hari weee….”
Wagaceru, our Pastors wife, is particularly moved. She is lifting her hands up. Tears rolling down her eyes as she cries out to the Lord. Mr Wangombe the choirmaster is seated. He seems deep in thought. Like he is thinking about his past week and his walk with the Lord. Mwangi’s voice can be heard from a far distance. He is praying for his wife. Does he have one? No. He is praying for one. Mwangi is a milk vendor at the village. At some points in his prayers, he throws in two-three words in the language of the spirit. People say he is not genuine with his praying in tongues. Ati he copies what he hears others say. He particularly turns up his volume when praying in tongues and comes down with his normal prayer for his wife.
Then the pastor stood up. Pastor Mahungu. Everyone went silent.
“Baba wa majeshi, Mungu wa Miungu…. Nitwacokia Ngaaatho……”
He led in his normal prayer. We are used to the same words every Sunday. Children actually pray together with him word by word. He has been our pastor for the last 13 years. Then he summoned us to sit down before pulling out his Bible to preach vehemently for the next one hour. People started opening up their bags taking out their notebooks. Murmurs here, Whispers there, Sounds of zips opening and closing.
All over sudden, it was all silent. Pin drop silence. I looked up from my Phone (I was using the Bible App LOL) to find out what exactly had gone wrong. Am not used to such kind of silence. Alas!! Githingi had come out of nowhere. He walked up the aisle all the way to where Pastor Mahungu the Rt Reverend was. He was whispering something to Him. The church was curious. The village sinner had come to church. Men were silently pulling up their necks checking on the women’s side searching for the whereabouts of their women. Their wives. Some women were hiding their faces. Others were visibly worried. Then the pastor started speaking….
” Halleluyah!! Today is a great day…”
Phewks!! The women looked up.
Pastor Mahungu looked happy. Excited is an understatement.
“Praise the Lord. Good news comes to Our church today. Our brother Githingi wants to give his life to Christ….”
Ululations started from the back. Jubilation everywhere. Left-right and Centre. The men were specifically overjoyed from the noises that could be heard.
“Heh Atreast WaKamau wakwa niekuhorera. Nithengiu mwathani!!” (Heh! Thank God my Wakamau will now calm down) Mathenge wa makara was overheard saying.The choirmaster started a song from the back.
” Kuna kitu leo nyumbani mwa baba” everyone joined in.
The men walked to the front hugged him welcoming him to the Kingdom of Light. It was merry. The youth joined the singers at the front in song and Dance. Joy filled the air. The next one hour was song and dance.
The pastor decided that was enough for the day. We needed not the word of God today and that the service would end with a prayer for Githingi and him testifying of how he had left the kingdom of the dark.
Rt Pastor Mahungu led in the prayer. Church members Said Amen in agreement after every of the pastor’s statement. Some, Amen” Some “Ndio baba.” “Sande yes” was Mwami’s kibwagizo. After a 15mins Long prayer, It was Githingis time to testify:
“Bwana Yesu asifiwe, Kwa majina naitwa Githingi na leo nimemkubali bwana Yesu kama mwokozi wa maisha yangu…”
“Lakini kabla niketi, niko tu na confession kadhaa ambazo nahisi moyoni siwezikosa kuguzia”
“Sitataja wamama wa kanisa hii nyinyi wote mnajua huo upande wangu na umepita kutoka leo. Wazee mjihisi sasa salama kwasababu mimi ni kiumbe kipya.” He started.
“Nataka kusema nimekuwa miaka kadhaa sasa nikiwauzia nyama ya punda Monday. Tuesday nilikuwa naleta nyama ya dogi. Zile mbwa hupotea huku mimi ndiye nmechukua kadhaa ata ile iligongwa na gari last week.”
Pin drop silence. The pastor started speaking in tongues…
“RIMASHAKANTALABBAZIKANTA…..” Githingi went on unmoved.
“Ire mutura nyi hupenda pare, mrisikia paka ya wakiragu iripotea, mingi huwa ya paka. Ndio maana huwa mnaskia ikiwa na chumvi natural hivyo…”
“SHAKANTALALALAZIKANTOROBOO….” The pastor went on. By now it was all silence in the church with most women holding their hands close to the heart…
“Ningependa kuendelea wandugu na wadada lakini kwa ajiri ya muda sitaendelea kuhusu zile nyama za frog nawauziaga kama gizzard…. Lakini kutoka leo nimebadilika ntaanza kuleta ngombe na mbuzi juu sikuwa nazo kwa stock yangu. Asanteni”
The Church was silent for the next one minute or so. Githingi sat, said his last prayer and left. Mama Msoh a vicious customer to Githingi was next after him. She left holding her stomach. One by one people left. Visibly disturbed by the testimony.
The pastor was still at the front when everyone left. Still speaking in tongues…. I felt his pain especially since I used to see him at the butchery almost daily. When I left, He was still praying.
I visited the butchery Yesterday. Deserted cant really describe the place that once was the heartbeat of our village. Since Monday, he tells me he has made sales to only two customers. I had to buy something to promote his business. I gifted it to Kiarie.
“Rakini Gusto me sijali. Nirigive roho yangu kwa Mungu na yeye Shetani akaingia. Haya mambo ni Majaribu tu yataisha,” Githingi told me.
I nodded in agreement as I left the premise towards the village mama mboga.
Nyeri Woman. For those of you who know Ts well, You will agree with me that you can spot a Nyeri man as you walk the paths of wherever you are. Using TS as my case study, I will tell you features of a Nyeri man. That is if men from that part of our beautiful nation will agree with me. If not, that only confirms my doubt about Ts and manhood haha.
Anytime you see Ts, he either has his hands somewhere in front of his trousers or has a bag hang hiding the same place. Ts has a high regard for women. I put it as that because I don’t want to say he fears them.Anytime you catch Ts in the midst of women, he seems like a cock that has come from a heavy downpour. Let me leave Ts as at that for now.
I went to visit Ts last weekend at his rural home. Somewhere between Karatina and Nyeri Town. Seeing him for business matters was the reason I used for the visit. I, however, wanted to confirm whether what I hear about Nyeri women is true. Back in campus, T.S says he lives in Town. Speaks with this heavy English accent throwing in Sheng and English slang terms in his conversations. Only his Rs and Ls sometime seem to conflict.
Well, brothers and sisters, today I want to assure you that from TS’ place to Nyeri town, Mwathani!! You know you just go and go. And when you are done going, you continue going. You go, brothers and sisters, Telkom and its free WhatsApp vanish… you go on… go go go go… until Safaricom network is not available. Once this happens, walk another 4Kms and you are at his place… The only matatus there are these long gone face me pick up mats. Rusty is an understatement.
In one of these is where I met my Nyeri Mama. Nyeri Woman. Short, plump with a behind bigger than the future of Kenya’s Judiciary system. She sat on the face me matatu bench directly opposite mine. With the ban of plastics, I took her Kiondo for the replacement. It was old though. Beaten by age and dirt. When she came into the matatu, I was the only passenger. Well, she was good-looking I’d say. Curves and edges especially. She seemed heavy though. When she sat on the opposite side I felt like the van was going to overturn to that side.
“Hi…” she waved. Cheeky smile. As if she was inviting me to something more. Good Lord. Are these those that met Wacu at the shamba?
“Hi… Good evening. How are you?” I drained down all the English accent I have copied from TS. She seemed flattered. With this direction of talk and the smiles am now receiving, I might as well forego seeing Ts today.
“Am well. Am Stella. My friends call me S.T.L.” She said.
“Wow… Nice name. Am Gusto. My friends call me G.S.T” I responded trying to make fun.
The smile faded away. Wololo mwathani!! sasa kiherehere ilikuwa ya nini? Si I could just have given her all my names in one kisentence. I still don’t get it why people laugh. But this could have worked out here. Sasa izi ni nini nimejiletea? Nkt!! The silence was now disturbing. I had just lost a chance for meaningful engagement with a Nyeri lady. And from the look of things, this was headed somewhere. You never know. God could use such a matatu to bring good tidings to your life. Right? I thought for ages how to break the ice that had now solidified into stone. As I was busy drooling over what to say, she looked up.
Hell Breaks Loose
“Mimi by the way hutu tumat, I don’t board them. I usually take an Uber. Am headed to my grandma’s place. I live in Nairobi. I work at K.R.A. We work with D.J Moh there. He is the secretary and me, me I am just officer for bribing. They usually send me to go and teach some classes. You know they gave Githeri man a Job? And me I am the one who had cooked that Githeri and they did not call me…”
Her English was fast pacing away from her. I could feel her struggles within. She wanted to make an impression. The English slowly failing her. By now, I couldn’t get what she does let alone where she does it. Worse still, Dj Moh anaingilia wapi na usecretary? None of my business though. She went on.
“Even Chris brown usually visit with Minjiminji for Kirinyaga. Last week, they gave Maraga a standing aviation for ruling Uhuru won.”
“Even me I sit in supreme court with Phiromena Muilu. They usually pay me a lot of money to advise them. I have not bought a car because my driver lost with my first one….”
My eyes get opened
Lost as you are, I could now see how beautiful she wasn’t. Her dress was torn somewhere on the waistline. She had fingernails that seemed to have seen manicure during world war 2. Her eyelashes were something by themselves. With the invent of eye shadow and eye pencil, Hers must have been something close to eye ghost and eye charcoal. Her feet seemed to have undergone a sad phase in life with one following the bow-legged angle and the other not sure where to point at. Her one foot had a flat shoe while the other had the other pair. Only this other one was high-heeled. Ask me about it.
By now, my smile had long vanished. Wishing that she either stops talking to me lest someone comes and finds me engaging such and takes my ego down. As I wished for this, Another Nyeri woman boarded the matatu. She was also carrying a kiondo. She sat on the side that I was sitting. At least I felt the kamat balance towards my side. Then she noticed the lady still talking to me smiling.
“Aaaaaa… Ciku, ni wewe?!! Heh! Na umepotea. Unajua tangu upate ire miiba ya piri ya Ndegwa sijawahikuona tena. Kazi ya makaa inakupereka aje? Na huyu ni nani? Ama ndiye baba ya mtoto wa tatu. Unajua wewe na wanume mnaperekanaga hifi…”
She waved her hand with her pointing and middle finger crossed together. Ciku nodded as if in agreement. Then she looked my way.
“Habari yako kijana?”
Jeeeesu!! This is going to be one long ride.
Lakini some vibes r just so lame. Whereas that is true, there still are some sane ones. Say for instance, i cant live without you. That’s correct depending on the tone, environment and audience. This has always worked for me until the day the laugh of my life nyaguthie left me for a half-baked university graduate with money inherited from his late father. she said she is now Taken. Issokay. I have since moved on.
Memories of the day have never departed from my mind though. We had just come from church.
“leo ukidrum nliona ukiangalia ciku ure wa mama kahuthu.” She started.
The tone and eyes I was treated to told me the long-awaited day had come. I have seen the way she smiles when a text comes in from ‘mama wa kunde’. That’s how she has saved the number that keeps on texting her. The English however i see those few moments i peep from my seat does not add up to a mama mboga somewhere even from Lavington.
So when she raised this Ciku issue, I knew she was just finding a way to get out of my kabox that could hardly take her out for lunch. The furthest out I’ve taken her is at Wakanesa kafe. We just took Mandazi and long tea. You know that tea u don’t understand whether it’s the milk that’s missing ama the sugar. Ama both. Ama its the tea leaves? Before u get to the bottom of whats missing, you already at the bottom of your cup.
The Mandazi we took was one. I told the guy serving us to bring one and cut it, split it, dissect it into two parts. I thought this was more romantic than everyone having their own mandazi. Its romantic right? Well, not for my mbiulifu Nyaguthie. She took me for a micer who cant even spend his money on his woman. Ghai!! I refrained from taking her out afterwards.
“Aiiii… Ciku mgani Nyagu? Mimi ata kanisa nkidrum ni wewe tu huwa naangalia. ” i tried defending myself.
“nyamasa. Nirikuona fisuri sana. Na nilikua sure ni yeye juu ya hio top yake hapa juu clifange irikuwa inaonekana. Najua hio macho yako vizuri sijapatana nayo leo” she retorted.
Mwathani!! Mtu anasemanga nini ikifikia hapo?
Well, i could have continued defending myself. Say something like “ata si yeye nlikua naangalia. Symoh TS alikuwa kando yake na alikua na drum sticks zangu.” but i remembered i told her to help me carry my sticks on our way to church. Saitaan!!
“Baby si hivyo…”
“si hivyo niaje… Mimi siwesi enderea kuishi na wewe… ”
“Beb u know I only have eyes for you. I Love you. You know I can’t go a day without you… I would die without you… ” I tried.
Brothers and sisters let me tell you. Never try that line on Nyaguthie if you are the mama wa kunde she chats with. A few lines and my love life doomed. Rock bottom conversation going all the way south.
“Njuu kabra nikuje urikua wapi?… unajua ni masali wagapi wananifuata wewe?” She shouted back.
Well, except for Kamau wa Makara who used to give her charcoal for free sometime back, I don’t know of any other. I remember i had secretly approached Kamau and thrown on him all the kalittle English I know of in that conversation. That was the end of the free makara. And now the ‘mama wa kunde’ who I have been investigating.But just to do away with the drama that had already started inviting the attention of my neighbours (they seem to eavesdrop on every conversation we have with my Nyagu) I said wengi and knelt to seek for mercy and Grace.
Did I just say Mercy and Grace? Yes Mercy and Grace out there, and any other woman who feels for me, I hereby declare my single status. I have not yet changed on Facebook just in case Nyaguthie sees it and brings back more drama as she comes to pick up her stuff. She left me there on my knees that day. I hear she is spotted hand in hand with a certain elderly man in our village. The last time I called her, she said i should hang up because she left me and she is already taken. She even added that I should declare myself an independent candidate. Brothers and sisters, Mercy and Grace, I also today officially declare I am also TAKEN. For granted. I need a different taking.