They say that ‘Īganagūo yaari iria yagwa.’ And yes it’s true and as MJ sang and said its human nature, I’ll take these few minutes to remember your life as the Third President of the Republic of Kenya. My heart is heavy as I write this. I won’t say that you’ve gone too soon because the Almighty God has given you nine decades on this planet. You’ve been a true son of the soil and of the mountain. I still remember how we’d listen to the radio during the 1992 multiparty elections while crossing our fingers in earnest wish for a miracle that did not happen. Again in 1997 we didn’t it again. We listened to the radio more our hearts beating duk duk duk like isukhuti drums. Again the miracle did not happen. However in 2002 against all odds and on a wheel chair you took the powerful oath to office. That was the point that we can clearly point out that Kenya came closest to, ‘ May we dwell in unity, peace and liberty, plenty be found within our borders.’ You brought a wealth of economic knowledge and applied it to trigger exponential growth in the GDP. You brought free primary education and dignity to those living below the poverty line. You also started infrastructural development albeit without the Chinese debts. And that time of promulgation of the Kenyan constitution, your zenith. I wonder how you felt about the BBI🤔 Even though your second term did not go smoothly as we’d hoped, you are the best that Kenya has had. We still miss to hear, ‘hiyo ni pumbavu ya mavi ya kuku,’ but more so your queen English. I believe that you can still read this from where you are. Shine on your way. Dance with the Angels and with Lucy in the sky with diamonds. Till we meet again.
A recent visit to my mother had me reminisce about some tales she used to tell us when we were growing up. There was this goat that used to get pregnant on the knee. I don’t know if the slogan, ‘nīauna mbūri yeene iru’ he has broken someone’s goat’s knee, a phrase that was used when referring to a son of Jeroboam impregnating a daughter of Jezebel, came from this story. You know back in the days if you broke a girls knee you either married her by fire by force or you paid the father a handsome amount in terms of goats. Try jumping and the council of elders would be sent to your house to coerce you into accepting the results of exploring ‘the river between.’ Not so nowadays a son of Jeroboam will jump pregnancy only to appear when said kid becomes famous. So back to the goat whose knee had given birth to triplets. The goat would leave her kids to go browsing so that when she came back her teats were loaded with milk and the kids would have a day suckling in the abundance of the not so scarce milk. Remember our Kenyan milk shortage. Those kids were dynasties when it came to milk. So their mother being aware of the dangers lurking around would admonish the kids not to open the door for strangers. She was as musical as all goats can be. You know those creatures can get to your nerves when they decide to bleat. So mama goat would arrange her kids like a full orchestra with her doubling as the bass and the orchestra conductor. They’d start like doh…, do, re, mi, fa, so……. ‘karu gakwa kanandongia, kanangerekia, kanjiariire, twana twiri, twana tūtatū, kamwe ngītua, Nyamathirīti, Nyamatua thonjo, Njiru yakwaa hingurira.’ My knee has made me rich and prosperous. She has borne me two kids, three kids, one I named, Nyamathirīti, the other Nyamatua thonjo, my Njiru open for me. Any time mama Billy sang this song the kids would open and no sooner had they opened than they’d scramble and fight to suckle. Now the ogre was not far away from their homestead and would be salivating at the thought of capturing the triplets. He’d have one for breakfast, one for lunch and the last one for diner. So he started practicing the song and came and started singing outside the goat’s compound. What he didn’t know is that the kids knew mama’s voice and were not lured into opening for the ogre. He went away sulking after realising that they wouldn’t open for him. You know what our Good Lord also said, ‘my sheep know my voice and I know them and they follow me.’ So right now as we continue to drown further and further into this bottomless pit of politics can we discern the voice of truth? Just a question. For now lemmi massage my knee. Nasikia kama nimevunjwo 🤣🤣
What do I remember about Easter. Of course I remember the Safari Rally that took place countrywide. I also remember those movies/ cinemas that were aired in the night. That movie machine and the sound it would make as we all gazed at the white bed sheet that acted as a screen. By the way this reminds me of that bronze snake that Moses made and the Israelites were ordered to look unto it once the dessert vipers striked their ankles. I think the whole looking up is significant of looking at the rugged cross and casting all our cares unto Him. The nightflies would of course be attracted to the screenlight and they would in turn display their own show of fireworks which would distract us from focusing on the cinema. That’s the same way that earthly things can take our focus from the one and only King of Kings. The narrator would go on explaining what was happening in simple terms as if we couldn’t understand the movie just by watching. That movie/cinema was enough to make us steal each others coins/ mama’s change hidden in the then piggy bank/ mattress. I still remember how Peter ran of stick, ‘rīa kamuti’ when he heard of the good news of His rising. As I think about that old rugged cross and the debt it paid for me, I can’t help but sing these Chris Tomlin lyrics: ‘Is anyone worthy? Is anyone whole? Is anyone able to break the seal and open the scroll? The Lion of Judah who conquered the grave. He was David’s root and the Lamb who died to ransom the slave Is He worthy? Is He worthy? Of all blessing and honor and glory Is He worthy of this? He is.
Ziplining at the flying fox in Kereita, the forest indeed makes you feel like a flying fox except I only know of flying squirrels from my National Geographic escapades. It makes you feel like that Kairītu karīa twarī ndūgū ndaakona Dagoretti Corner (The Great Corner) kahaicīte mabati igūrū kaugage ni ndege. That girl really had goals; goals of complete make over, flying Kenya Airways, holding bashes and what have you. She was a real gal toto that one or a slay queen or a socialite whatever you’d like to call her. I haven’t been able to achieve any of her dreams because, let’s face it, she was my friend and as they say, show me your friends and I’ll show you what kind of a person you are; I’m a dreamer too, only that my dreams seem to be like Joseph’s before they manifest;Slavery, jail but eventually the stars (brothers) finally bowed at him. Anyway, even though my dreams haven’t actualised, I keep dreaming and enjoy this flight as the wind hits on my nostrils, while at the same time resisting my momentum. You see I’d really like to launch at the speed of a rocket, just like I’d love for my dreams to launch and gaze at the trees below me as they appear like minute fellows from up here. See you at the end of the zipline where we carry back our dreams upon our shoulders.
Flying Fox at The Forest is East-Africa’s longest zip line tour, offering over 2.2km of flight across the lush Kereita forest, just 1 hour from Nairobi city centre. Kereita is a settlement in Kenya’s Central Province. A Few kilometers from Kimende Town, into the Kereita Village, is a Forest maintained by Kijabe Environment Volunteers (KENVO). One can find trails into the forest as well as a Waterfall. Source: Wikipedia
They say that common sense is not common to everyone and that if you are bestowed with said gift, it becomes a burden when you are sorrounded by people without. That is why they taught such stories as ‘kaka sungura na wenzake.’ lakini mbona hii bias ya girlchild ilianza mapema hivyo? You mean they couldn’t write about dada sungura na wenzake? Anyway back to the story; in case you’ve forgotten here’s the refresher. A story was written a long time ago about a brother hare and her siblings; Every time the mother left them to go look for nuts and such things as hares eat, the sly fox would be hiding in a nearby bush and would come out to demand that they do a certain chore for him. On this occasion, Mr Fox demanded that they cut a sugarcane for him. If they failed he’d have to chew them for lunch. The hares struggled to push the sugarcane to bring it down to no avail. Then in the nearby woods, they heard it sshhhh… kaka sungura admonished the siblings to keep quiet. A little bluebird crouched on a tree twig sang, ‘je hamnayo meno x2, ya kukata muwa nayo?’ Then it dawned on them that they were gnawing mammals and that they were endowed with very sharp incisors. The took turns to gnaw at the sugarcane and managed to fall it with a mighty thud and took it to Mr Fox just before lunchtime. Moral of the story: now that the primaries are here with us, fellow Kenyans, don’t we have the teeth (vote) to send ‘these foxes’ back to sender? Even good old King Solo in his wisdom said, ‘let us get rid of the foxes, yeah the little foxes that spoil our vineyards.’ Even though these foxes are mighty big our vote is mighty bigger. Then again as I said in the beginning, common sense is not common to everyone. Ngaenda hivi ngakula muwa. Even as I write this pump prices have skyrocketed.
There’s that book pale high school we used to call farewell book. We used to trick our teachers into giving us new books when the term was just about to end. Then when learning stopped, you’d pluck the few used pages and use the remaining part for the farewell. A lot of effort was used into taking the book round ensuring all your friends wrote sweet nothings. There were various formats but what I remember having read from my sister’s farewell back in the days was; favourite dish: paraffinated mūkish. Turns out I also became a partaker of said meal when I joined Can Go Free. The cateress must have advised the school’s management that in order to reduce hysteria/libido in girls, they needed to add some paraffin in the food. I can just imagine the school’s cateresses queueing in petrol stations during this fuel shortage to acquire the much sort after ingredient. Thank God schools are closed. I don’t know whether that’s the reason we turn into fossil fuels (crude oil) when we die? Now back to my farewell book and the various rounds I beat. I traversed like Haggar when Sarah asked father Abraham to send her away. From the pavements, to the roundabouts, to the assembly grounds, to the dorms looking for friends to tell me a lie, because let’s face it; most of it were lies. I was like the nobody can stop reggae team looking for signatures to endorse the BBI initiative. Then like the high court stopped reggae, someone stole my farewell book😭😭 Now if I get a chance with St Peter to stand at the Pearly gates make sure to use the panya route, because if I know you are the one who stole that book, I won’t allow you to pass. I’m that grudgeous. Grudgen’t I?
So Skippy didn’t wake me up today. I bet you are wondering who Skippy is. It’s neither the Australian Kangaroo nor some peanut butter brand. Skippy is actually my neighbor upstairs. She decided to shed off some weight through weight loss routines which include but may not be limited to skipping in the wee hours of the morning. The first time it happened I was so pissed I was literally gritting my teeth so as not to bite my tongue. I don’t know how many of you love morning sleep but I happen to be one of those people whose eyes refuse to open in the morning no matter how many sleeping hours I’ve had. There’s something about that sleep that is too deep and delightful to fathom. So you can imagine how I felt when I heard her galloping directly above me. The first thing to cross my mind was to cast a wish upon a star that the earth would open up and swallow her. I guess it sounds familiar to have such wishful thinking but then I realized that I’d be the first person to be swallowed if a genie fulfilled my crazy wish. Secondly I realized that the stars were slowly fading in the light of the dawn. So as it is, all I can do is cross my fingers and hope that she’ll soon be tired of seeing no visible change in her Murang’a ridges and I will go back to enjoying my morning slumber. Otherwise if she continues enduring, I might also have to swallow the bitter pill and buy a skipping rope, don’t they say that when life offers you orange you should make lemonade. After all it might be in my interests to lose a few Murang’a ridges. Meanwhile stay positive and lift weights.
My granny told me that when she went to tumutumu mambere when the missionaries laid base there, they used to be told that, ‘mathiī kūnyua maaī na ciongo cia andū. They have gone to drink water with people’s heads. The head in this case was the bowl which came in an array of colours but red seemed to be the most dominant. For some reason this bowl got a very noble role in the school feeding program otherwise known as soup row. I don’t know why it was christened that way, or if that’s even the correct spelling. I guess it was because you had to queue in an endless line before you got your share of a few monocotyledons (maize) and dicotyledons (beans) in an endless river of soup and floating ‘thuthis’ weevils babies.Yeah that’s what comprised our lunch those days, yet the minutes before lunchtime always seemed to drag by. In the morning we had to carry a Jerry can of water for cooking purposes. That meant when it was your class’ turn to supply water for the soup row, It was either you carry tap water or river water. That doesn’t mean that some people didn’t take Kīria’s (swamp water) or that some boy child didn’t pee in the water. When you know you know 😉. So mama Esther may she continue RIP ensured that we were well taken care of. The soup was always ready when the bell rang but the queue was always too long. Some big boys could manage to ‘kuonoranio’ (empty) one bowl’s contents into the other and render someone else mealless. The tears that flowed when you reached the end of the line only to be told the food was over 😭😭 Sometimes though mama Esther would have mercy on you and give you some of the teacher’s food. That was soup row, thin and in plenty with a few oil drops shining here and there. Still we survived and still we chronicle albeit with chubby cheeks despite all that soup. I guess the thuthis (baby weevils) played a vital role.
Palm Sunday and the triumphant entry into the Holy city reminds me of my Sunday school days and the Sunday school competitions well covered in my previous chronicle the scramble https://thechroniclesofnyarkaheti.com/2022/01/22/the-scramble/ Well there was this time when the competition was about the triumphant entry. Everything from the choral verse, the set piece, the drama and the folk tune revolved around that theme. We’d flock in church most afternoons to prepare for the much awaited competitions. Mostly the hype was about the half loaf and the juice that our peristalsis movements would enjoy that day. This was clearly demonstrated by the turnout on the last day. The Sunday school’s teacher’s kid would of course enjoy playing Jesus, the others would mostly play the disciples carrying twigs in place of palm leaves and the Jews questioning Jesus. Palms were not common on the slopes of the mountain but somehow my Catholic altar boys friends would always get them. Where from, I don’t know. Gakware and her quiet self would most definitely play the stone that Jesus referred to when He said, ‘if they keep quiet, these stones will praise me.’ I definitely miss those days and mostly that Swahili choral verse; Basi walipokaribia Bethifage na Bethania, kwenye mlima uitwao wa Mizeituni, Aliwatuma wawili katika wale wanafunzi akiwaambia, nendeni katika kijiji kile kinachowakabidhi na mtakapoingia ndani, mtamuona mwanapunda, ambaye hajapandwa na mtu yeyote bado, mfungueni mkamlete hapa, na kama mtu atawauliza, mbona mnamfungua mwanapunda? Mwambieni, Bwana ana haja naye… My memory has reached there, nisaidieni hapo pengine. Happy palm Sunday.
Once upon a time, gakware and her sisters went to cut nappier grass for my pet Nyange. If you’ve not read my chronicle stronger here’s the link. http://thechroniclesofnyarkaheti.com/2022/02/07/stronger/ So gakware is minding her own business and singing at the top of her lungs like she’s preparing to audition for Tusker project fame, America’s got talent or Nigerian Idol. I can already picture Judge Ian and Nigel standing in ovation. The song is quite absorbing and I’m lost in the lyrics and those divine declarations. ‘ Hata niwe rubani, hata niwe dereva, nitakutumikia siku zangu za maisha.’ which translates, whether I be a pilot or a driver I will serve you for the rest of my life.’ I’m really connecting with the heavenly realm until Shiz decides to break the spell by asking me, ‘rubani ni nani?’ Hapo ndio ngapatwa na mbumbuwazi, sijui rubani ni nani. So I decided to use logic. If dereva is a driver and dereva is usually accompanied by a conductor, then definitely rubani must be a conductor (tout.) Ndio mimi huyo roho juu as all tūkwares and blurted out, ‘rubani is a conductor.’ Asusena and Mugz waliokotwa chini, They laughed so hard until saliva decided to choke them. But they deserved that, they didn’t even find it necessary to educate my ignorant self and there was no Google to help me. I learnt a great lesson back there, today if you use a difficult word, I just pretend to know the meaning and then sneak a peek at my longtime buddy Google. Yeah I understand the meaning of that Solomonic proverb that even a fool in the midst of the wise will be considered wise if he/ she keeps quiet. The character development this my family has been giving me over the years ooh. But I can’t trade them for anything in the world. For now lemmi sit on this stone, listen to the river’s hum and ponder over life, maybe Safaricom will magically register my line 🤣. Have a wisdom full day.