CIRCUMCISION: CULTURE, CHURCH & GANGS

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Circumcision is one of the most revered cultural practices in my community. It is a mark of transformation and liberation, if you may. Liberation from childhood manners and anything that demeans boyish attributes. The physical mark that is painfully entrenched to the young man is a gate-pass to the lawns of adulthood. In a nutshell, it’s an achievement that serves as a height of brevity.

You see, this stage is such a big deal as ordinarily, welcomes the boys to the corridors of being the community’s pillars, so to speak. But not only does it qualify them as young men but more pertinently, bequeaths one with a whole wealth of social significants, for instance, being full members of the society including, equipping them with a hefty list of responsibilities.

While that is easier said than done especially in recent times when good morals have taken a heavy beating, we can’t wish away such an important cultural activity. However, the act is not cast in stone in that it automatically turns one into a responsible and fully-fledged young man. Ideally, it should be supported by frequent follow-up mentorship forums just to mould the young men to fairly principled youths who can’t easily be washed away by the evil millennial torrents.

At this juncture, it’s important to appreciate that there are organized men associations out there that are working tirelessly hard to foster good cultural practices that remain significant to the community. Of importance is to note that they are coming in handy to support the negated boy child who has periodically suffered at the expense of other emotive issues. For the last 5 years or so, they’ve strived to fill the void that the boy child has been subjected into overtime, by mentoring the boys and serving as credible role models. With the absence of credible role models for boys and young men to identify with, has in itself worked as a destruction to these generations.

That said, there has been controversy triggered by the role the church is playing as far as circumcision of boys is concerned. Now, to avoid being buried in the sensation, we should ask ourselves, who is supposed to circumcise the boy or rather put it differently; who is supposed to play the central role in the initiation stage of boys?

Tough as it may, traditionally, it was conducted by the elders. Why it was an elders-affair-only was for a very simple reason. They were and still are the cultural gatekeepers. No other institution or individual can challenge their authority as far as cultural knowledge is concerned. Nevertheless, with the global advancements revolutionizing the way of doing stuff, many African cultures risk being overridden and completely forgotten, if that hasn’t happened already. In the last 3-5 decades or so, elders in many communities got bypassed in the whole business of circumcision. Many families developed a preference for medical practitioners just to ensure hygiene was observed and that qualified personnel handled their sons. Actually, the best word to use is, Professionals. Yes, pun intended!

As time moved, so was religion taking root in the African context. And as you’d guess, the church jumped right in as the cookie crumbled. While this transpired, many elders outfits resulted to either being mum or outnumbered. They were seen as social outcasts and their beliefs considered unbecoming. But this didn’t erase their disquiet or tilt their views. Luckily, in less than a decade ago, tables turned. Quietly, the quest from middle-aged men yearning to become members of elders’ associations started gaining momentum. Some sections of the media started embracing these outfits too and inviting them on air.

And as if that was the lucking springboard, these cultural outfits seem not to look behind but to mop out every young man worth his salt to join them. And it’s a good thing. I will tell you why:

It’s only in these outfits that one comprehensively gets to learn about virtually anything there is to learn in a culture. At least in my community, they’ve proved to be extremely resourceful to mentor the boy child, instill values that were lacking before, pass unlimited cultural knowledge to the young men and serve as a center to diagnose a community’s challenges and propose solutions. This goes without mentioning the unmeasurable avenue of networking for the boy child and rewarding one with a sense of identity.

While this has been unfolding, it hasn’t sat well with the church. Men of the cloth have not only bashed the elders at least in some quarters but dared their male members to join such outfits. For the record, the Presbyterian Church of East Africa(PCEA) which is one of the most populous religions in this country(Kenya) advised its members to keep off a Gikuyu cultural practice referred to as Mburi cia Kiama which involves slaughtering of goats and relaying cultural studies to Agikuyu men. The elders in return, have not taken the accusations lying low. They’ve termed the ban as unwarranted and misguided since they are not in the business of fighting religion.

It is such sharp division between the church and cultural organizations that has yet again raised the lid on who should administer the circumcision act. While the elders believe they are the chief custodians of a community’s cultural resource bank, the church is riding on contemporary realities and the rule of Christianity. But it is in the wake of such quagmire that saw a section of residents of Murang’a protest due to a particular church having outsourced a seemingly fake doctor to oversee the botched circumcision act of male boys. The victims were painfully compelled to undergo the act again, this time by the elders.

One might hypothetically ask if these elders have any background in medical know-how? The answer would be; these cultural organisations have men from all walks of life and in different occupations including highly regarded doctors in this country.

That aside, more seem to be rocking this enviable stage of a man, as criminal gangs have taken upon themselves to radicalize the young boys soon after they face the knife. Dozens if not more victims have lost their lives in the recent past out of falling out with these villains and many more left for the dead having been grossly maimed. These gangs are loosely woven militias trying to fill a void of who should pass on the cultural knowledge to the young men.

The boy child is at a crossroad – To keep up with the church as it figures out how to go about the heavily important cultural act or warm up to the elders for the much-needed blessings and acquisition of knowledge. While these two institutions can have their interests harmonized, a section of the church fraternity does not seem to appreciate the role culture plays in mankind’s life. As that should be addressed, so should the criminal gangs radicalizing and misleading the youths be completely mopped out, for the safety of our young men.

In other words, the boy child has a lot of battles to win over or risk perishing in unchartered world that our forefathers sacrificed lives to safeguard!

PLATTE-LAND 015: CUPID

Image result for Mpho khati curvy bodyHe was the Finance Manager of a top horticultural farm in Naivasha. A medium height kind of man, fairly young until you met his landmark pot belly that seemed to aggravate his age. He described himself as a family man. He was a dad to three kids; 2 sons and one daughter. He had been married for eight years now. You could say he was a social drinker, mostly going out on weekends with his childhood friends and business associates.

He met Shiku on one of those nights. She was with her girls, all being her classmates, from a road trip when they made a sojourn at a popular reveling joint in Naivasha. Two hours down the line, a female waiter brought a magnanimous order to their table. A dozen bottles of Heineken, Smirnoff vodka and the Jameson whiskey stared at them, eagerly waiting for the girls’ acceptance speech. There was no way these city slayers would resist such a generous reward, at least not with this economy. Mr. F.M as Shiku fondly referred him had eyed her from the moment they walked in. He had been mesmerized by her seductive body. She is such an angelic lass, c’mon go and get her number. If she denies you, you’ll at least console yourself by having tried your luck – His mind would tease him.

She seemed to have a commanding personality. Her smile was coherent in the same way it was contagious. Her eyes struck the deepest end of his soul. Her dreadlocks exposed her wild spirits depicting her rebellious nature of not conforming to the norm. She appeared to be an intelligent woman. F.M endeared female intellectualism and women who seemed to be eager-beavers. There is a way female intellectualism smells; like the titillating smell of dust when it rains. He had such a humongous soft spot for lasses with mass and substance too. Shiku packaged herself as one.

Speaking of which, F.M had a wife all men pray to marry. She had brains, followed by beauty. She had a profundity of emotional intelligence and quite an aggressive woman. She quit her job to support his dream of being a business mogul. She detested easy money and comfort zone. She also shun the lazy ideology some ladies hold of being mere gate-keepers of their husbands’ wealth. In sharp contrast, she was an abrasive go-getter. She’d travel the high road of nurturing ideas, fueling them to credible business plans, packaging them until they hatched to promising enterprises and consequently conveying the returns to Mr. F.M.

She was that loyal and hands on. Money didn’t tempt her nor inflict a bruise on their marital union. She’d engage him on where to invest the returns. They were great friends and would keep on forgetting they were marriage partners. Her hands had a thing for nurturing and creating products that didn’t exist. She had a creative mind and a subtle personality at hand, to balance life torrents. Unlike many women who are always after salivating their spouses’ wealth, resulting to hiring hit men to eliminate them for easy wins, she religiously believed in the idea of fostering and making marriage last its full longevity.

He had married his chimera woman. His best friend. His favorite illusion of a superwoman. She was a wife who’d speak of tomorrow’s plans dressed in a loose nightwear while lying in bed lulling the slumber mode and F.M would just nod his balding head in agreement. She’d talk about this deal and that order and of deliveries and collecting cheques where. At times she’d be like; Baba Cleophas, you need to look for that mhindi friend of yours  – Mr. Patel. I’m sure he’d be interested in the supply of Mahogany trees we traced near Uganda – Congo border, now that the ban in Kenya doesn’t seem to be lifted anytime soon. And did you ask Kang’ethe if his restaurant exalted the poultry order we made last month?

But beneath that, was a woman who understood F.M’s intrigues and sophistication depth. She knew when he lied and would smell when he warmed up to sultry women. She’d easily decipher when he played mind games with her, besides peeling off all the layers of deceit being schemed in his testosterone glands. She was a woman, F.M couldn’t underestimate.

However, after a close shave encounter with the sensuous Shiku, temptations were bound and rife. His boys cheered him on and so did his alcohol drink. She seemed to be the cheerleader of her squad and that cajoled him more. He was attracted to women who called the shots. And so, after his order was gladly accepted by these campus ladies, protocol would follow next. He’d walk over, pull a sit uninvited, and introduce himself all out of the blues. Interestingly, they blend easily. Their hearts’ lewd desires flooded their eyes, and so they’d occasionally feel the magnetic-pull, whip up their newly nurtured chemistry. By the end of it all, he was struggling in the deep waters of full-blown manias of lust and infatuation, thanks to Shiku.

He talked about his day job and his passion for his family. The more he shared bits and pieces of how fond he was to his kids and wife, the more attractive Shiku found him to be. He’d throw terminologies and adjectives regarding his job description, and how he flies in and out of the country for business-related workshops and trainings. She would marvel at his flawless grammar and wit. Of course, as it happens, his stupor state plus the excitement of conversing with a fine chiq like Shiku did wonders in motivating his commanding English fluency. His cologne was also unrivaled at such unholy hour – she found that weird.  He’d spew chewed information of; Net margins, Forecasts, Cash-flows, Deferred Tax, Equities, Transfer pricing….. and it would sound Greek to her.

You see, Shiku and Maths units don’t cross paths quite often and were akin to that annoying neighbor who plays loud music you have to contend with until fate coughs otherwise. She abhorred Maths in high school after the subject teacher depicted open bias to weaker students in that unit. Mr. Muriuki otherwise nicknamed as Calculus who also poised as the school’s pastor, blatantly humiliated and overlooked anyone who scored less than 45% in his subject. He took it as a personal affront. As it would turn out, Shiku didn’t do well in that unit but still made it to campus thanks to her passion for Art subjects which led her in enrolling for (B.A) Literature at Mt. Thondio University.

Time was lapsing to drive back to Nairobi at least before the morning rise came out calling. The girls were exhausted for driving a whopping 350km in a day and hiking the Menengai Crater. Shiku dragged F.M off the club to the parking bay. They barged into his car and adjusted their seats. He asked for her number.

The next thing he recalled when he rose from his hangover slumber, the morning after; the day had grown legs but the infatuation to Shiku was still blurring his mind. He smiled when he recalled Shiku planting a kiss on his lips and him cuddling her erotic body. He replayed that yesternight memory script like a million times, smiling to himself as guilt peeped whenever he made those blank stares to the ceiling board.

In no time the doorbell rung, beckoning the arrival of his family from church.

Photo Credit: http://www.afrikglamourmagazine.com

Previously on Platte-Land: Break Up

Read Next: Tryst

 

CHURCH ETHOS

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Church ethics have evolved over the years and so have our guts. Religious leaders have been met flat-footed by the world advancements in technology and other fronts. The leadership has found itself in the wobbly and ugly underbelly of the synthetic headways. It’s not a secret that many men and women of the cloth have been caught pants down with their flock’s spouses. Many more have fashioned themselves as the high priests of impunity and daylight soft robbery. Legions of them have cases in court for grave reasons such as murder. These days you can’t board a matatu in peace without some so-called pastors sneaking in to sell and extort money for just making a prayer to the passengers. How unfortunate that many of them have thrived through taking advantage of the gullible and naive people in the society.

Many church ethics and etiquettes have been cannibalized, defiled and left for the dead from the high and mighty preachers to the low lying congregants.

Dress Code

When we were growing up, we used to have Sunday best attires. You wouldn’t wear such outfits anywhere else not unless it was a special occasion. Of course, times have changed and so has our view of what Sunday-best was. As we speak, that’s an old-fashioned mentality that has grass grown over it. We are in a different dispensation altogether. Our lifestyles have sort of ‘improved.’ At least many households can afford the luxury of not hanging on the illusion of Sunday-bests. Additionally, we have a generation that is cool enough and spontaneous in the sense like – it doesn’t attach too much glorification to the formal looks.

Consequently, the high regard to church has so much degraded. The spontaneous looks have come with their fair share of challenges and dicey moments. I saw a guy in my church dressed in solely a vest and was like; Okay, what to say! Perhaps I’m too reserved. But come to think about it, many of us dress extremely badly to church than in the workplace. That old pair of jeans that you’ve not worn in ages and the faded polo shirt bestowed by a former employer in a workshop in Mombasa somehow finds itself in church.

The contemporary church has gone so liberal and complacent to uphold and adhere on decency, especially on matters dressing. We are dressing far worse than several decades ago for reasons best known to us. It’s an open secret that women are doing far worse than men as a far as church dressing code is concerned. If it’s not dressing in attires that are too seductive and revealing for church environment then it is showcasing their flesh for-god-knows-who and for what purpose. Makes me wonder – if one is not breastfeeding what justification is there to have your cleavage sunbathing or better put; distracting a poor fellow who has no control or rather struggles on some aspects? Okay, put it differently, which male adult wants to breastfeed in church? Fact – there is a massive decline in dressing standards in the church, today.

If just maybe it’s a question of flaunting, who wants to be carried away in church, surely? Now, why would you wear a miniskirt that you’ll keep pulling down or sitting awkwardly just to discourage the prying eyes dashing up and down? Why parade your thighs to the rest of us and seat with your bare bum and expect the man seated next to you will concentrate on the sermon? Interestingly, some women will still dress erotically and sit indecently. We are only human and men are tamed beasts for crying out loud. And by the way, there is a reason some body parts are referred to as ‘private parts.’  You see, you can’t have your cake and eat it. And if you’ve got to eat it, at least don’t do it in the House of God.

In a nutshell, self-respect and value to oneself should help you decipher as to whether what you wear to church is decent or not. The overriding point is – what powers your intention to dress in a certain way to church! Is it to jump-start your self-esteem or draw attention or just to feel good when congregants eye bath your upper legs and boobs? And to you who sag in church giving us unwarranted glance at your inner wears and if unlucky, your bare bum please cut the slack – For heaven’s sake, it’s 2018 man!

Phone Chatting

I once sat next to a couple who seemed like they were in a situationship or some sort of speed dating never mind they were in church. Why am I saying so? See, for the entire sermon, they spent it on phone chatting and in social media and clinging on one another like one of them would just evaporate before the sermon got concluded. It’s sad that we can’t shut off social media even for 2 damn hours just to listen to a sermon. But who chats on Sunday at 9:01 am surely? And can we stop side-shows in church? Is it much to ask?

Ringing Phones

Many church sermons have been rudely interrupted by horrible and loud phone ring tones many a time. Followers are alive to the fact that, it’s unethical not to have their phones on silent mode, airplane mode or off but they will still defy. Some even pretend that it’s not their phones buzzing and only happen to react when the congregation appears disturbed and starts wagging necks.

Sitting Arrangement

Is it just my church where congregates jostle for the few available seats. It’s not like they are really few, no. The number of fellow-shippers is exceedingly high. Taking that into account, some parents will defy taking their children to Sunday school or catechism classes and have them occupy places meant for grown-ups. It’s even worse when one tries to find a space when toddlers occupy the same seats fidgeting with their parents’ phones, while the parents seem unperturbed.

Rich Kirkpatrick a writer who specializes in spiritual content best summarizes this topic: “There is no one single answer to church ethics. This takes humility and heart to make it about values and principles, rather than rules and laws. We should hold ourselves to be righteous Christ-followers, not legalistic rule followers.”

Photo credit – catholicsun.org

PLATTE-LAND 007: NIGHT OUT

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When Black Bulls lifted the coveted MUST Rugby cup of 2018 during this year’s cultural week held recently, nothing crossed Njagi’s mind that there’d be consequences. The bet they made with Sly was being actualized, meeting Njagi off guard. He’d be forgiven to imagine Sly was never serious with the bet and that it was her side of being cheeky. But far from it, she was pressing him to honour the promise. That would mean taking her out for a night of drinks. The thought of it made Njagi smile all day and to him, it wasn’t a bad idea after-all. The last time he saw Sly tipsy was during Eston’s house party and her body language seemed quite tolerable to alcohol apart from making her appear whimsical.

So, they met at one of the city’s entertainment suburb on a perfect Friday evening. Njagi is not a club person as such but when duty calls especially from a special friend, a man got to break the rules and honour the invitation.The night was young, bubbly, agile and there was so much ground to cover. They sneaked into a popular club ushered in by illuminating colours hinged artistically on the tunnel-like corridor leading the way to the main ballroom.

They curled through the throngs of humans rubbing off lasses chests, stepping on some unlucky feet and hastily apologizing, inhaling irresistible cologne from people who take time to invest in their bodies and hopping on a staircase to the next floor, to a table mounted on a balcony overlooking the parking lot and gazing at the busy highway. The wind seemed to blow some fresh air cutting across Sly’s graceful hair and the defeaning music from the dance hall, doing wonders in burying off all the evil spirits rising from the nightery. The ambiance was simply – addictive and reassuring.

Njagi hinted at a waitress who met his eyes. She had a body to die for, a swanky smile and a very heavy, violet lipstick. Her raised cheekbones and pristine face couldn’t help matters. Her skirt was hundreds of kilometers above the knees and that alone, resuscitated Njagi’s soul. She was alluring and she knew it. She walked over holding her tray placed at her waistline. Njagi could smell her natural scent as he stole glances at her generous cleavage while ordering for Jack Daniels, never mind he was raised in church all his life plus his mum is a praise and worship leader at Apostle Muragaruri’s church. I call it the City curse. Sly went for Rib Shack red wine – A very safe drink.

With few counts of drinks, they dug into the conversation.

Sly: Who’d have thought MUST Zone would pick up that first?

Njagi: That was an ingenious idea. What took you that long?

Sly: Do I even know!

Njagi: Everybody seems to be loving it.

Sly: Did I mention to you I met with the Dean(Mr.Mwangi) and he was like; I owe you some lunch.

Njagi: Ooh! By the way, si you will now be part of MUST legendary alumni?

Sly: For sure. Can’t imagine coming after 20 crazy years out there to give a talk and sensationally hint that I was the brains behind Must-Zone!

Njagi: And everybody will come running to you for an autograph

They break into a well harmonized, hearty, drunk laughter.

Njagi: I hear Syokimau Daily newspaper have some internship positions. You should apply.

Sly: Really! I Should inquire about it but again my folks won’t even accept. They hate the media industry. I have no idea why.

Njagi: You know what! You can’t live under the shadows of your folks forever. Just do you and they will catch up with you later. Who’d have thought you owed MUST a school mag?

Sly: I will find out and apply. She excuses herself to the washroom staggering a bit.

Meanwhile, it’s been awhile since Njagi felt this confident. The drink is working for him. He orders for a third round. When Sly gets back she is awed by the full table of drinks awaiting her.

Sly: I tell you what Njagi, you look better now that Anastasia case is behind you. It had really taken a toll on you dear.

Njagi: What do you mean?

Sly: Yea, look at you. Tapping his arms. You’re back to your weight. Your face looks clearer. And you look more debonair and handsome!

Njagi: You are drunk Sly.

Another round of well-choreographed laughter taxis along their table.

Sly: Imagine it’s true.

Njagi: It didn’t hit me all along.

Sly: Never mind.

At this point, Njagi’s mind goes on a mental trail wondering why he has always been too diplomatic when it comes to second thinking about a relationship with Sly. To rescue his self-bashing, two reasons surface up – Both of them are to blame for allowing their chemistry to be drowned by their platonic friendship. Secondly, it is cowardly for him to slice Chris his chic, man. Speaking of Chris, they had only met once and he could tell, Chris didn’t like him. There is a way you can smell a dude who is interested in your woman 5 miles away, right? But Chris is to blame too, for underestimating Sly and making her dilly dally in Njagi’s territory.

Speaking of Chris…

Sly: Chris is acting strangely of late.

Njagi: What’s up?

Sly: He never calls as often as he used to.

Njagi: Somebody must be distracting him.

Sly: I hope not.

Njagi: Have you talked to him about it.

Sly: I’m tired of being the only one who mends fences.

Njagi: I leave it at that.

Sly: He has to man up. ….but you men are complicated (Sighing off)

Njagi: Trust me on this; there is a loose woman distracting him.

Sly: We have never had any mistrust issues.

Njagi: It’s time. Talk to your instincts.

Njagi excuses himself to the gents.

He smiles as he pees, his feet now struggling to hold his body. Meanwhile, his inner voice teases him off – You should take her to your cube (His hostel room) after this. I mean, she is too drunk to go home.  He shakes off and retreats back to their table as if nothing crossed his mind.

He finds Sly making some dance moves and he earnestly joins her. She fetches his palm, makes some synchronized moves, turns around rhythmically, gives him her posterior, his eyes feed on it as he stretches his arm around her waistline, she shows no qualms, the music carries along and so do they. The spacing between them gets limited, as their bodies seem to pull to each other. His groin rubs her bum and both of them pretend not to listen to their bodies react. Sly excuses herself to the ladies to freshen up.

They order more drinks and the merrymaking continues.

An hour after, Sly reaches to her phone and it’s 4:04 am. Boy, she got to leave. They walk down the stairs holding hands and out through the colourful tunnel to the parking lot. Sly is clearly overly drunk. She can’t stand on her own and thereby leans on Njagi’s tall body to find her balance. She calls an Uber. In the meantime, blaming it on alcohol, their lips lock into each other. It’s short and sweet.

It awakens their senses as the Uber driver pulls along. Sly hurriedly hugs Njagi affectionately and boards the car. She waves through the windscreen as Njagi traces his way to the hostel wondering why Shiku didn’t taste the same and why he could just let Sly slip away with such a sweet ending to the night out.

Next on Platte-Land series: In Laws

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

PLATTE-LAND 004: VERDICT

 

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Anastasia had been strictly raised in a Pentecostal church all her life. As a matter of fact, her dad had been a pastor for decades. Hence it was too shocking and agitating for the world of Kwa Nguku and neighboring villages to grapple with news of a pastor’s daughter allegedly getting raped during a night out while she was in a stupor state for apparently imbibing one too many. It was extremely difficult for the largely conservative society Anastasia was raised in, to assimilate and break down the texture of the news. Many were appalled by the naked reality of a society that hadn’t realized the rains had commenced beating them.

For starters sake, Anastasia for a very long time exuded attributes of a typical church girl from the dressing code to her character. She’d forever wear very long dresses that one couldn’t demystify the front from the rear. Her chest area was ever tucked up decently and her voice tone was always humbling and courteous. The hen came home to roost when she joined campus and got negatively influenced by her choice of friends, besides struggling with unmanageable freedom and dealing with her can of baggage that had bottled-up over the years subsequently spilling over in her early twenties. Speaking of freedom, due to the shrewd nature of her parents, she wasn’t expected to entertain any male friends let alone have a boyfriend even after high school. She was monitored round the clock and wasn’t expected to own a phone more so in campus.

But perhaps to expose the underbelly in Anastasia’s life – the current wife to Pastor Muchoki is her foster mum. Her biological mother passed on in the maternity ward, Anastasia lucky enough to survive after being saved by the medics when she was being delivered. Her dad would later on remarry and have two more kids who happen to be her step-brothers. As is the case with many foster families, relationships become very dicey and apparently what was transpiring in Anastasia’s life currently was a repulsive reality of what she had gone through over the years.

Through her campus pocket money she generously rewarded herself by buying stuff she had been denied over the years be it stretch-mini and maxi casual dresses that she envied her friends in, to revealing crop-tops and off-shoulder ones and all sort of trendy shoes and handbags. She also bought herself a phone against the wish of her foster mum who’d easily cause major tantrums for that. Additionally, she had tasted freedom too, sadly with a heavy price to pay. She was now expectant and with an alleged rape case in court to prove beyond reasonable doubt. The stigma she had gone through for the last two months was tremendously shocking since she had always carried the pastor’s daughter tag round her neck, which mother nature had now decided to unsettle.

Shed’ recall when her foster mum beat her until she bled for being spotted with a boy soon after completing her high school studies. Her mum would instruct the neighbors to monitor her and brief her (foster Mum) on her daily moves. She was the only female in her family with no social life or excitement that comes with teenage-hood.

Courtroom

Mr.Okoth – Anastasia’s lawyer

My Lord, rape in Kenya is not only an offense but a criminal act that curtails an individual’s social development, robs one body integrity and grossly violates a victim’s basic humans rights especially against sexual violation.

On the night of 29th December my client was taken advantage of, by 10 men due to her stupor state. She was drunk, unconscious and not in control of her conscience and body. A gentleman by the name Ezekiel Kiarie alias Mongoose and his accomplices conspired and succeeded in hoodwinking my client Anastasia from the dancing arena of Magomano Bar & Grill and led her to the parking lot which was poorly lit and sexually assaulted her in turns and droves.

My client was subjected to an ordeal that was beyond her control without her consent. When she gained conscious and traced her memory, she realised all was not well. My lord, from the samples taken from the scene confirmed that my client bled.

Seshi rises to her feet on a point of order. She is denied an audience by Magistrate Opiyo Omugani.

“You can continue counsel Okoth.” The Magistrate quips, authoritatively.

My lord, thank you for protecting me. As I was saying, my client heavily bled. That’s a fact that can’t be disputed. Secondly, samples taken from the suspects matched with the findings collected from my client’s vagina.

An infuriated Lawyer Seshi shoots up again. Counsel Okoth ignores her and continue making his point.

“What is it my lady?” Magistrate Opiyo poses.

 Breathing heavily. My lord, we cannot allow my learned friend to persistently mislead this honourable court. Counsel Okoth just aimlessly alluded that all the suspects’ specimens matched the findings collected from his client. My lord, with your indulgence kindly allow me to get clarification from my learned senior.

“Go ahead.” (Magistrate)

Seshi turns to Okoth for clarification.

My lord, I erroneously missed out the word SOME in my presentation. I didn’t make these notes, my staff did. I beg your pardon.

The courtroom gives in to short laughters. Seshi sits down.

My lord, on my third very important point. My client’s pregnancy test taken immediately she came to report the assault, turned positive. She conceived on the night of the infamous event. Fourthly my lord, my client is seen from the cctv footage as if she was screaming. This tells you she was pleading for help.

With that my lord, I beg to sit. I hope as you retire to write your ruling, you’ll kindly consider all the information I have passed across for my client to get the justice she deserves.

Thank you.

Seshi has a tall order to cut into size and deconstruct her learned friend’s case, nevertheless, she seems determined and composed. 

Seshi – Njagi’s lawyer

My lord, when I watched the cctv footage I couldn’t believe the allegations that have been presented to this court and alluded against my clients. What I watched were two people having a good time. My lord, you could call it coitus. The 9 or so young men who have been subjected to a lot of anguish and stigma were not in that 30 minute or so footage. Only one out of the ten suspects is being used to blatantly blame and crucify the rest.

Adjusts her oversize black gown and sips some water with no urgency. The court waits for her to drain the sip down her alimentary canal as she prepares for her next point highlighted in her presentation notes.

My lord, the DNA results adduced before you on exhibit 1a, 1b, 1c all the way to 1j have no trace of my clients’ DNA similarities. The only positive test that came from the result solely match to one suspect’s DNA. I don’t wish to speak on behalf of the litigant I’m referring. They will have their time.

Draws a cunning smile on the edges of her mouth as she adjusts her specs.

My lord I can confirm to this court that the plaintiff to this case was a virgin before the night of the Magomano night out. My lord I can also confirm that the plaintiff lost her innocence at the parking lot to one man on the same night as proved by the cctv footage. She bled because it’s a natural and biological process that occurs when one is losing her virginity.

Lawyer Okoth rises on his feet and pleads to challenge the point being put across. He is denied a chance.

My lord, there is a clique of men and women in this country who are engaging in sexual exploitation by blackmailing their victims or innocent fellows unawares, with injury of their reputation on failing to meet their demands.

All along, the entire event, my clients did not come to any contact with the plaintiff as can be proved in depth by the cctv footage apart from one time when they are seen exchanging pleasantries at the start of the event. They neither danced, nor walked out in tandem. Moreover, no person has come out to testify in this court that they spotted my client with the plaintiff outside the hotel where the alleged act took place.

From the footage, the plaintiff was allegedly accosted at 0200 hours though the clip depicts like she was savoring and acting without coercion.

The court breaks into small laughters.

Magistrate Opiyo: Your time is up my lady.

Counsel Okoth has a word with his client and pleads to have her testify in 10 seconds.

Anastasia – The plaintiff

Your honours, I want to say the following; On the night of 29 December, I was neither raped nor subjected to any sexual assault. I only misled my parents who went ahead to get me a legal team because I was simply terrified and in denial of losing my virginity willingly. I made out with Ezekiel Kiarie alias Mongoose and none of the other guys fronted hear. I was at no one time consulted by my parents on how they got the names of the so-called suspects.

Anastasia’s parents and her legal team appear dumbfounded and speechless.

The court adjourns and resumes in a week’s time for the ruling.

Magistrate Opiyo

Based on the evidence submitted by the plaintiff’s legal team headed by Senior counsel Okoth on the case of Anastasia vs Mongoose, the court is not satisfied that a rape act took place on the night of 29th December at Magomano Bar & Grill. I find the young men not guilty of the offence of rape as highlighted above and are therefore acquitted all charges adduced against them expect for Ezekiel Kiarie. The court directs that Ezekiel Kiarie alias Mongoose takes full responsibility of impregnating Anastasia and therefore ensures the mother and the baby are fully provided for financially and otherwise until the child reaches an age where he/she can self provide for him/herself.

Failure to that, the plaintiff (Anastasia) is free to come to this court to press charges against Ezekiel Kiarie for any form of neglect or abuse. Subsequently, the court will give specific directions on the upkeep, custody and safety of the baby and the mother.

With that, the court is dispersed.

Next on Platte-Land series: School Magazine

PLATTE-LAND 002: BASH

 

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Njagi happened to have taken part in a back to school discotheque event that was organized last December holidays at the outskirts of Kahuruko Township by high school and campus students from his village and the neighboring. Predictability, given his mother’s strict adherence to church and considering she was the leader of praise and worship, there was no way Njagi would dare harbor imaginations of being granted permission to attend an ungodly event organized by ‘lost kids’ who own phones more worthy than Madam’s Kui entire second-hand clothes stock value.  Further, these were kids brought up by the so-called ‘busy’ parents who had no time for them. How could Njagi have a commonality with them? Kui would wonder.

Unimaginably, the power of peer pressure overwhelmed Njagi, as he was among the attendants who turned up for this popular event. The likes of Prof. Mwau, Mapanya, Saimo DJ, Milly 1st Lady, Nizzilicious, Mongoose, Anastasia, Ka-Penguin and many others from Nduduri, Kwa Huku and Kia Ndutu villages had equally checked in. Interesting Mwaura aka Prof.Mwau had been nicknamed Prof back in Kia-Ndutu Primary School for carrying his books in a briefcase that had seen better days bequeathed from his Mkorino dad, instead of a school bag, much to the ridicule from the rest of the pupils. Prof’s dad was also known for his ever overgrown and bushy beards and white suits dressed all round the week. Ka-Penguin on the other hand, got her name despite being the creme of the class with her consistent top grades, due to being overly short, hence the pupils teased her that she’d easily be confused to a ‘small bird.

Back to the event, music played loud and booze was in plenty stretching the event to the dark and evil hours of the night. As you’d expect with teenagers and young adults full of life, machismo and vitality, stuff happened. Dancing crews outdid each other while the energetic audience cheered them on. Judy and Lilian, dressed in very raunchy hot pants literally brought the house down with their erotic moves and boneless bodies. At a far corner, teenagers as young as 16 years were sucking on shisha pipes never mind it was banned, engulfing the entire ambiance with their colourful puffs. Meanwhile, outside the parking bay, you could only hear moans and groans of things boiling up from lewd millennials.

Njagi out of influence kissed Shiku and he didn’t like it. He was engaging in a kissing escapade for the first time and the entire experience was incredibly awkward. Shiku seemed to have enjoyed the 30 seconds act but Njagi could have none of it given a second chance. He wondered how people did it so comfortably and called it romance. He felt like he just tasted cement or black cotton soil. Shiku had always had a crush on Njagi and since she was obviously under the influence, took advantage of her state and grabbed Njagi’s arm and dragged him outside the main arena to a dark corner behind a neatly manicured cypress fence where things unfolded. Darkness seemed to wipe off Shiku’s shyness as she took full exploits of the opportune moment to confront her desires.

The taste of his tongue and saliva took her to cloud nine – it was heavenly, beautiful and more than fulfilling. She was intertwined to his body, holding his cheek bones with both of her soft palms and locked to his torso. She didn’t even notice she had raised her feet to match his height. Njagi could feel his heartbeat synchronized with hers, racing like the Jehova Witness drums. A salacious warmth rising from Shiku’s crotch emasculated his slim legs and he knew he was almost crossing the red line to a place of no-return. He couldn’t figure out why stuff happened that fast, and quickly left Shiku catching her breath. He would dash back to the main arena and continue dancing while Shiku still pitched in the dark, found herself making sense of what she had orchestrated, unsure whether to cheer or jeer herself.

Eventually, some got laid, some broke their innocence, some kissed for the first time, some conceived, some were allegedly raped, while some got their names presented to Chief Kiahuthu – a hard-headed, bullish and long human being who’d not fit through any standard door.

Apparently, Anastasia a 1st year campus student and who was Pastor Muchoki’s affectionate daughter was allegedly raped and would later conceive. Names were presented to the local administration and investigation commenced in earnest headed by Chief Kiahuthu. Njagi’s name was among the list of 10 lads who were suspected to be behind the ordeal. Shushu Damaris and Kui – Njagi ‘s mum, could not believe it. They had every benefit of doubt that Njagi would engage in such a heartbreaking act let alone attending an event he wasn’t permitted.

A few days later, the boys would be whisked by plain-clothe police officers and taken to the chief’s camp. DNA samples would be taken and subsequently locked at Chief Kiahuthu temporary cell awaiting to be released on a cash bail that was to be raised within 48 hours failure to which they’d be formally charged at Kahuruko Law Courts pending completion of investigations which included establishing if Anastasia was allegedly raped.

Shush Damaris on receiving the dumbfounding news, swiftly sent a special message across the villages declaring the envious bull that belonged to one of his sons by the name Wamaruke was on sale. This was a desperate attempt to raise money to bail out his grandson from more torment and shame notwithstanding he was a suspect in the alleged scandal. In no minute, word razed across the households more so to Kiamaiko abattoir brokers’ who descended to her homestead with all manner of wit and exhilaration. Just as she was almost striking a deal with one of them, her phone rang eluding some fairly good news that the boys had been bailed out by a village tycoon by the name Kimendoro who was said to be eyeing Kiandutu MCA position come 2022.

Njagi resumed his classes a very worried man. His mum was even more disappointed by him. His conscious was clear though, that he knew nothing about the rape ordeal or when it took place either. But he still blamed himself for ignoring his intuition to remain at home and not to attend the infamous bash. He had let down his own legacy and tainted his family image as well. However, he was still convinced his name was dragged in there for collateral damage. This was pure malice and uncouth, well according to him. He was convinced his god would pluck him from this den of lions that not only seemed to threaten his bright posterity but his very present life. He couldn’t clearly figure out how life behind bars would be like for a crime not committed. He’d die of pain and bitterness.

The subsequent semester wasn’t rosy for him as investigations ran concurrently with his studies. He had to let in Sly to his suck of anguish otherwise he’d have to explode and crash to small remnants. They met at the indoor games hall to watch some table tennis matches.

“Sly, something terrible happened to me during the holidays.” He jeremiad.

Sly was so drawn to the game playing, between the mischievous Mitch who was the class’s most likable and popular classmate courtesy of his wit, charisma and humorous nature and Harrison who was ever annoyingly tidy and sharply dressed with a conservative demeanor. She quickly rose her head moving her sight away from the boys to Njagi with a straight face punctuated by sympathetic eyes. For half a minute their eyes were locked to each other with hardly a word coming from either of them. Sly’s body language hinted to Njagi to get up for a hug but he played it down.

“What happened dear, tell me.”

Njagi’s heart was dazzled by the name dear, momentarily.

“It’s a long story, but to cut it short, I’m under investigation for something nasty that happened during a back to school bash just the other day.”

Sly, couldn’t hold it. They walked out in a lethargy state, Njagi trying to explain himself out as if she’d supposedly bail him out.

Next on Platte-Land Series:  Stalemate

Photo Credit: upcalehype.com

WHAT BECAME OF ‘PASTORS’

pastor standSomething happened this week. And as you would guess, I ringed Kageshi straightaway to have her opinion. She baptised me with endless laughter until I was like;

Andreaders should know about this. By the way, Andreaders refers to you and you and you that checks on my blog devotedly.

Great. Can we move on?

I got to the house one evening and even before I dropped-dead on the couch out of a day’s fatigue, decided to check on my Mama Mboga for some items. I had to wait for kindu 10 minutes since I didn’t want the juggle of going to and fro the house. So I patiently waited for my turn.

Meanwhile, Mama Mboga alerted me of her Pastor/Overseer/Bishop/Man of god quite a distance, making his way to her kibanda. She looked disturbed and even got pensive. From where I sat, I didn’t make anything unusual of a pastor passing by.

Probably he was making his home, you know? I thought. Haha. I was very wrong.

It appeared the pasi was deliberately making his way to this particular vendor. Why so? You won’t believe. Apparently Mama Mboga worships in his church and why this pastor was here, was for the reason that Mama Mboga had not been seen in church for a couple of Sundays including Easter time. In other words, the pasi was coming to look for a lost sheep. There was no way this church leader would watch his sheep flee away having succumbed to the ‘world’. He was here to denounce this bad spirit that was wobbling around his hard-to-gather flock. It was simply unacceptable.

Interestingly, I found myself in this unfolding melee and mission bring-back-our-sheep. God had placed me in the center of this crossroad. My God has a sense of humour. In fact I asked Him, seriously, God? You need me to write about this? And His angel that he has always directed to oversee my moves since I was in my mother’s womb and who often than not, let him down in my humanly moves; sorry Angel…conveyed a message that yes this would make a good piece.

Not for long, the pasi had already made his way to this not so ordinary kibanda. In fact, he announced his arrival by taking his time to have a word with the half a dozen playful kids next to the vendor. By now, he had stolen the show. Mama Mboga and I were reduced to flower girls smiling unrelentingly, nodding to his every word and sometimes clapping for him.

That done, he made two steps forward to where I was and immediately inquired my name putting on a charming face. You know of pastors when they want to understand which side of the clothing you were made from. Like, are you friendly, humble, intelligent, inquisitive, poachable, bla bla. They make these calculations very fast. This happens the moment they firmly shake your hands while posing a question and when you start responding to them. Pastors and psychologists are one and the same. They can tell who you are even before you open your mouth.

This is how it rolled;

What is your name sir!

While taking my time……Andrew.

Ooh Andrew the disciple of Jesus (chuckling)

It was long since I last had that…..Yes.

Who do you work for?

That offended me. Here was a guy whom I hadn’t met before, pestering me with such questions while he hadn’t introduced himself to me in the first place. I thought of lying to him…..I did exactly that. I lied to him I work in one of the local banks in town.

Which bank?

I mentioned the bank.

Aah, I was the first person to open a bank account in that place, back in 2010.

My mind was like; that was not necessary!

Did you know of the very first Branch Manager (insert name)?

Appearing clueless, 2010 was a long time ago. I was in college.

He was a great manager. Who is the current manager??

That got me flat footed. Why did I lie to a man of god. I would have saved myself this trouble….. aaaaaah Mr. Musyoka. (Where the hell did I get that name.) 

Right.

My face saved me. He believed me.

He moved to the poor Mama Mboga who by now was almost panicking. You know those pasis who roam around like public schools headmasters. Okay, I mean when headmasters were the real thing. When they were the only fellows who owned cars back in the day. And why was it that nothing would take away their love for the brown bottle? They would religiously frequent the bar next to the school than they would visit a class. And they commanded such tremendous respect. Wow! This pastor was throwing such an attitude. How did I find myself in this upheaval!!

After the pasi exchanged pleasantries with the Mama Mboga, I met my shocker. He made the Mama stop whatever she was doing and also requested me to check on her kibanda as they made their way to her house for a few minutes. I was made to guard this kibanda. You should have seen how confused I was, wondering how to react to this defeating shocker. Hail Mother Mary, I sighed. This was one big joke. From what I understood, he was checking to her house for a few minutes to tame this sheep that had shown signs of fleeing from the rest of the flock.  Why the house now, especially when his kondoo was busy attending to her customers? Don’t forget that he prayed for us even before shaking our hands.

A customer was turned to a guard for minutes that dragged on and on. I would touch the shock on me. Seriously, who does that? Okay, the mama had failed to appear in your church for several days and there was a prudent reason to visit her and find out what was happening. But again, wisdom has it that someone got to appreciate where his/her rights begin and end. The moment they start encroaching on the other person’s rights, then you got to stop. I was the other person in this situation. Not giving a damn on the lost and found sheep. I was here to have some stuff prepared for me to have supper. Whether this Mama had not shown up in church for some time now, was none of my business.

With all due respect to genuine men of God who do all they can to spread the Gospel and instill solid Christianity values, appearing too overzealous to an extent of being disruptive can be self-defeating and in actual sense negate the very essence of their mission. It was very disrespectful for the purported pastor to halt all that was happening at this vendor and even daring to drag this mama to her house for God knows what and leave stranded clients in waiting. I hope Kageshi won’t drag in a wannabe pasi to our house at odd hours for a cup of tea and a plate of omelette that is ostensibly never served to me.

Radicalisation does not only happen in matters terrorism but also in cases where Christians make church leaders command extreme authority and appear to behave like demigods.

 

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