CHRISTMAS EXPERIENCE, KAGESHI AND THE SUMMONS

ddIt was seven months since I last visited home. I was so anxious to get to Kwa Nguku village in earnest. On this day, I rose early to board the first bus to Kwa nguku, but to my surprise, when I arrived at Machakos Country Bus, things were a bit chaotic. You would think it was a political rally. It was a bee-hive of activities. Travelers were squeezing to the few available buses. I ignored the fact that I was dressed to ‘kill’ with my white, new north-star shoes, a yellow bell-bottom pair of trousers and a ‘safaricom – live’, labelled t-shirt.

I maneuvered through the stampede and luckily enough, got some ‘space.’ Of course I was very angry since bus fare had been hiked. Normally, we pay sh.350 – sh.400, on this day, I had to part with sh.800. That meant I had to adjust my budget for the next two weeks. On arriving home, the first person I stumbled on, was Kinuthia-Igego. You will recall Igego, as I fondly call him, is my official barber when am on this side of Sahara. From the look, he was envious of my new hair style. By the way, I had a ‘v.sexy’ mo-hawk, he had not come across it. I clarified to him it was the new trend setter. “Hii ni swag,” that confused him even further. A few minutes of our indulgence, we met Mwangi Fangi. This is one guy I rely on for all the village 411(updates.)  Even before we shoke hands, he let the cat out the bag. Kageshi (village girlfriend) was pregnant. I felt betrayed, cheated, humiliated, miserable and all those bad words put together!

Wakìraìko'(grandpa) spotting me from a distance, quickly rose up to confirm if it was indeed his grandson. I could tell things were not rosy. Normally, we have supper (not dinner) at the mud hut, enjoying the cracking braze from the hearth. Its during this time, that he broke the news to me, that Kageshi was heavily pregnant and that I was responsible for the act. From what he told me, I was supposedly summoned the following day to appear to ‘Athùrì A’ Njùng’wa for breaking Kageshi’s leg (impregnating her). This said council of elders is equivalent to Njuri Ncheke, only that it serves my vast village only. Its word is law, at least in Kwa Nguku village.

I knew I was as innocent as a cloistered nun; in any case, I was sequestered from the village for the better part of the year, in campus working on my veterinary degree. Wakìraìko would listen to none of my boring pleads. On Christmas eve, I woke up in the wee hours and hurriedly rushed to Mwangi Fangi’s gathùnù (a combination of a house and a hut). We went to Kwa Mang’a, a village pub to stimulate my ‘intelligence’ before embarking on the arduous journey, to face the so called wazees, custodian of Kwa Nguku’s by laws. Mwangi Fangi had to accompany me as my legal advisor. After all, he was the source of all these rumours since Kageshi ‘friendzoned’ him from when we cleared KCPE at Mung’etho Primary School. As I quaffed away the bitter drink commonly referred to as Kibao which by the way, has the same effects as Yokozuna if consumed in large quantities, I called myself a meeting (conversing with my inner self).

My conscious advised me to be rather arrogant, if I was to survive in this ‘date with wazees.’ At the  meeting, Fangi vouchsafed that Kageshi had stealthily been having an affair with a local primary school teacher, in my absentia. Inwardly, I breathed a sigh of relief, but at the same time got livid with Kageshi for betraying and humiliating me in public. I confidently bellowed that I was ready for a D.N.A test, much to the confusion of these men who had seen better days. Luckily, Dr.Kiogothe who apart from being an elder, had benefitted in learning some medical skills from the British colonialists, made them understand what I meant by a D.N. test.

At last I was exonerated from the accusations but since then, we’ve not been ‘seeing eye to eye’ with ma grandpa. On 25th, Fangi and Igego accompanied me to watch ‘action packed movies’ with a d.j taste at the shopping center. Since rural electrification has not seen light of the day in Kwa Nguku, power is such a scarce resource. The only problem with those dark cinema rooms, it goes without saying you must be a default smoker. Will it be a memorable Christmas experience? Perhaps.

This post was originally published in 2011 and posted in my Facebook account as a Note.

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