Acquitted

Once upon a time, farmer Kīrīmi went to the market and bought kales seedlings. He watered them religiously and one evening after a hard day’s work he passed by the posho mill and bought some posho. His stomach now aware of the almost happenings began to rumble as his salivary glands began to secrete the much needed salivary amylase. He could picture himself folding the ugali with the lusciously green kales in his divine kitchen garden. But what he saw on arrival at his compound made him stop on his tracks and his knees gave in like those of, ‘kulikuwa na mfalme Belteshazzar, aliandaa karamu ya heshima, akasema viletwe vile vyombo baba yake alivitoa Yerusalemu.’ Slowly as he froze there, statue mode, his mind replayed back in HD resolution how he’d woken up in the wee hours of the morning, walked a long way to the market, bought the seedlings, planted them, watered them religiously, but now instead of the succelent leaves, stood his neighbours chicken, arms akimbo, if only it had them, belly too full inspecting and marvelling about its precision at ‘kūbutabuta matharu.’
Kīrīmi almost collapsed on his knees like in the, ‘mene mene tekel’ episode but then he remembered, ‘mūrife don’t run’ and alas, that lightbulb in the head came to life. He approached his house on tippy toes while praying, ‘ chicken don’t run.’ He quickly set a trap for the chicken and as the saying goes, ‘yenda mūno ītuthaga rūrīra,’ the chicken could not resist the maize grains temptation despite it’s tummy being full of veggies and boom, the basket hit the ground and Kīrimi grinned from ear to ear. He boiled the water, slaughtered the chicken, boiled it Kebera style with kapiripiri kwa umbali and sat down to enjoy the scrumptious meal. He later lay down on the couch, belched, dozed of and dreamt of a paradise full of chicken wings.
The next day the neighbor realized that one of her chicken had gone missing and paid a courtesy call to Kīrimi who denied ever seeing the said chicken, but as the neighbor was going back home, she saw the chicken feathers that Kīrimi had carelessly thrown in the compost pit. Mwendo ulikuwa ule wa aste aste mpaka kwa, ‘cibū nīwe njanji,’ evidence properly sealed in a polythene bag like in those forensic series. Kīrimi was summoned by the chief and asked why he ate the neighbours chicken. In his defence he brought a whole lorry of evidence showing how he could have enjoyed his kales for a whole year while he enjoyed the chicken for only one night. His opening lines didn’t comprise of peeky, peeky ponky but rather the opening line to Burning Spears’ ‘the crime they charge I man for, I’m not guilty.’
Guess what, the chief acquitted him. Have a crimeless evening.
#StillTheChronicler.

Pitched.

These promo people wueeh. Hadithi, hadithi, hadithi njoo. Story, story, story come. Once upon a time, way back in Nyayo hostel, a promo girl knocked on our door. As the Bible says, ‘knock and it shall be opened,’ you should have seen us all proud of ourselves that we were the one’s opening the door, sort of like Bruce Almighty. Once the door opened, a brown skinned girl, with teeth whiter than milk, flashed dimples upon us as she began to pitch her sales speech. She informed us that if we bought her toothpaste we’d win various merchandise like carpets which she supposed had been left near the cyber cafe. Little did we know that this daughter of Jezebel was a mistress of conmanship or should I say conwomanship.
My roomie was the first to go at it only to win a toothbrush, she not wanting to be left with henwa, convinced me that mine was gonna be the big win. I came out 200 bob poorer but a key holder richer and the promo girl left for her next unsuspecting victims. We felt so defeated and after much sulking we decided to take a walk to the nearby Kahawa barracks and make some random purchases. You know the way you feel rejuvenated after a shopping spree.
Ndio Sisi hao tukaingia AFCO, shopping bag in hand, an array of assorted goods in the shopping basket only to arrive at the counter and be asked to produce our family card. We left the goods at the counter and walked outta there faces down like rained on dogs.
Nadhani nikiingia hapo sasa na hii Jersey sitasitishwa hiyo family card. Nitafutieni hiyo firimbi niingie uwanjani.
#StillTheChronicler.

Amazed

Mīatūka/ cracks. Ooh these were partners in crime. We were stuck with them for life or so we thought. They were the silent marks of humble beginnings; where soap was a luxury/ Veblen good, mostly used for washing clothes/ taking a bath on Sundays. Evenings were mostly marked by gūcabacabia maī in a basin, placing your legs on a piece of firewood placed on a cooking stone and getting to bed on tippy toes. The consequences of these jokious leg showers so evident in the resultant foot map complete with an administrative centre, a police station, a market, a church, not forgetting a health centre and/or cattle dip.
We thank God that we were able to erase these cracks later in life, otherwise karibu nikumbuke ule msimu wa imanjīnīthi. 🤣🤣Woe unto you if, ‘ndutu wandīire, ndutu nginyage cece’ decided to set camp along the administrative boundaries. Story for another day.
For now lemmi try to get myself out of this maze. You think the maze could have been inspired by these cracks 🤔
#StillTheChronicler.

A different kind of grain.

When you put on the television and you find a different kind of music than the one you are used to. You know that kind that it’s fans always say, ‘message!’ thats when you realise that this is just the kind of change you needed albeit for a while. It’s when you realise that Chinua Achebe’s quote was so true and wholesome.
‘A man who calls his kinsmen to a feast does not do so to save them from starving. They all have food in their own homes. When we gather together in the moonlit village ground it is not because of the moon. Every man can see it in his own compound. We come together because it is good for kinsmen to do so.’
Gathering around a fire with friends, exchanging growing up tales and hustling tales as you listen to Lucky Dube’s, ‘war and crime,’ as the fire crackles and the night fades away while the moon continues to wax in its nightly glory, making the night pass in a blink of an eye, sort of like Albert Einstein’s, ‘theory of relativity.’
This is the change we need, it’s like we are navigating on a different gradient, a different kind of terrain and the world has suddenly stopped rotating on its own axis. Yeah that’s when you realise that it’s the simple things that matter and like in that everyday’s ad, it’s days like today that are, ‘simply the best.’
As for now, lemmi play a different role,’traffic cop.’ 🤣
#StillTheChronicler.

Mūrife don’t run

Fear of the unknown has always engulfed us day in day out. It’s something embedded deep inside our veins from the very inception of our DNA. Maybe it’s a self preservation or I don’t know a survival tactic. Kinda like the adrenal rush that saw Mūrife run of stick.
Growing up in the days when shoes were Veblen goods. Wearing a shoe only happened on Sundays and either the shoe was a hand me down/ borrowed or a cheap sadak. Now on the rare occasion that you were bought a new shoe and told to fit, whether that shoe be small or huge there’s no way you were going to reveal the correct results. It’s either the shoe fit or it fit. This was mostly because of the fear of the shoe going back to the merchant and not coming back. Like a case of, ‘Mūrife don’t run.’
Survival tactics depended on the results of the fitting bout. If the shoe turned out small, you had to squeeze your toes together like an aqueous fluid and praying that the resultant deformation due to blisters would not be permanent and that soon enough the shoe would obey the foot and align itself like the galaxy.
The second scenario was when the shoe proved bigger than the foot. Here innovation came in handy. Look for an old book, rip off the papers, crush them into a ball and put them inside the shoes. Then fit your feet into the unshaded area and voila, make a few rounds around the village to let the villagers knows that, ‘wakati fiatu fyako finafyong’ara ndifyo unafyong’ara pia.’
The only major problem was that after a few wears a rift would form where the toes meet the papers. It was a good way of learning about the formation of the rift valley and the fold mountains CBC way. And by the way CBC bado itaendelea? I kinda enjoyed watching the practicals in HD. Maybe I should say CBC don’t run 😂😂 for now lemmi try to catch this dragonfly. Dragonfly don’t run.
#StillTheChronicler.

Cocooned.

Narespect kila hustle lakini kuna two towns nimeona with very peculiar hawkers. Moja ni Karatina and no. 2 ni Nakuru, or is it a city nowadays. Wueeh the hawkers in these towns don’t give a damn about body language. They’ll talk to you, see that you’ve shaken your head in a not interested style but still continue to sell the unnecessary wares to you. They’ll even see that you are wearing earphones but still insist on selling you another set. I get it that times are tough, yes they are tough for me too. Kwanza when they see you with kids they’ll flock there with all manner of confectionery, CBC books and those wall hangings of A for apple, B for ball, C for cat. But I guess now they should make some with C for Chebukati/ Chererror, D for Dynasty, R for Ruling and N for null and void and so forth and so forth.
Back to the hawkers, some even expect you to buy out of sympathy and catch feelings when you don’t buy. But the worst are those who start lecturing you on political happenings that you don’t wanna hear about. All you wanna do is coil yourself in a cocoon like a full caterpillar and play that by the time you reach your destination you’ll have turned into a beautiful butterfly 🦋. Also that the avocados you had eaten won’t start manifesting themselves in a naphthalenelike phenomena whereby a solid transforms into a gaseous state without passing the liquid state. But it’s better that way since things be damned if it decides to change to liquid state while you are traveling.Kichaka nisaidie.
Have a transformative evening.

StillTheChronicler.

No invitation

Have you ever been told something by someone that carried you like a bus, only this did not carry you like the bus Judy or the Bus Rīakanau or coming closer to the slopes of the mountain you could say like Magutu controller. Haha, ama kama vile hawa maOrezzo wetu walibebwa huko Uingereza. At least saa hii wakisoma huu waraka, they can identify themselves with it.
Lakini that was way below the belt yaani, first no invitation, then you gatecrash then boom Judy here we come. Kapish. But since here in Kenya we say, ‘bora uhai’ I’m sure our fifth didn’t mind.

So back to bus Judy:
In 1990s, there was a bus called ‘Judy Smart Star’ & it was carrying the Nyeri/Othaya route. Let me tell you, this car was going. In fact, it was
finishing hills very fast & beating corners like lack of importance. (ta
kwaga bata). It even had song (yarī na rwīmbo) -the speakers were removing to remove! (kūruta kūruta).
Because those days there were no Michuki rules, the goers were even allowed to hold metal!.. (kūnyita chuma)
That bus, ‘Judy Smart Star’, has received a lot of accolades. Let me tell you, Judy was there a lot! (yarikuo muno). The makanga would beat its
ribs to stop for the goers and then load for them their burdens (mīrigo).The
goodness of that car, when it caught the road (yanyita bara), it was nyweeee…we wented & we wented. Let us went, we are thooose! Tūgīthiī,
tūgīthiī, reke tugīthii Nīithui aciooo…
I don’t know the original author of this story so I won’t acknowledge them here. Just know it’s borrowed.
Maybe I should watch Judge Judy bang that gavel and say next case. Or better still listen to ‘take a message to Mary, but don’t tell her where I am….’
Yeah, thanks to bus Judy we arrived at Windsor Castle safely. 😂😂
#StillTheChronicler.

A dreamer

Just when I was about to think that I was slowly but surely turning into a dreamer like Joseph, I woke up to the sad fact that instead of dreaming about Jacob’s ladder, I was dreaming that I’d turned into Kīhaico’s ladder and the cows were climbing up and down my back 😂. Seriously who even dreams anymore? Kīhaico was a farmhand whom I only got to hear of his exploits from my siblings. Once upon a time, Kīhaico saw a greeny and succulent kahūrūra vine, you know those wild ones that cows love to munch on. Since it was up there and cows are grazers and not browsers, Kīhaico conjured an idea to make the cows enjoy the greeny goodness. He constructed a ladder for them to ascend and have their seven course meal from up there like in the days of Babel. Which reminds me of that beautiful choir song, ‘siku za Babeli kulikuwa, watu wengi duniani, ndipo wakaanza kujenga Babeli, njia ya kwenda mbinguni. Walitarajia kweli kuenda mbinguni, Ili wakamwone Mungu wao, ndipo wakaanza kujenga Babeli, njia ya kwenda mbinguni.’
Now the only problem was that the cows could not be able to use the ladder despite Kīhaico’s overzealous and relentless bid to coax them into doing just that.
Tafakari hayo. Meanwhile if I can’t dream in peace, lemmi sleep in peace. Just maybe you could play me Percy Sledge’s, ‘Ave Maria.’ And again don’t forget Lucky Dube’s, ‘be good to the people on your way up the ladder coz you’ll meet them on your way down.’

Aced

Stage fright can be characterized by several behavioural and physiological manifestations such as sweating, being tongue tied, dry mouth and even loss of words. I don’t know if being tongue tied and the tongue clinging to the roof of the mouth is one and the same thing?
However what I do know, is that stage fright is not a situation that one would like to find themselves in very often.
I remember pale high school when our Chemistry teacher saw us pass by the lab and beckoned upon us to approach the bench. She gave us a project to work on during the science symposium. Unlike our fifth, we didn’t do our homework very well; we just crammed what she’d told us in a nutshell and voila the day of the symposium came and we were like dry leaves in the fall season. It’s by mere luck that we were able to manouvre through the zonals which were held at ‘CanGoFree.’
During the district competition Zippy and I found ourselves in a room full of intelligent boys who not only wanted their own kind to scoop the award, but were also eager to put the girlchild in her place. Stick to languages, this ain’t your forte. Their intimidating looks were saying.Sema being tongue tied, It’s like that saying that drinking milk makes you stronger, but then you drink five glasses and try to move the wall but nothing happens. However drink five glasses of beer and the wall starts to move by itself. I felt like singing ‘I’ll never swim Kern river again.’ Only this version would be I’ll never pass by the Chem lab again.’
Now onto our dear son of the soil Mr. Riggy G, I thought stage fright is a thing for the feeble. I mean, these politicians almost look immortal, like they have the proverbial nine lives of a cat. After watching Wambora read the wrong speech and get out of it unscathed, I thought our very own DP, son of the mountain, the very one from ‘Mathira ma Gīthoomo,’ would ace this like it’s the MPESA pin.
Lakini nyinyi mboiz wa Kagz nyinyi, see your lives.
#StillTheChronicler.

A sure bet.

Kuna vitu ambavyo ni sure bet. Kama mat ya 2NK kupitia fuelling station immediately after kutoka stage. Then some dude gets out and rushes to the washrooms to relieve himself and I’m left wondering what could he have done if it hadn’t stopped? Then again as I’d said in my opening remarks, hii ni sure bet. Haki vile hilo jambo hunikera, I think I was born for flying 😂. Ni vile tu sijawahidiscover my potential.
Lakini kuna vitu vingine hukanganya mtu. Ever since our cottage industries vanished and we started importing everything from the Chinese including toothpick, siku hizi suruali ikipasuka unashangaa kama uchukue uzi na sindano uexercise your domestic science ama ununue super glue juu siku hizi zinaunganishwa na glue. Haki wachinku nyinyi.🤔
Also do you remember the kiwi variants; black, brown and toney red? Siku hizi shoes hucome in all colours mpaka kiatu kikikwaruzwa unashangaa kama uende mūthokinjū paints wakumixie na wakupakie kiatu juu as you all know wakati fiatu fyako finafyong’ara ndifyo unafyong’ara.
And just when I was beginning to feel my royal blood coming to life and hoped I’d be crowned the next queen of England kaboom Prince Charles beat me to it. I had even planned that my ascension to the throne would happen parallelogramically with the swearing in of the fifth. Then again I guess I’m not a sure bet like this man from Sugoi. All I can eagerly wait for now is the kaholiday. My don’t I love holidays.
#StillTheChronicler.