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Cul de sac

This villager, with his white hair, receding hairline and bushy beard in tow is a confused fellow. He is unable to fathom the essence of being, the reason for existence and the depth of life.

Lest the enemies of development start throwing stones while claiming that am no longer interested breathing in and out (as our PE teacher used to admonish us when we were exercising the bag of bones were were then) but let me be clear from the word go- am not interested in exploring any valley or hill in next life.

However long the after life is claimed to be- our village catechist says it lasts for ever and ever- I hope not to be a candidate soon. Although I still wonder how it shall be ‘life’ if it is after life, but I guess that a question better suited to those fellows who previously used to wear floor hugging dresses aka cassocks.

What is confusing the few marbles resident in my medulla oblongata (which has considerably shrank since the village sun decided to take over the wet season too) is lack of knowledge as to why and what for am about puttering in the village.

Our village catechist and his headmaster, the Vicar insist that we are around for the pleasure of the Almighty. That he made us to sing and dance to make him (our heavenly boss) smile. And when he smiles at us, good things happen. That his smile precedes rains and other forms of blessings. We are warned that if we don’t toe his line, not so good things will happen to us, not only in this green and tree filled village but also in the afterlife- that place again!

However, my two eyes show me different. In as much as it is a good idea to be a good ‘Christian’, the not so good Christians are thriving. Indeed, my jaundiced eye has seen many so called Christian, especially leaders, collaborate, associate and identify more with the monied village non Christians than the poor, sincere and deeply pious congregants. For me it seems to better to have deep pockets than deep faith.

So I hesitate to let my heart beat for faith.

Many a rich fellows are odious. These nabobs think the sun shines from their rear. Not only would they splash your villager with muddy water but will literally add an insult to the splash. It is not the poor who grab, hoard and accumulate for the unknown future but often many rich will fail the humanity test. Kindness, humility. love (not lust) and genuine happiness are amiss.

Often, when they give, it is a trap or in hope of future double recompense. Soon, the search for prosperity and power becomes a trap and a vicious cycle. They seek money wealth, dominance and fame not as a means to an end but as an end in itself. So happiness has to be purchased. Sleep becomes a foreigner who has to be coaxed with pills. Love is an allusion, a commodity which can be bought- and whose supply is terminated as soon as money runs short.

The end product is just like that of religiosity- an empty fatigued shell whose nose is full of soil.

Nobody would ever live for want. Life of poverty want and need dehumanizes an individual to a level lower than that of an animal. One is seen as a fool, a forgotten trash sack in the market. One is deprived of the dignity that makes live worth living, a state no self respecting village should ever allow its members to be in.

Some villagers live for honorifics. Previously, it was the lawyers who used to display low pride, referring to each other as learned friends. Today, every accountant in the village is CPA so and so. Every perspiring MCA aspirant is a mheshimiwa. I have heard of college professors who would fail you for not referring to them by the correct honorific. It is indeed a shallow lake to dredge.

So now, you understand why this silly villager is confused. He has attempted to understand what the fuss about life is all about but he always gets to a cul- de-sac.

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Earthquake

When rumours started flowing in the village that there would be an earthquake on a certain Lord’s holy day a few weeks past, no one took it seriously.

The reason us the villagers- with and without white , black or yellowing hair, nor beards (long or short, smooth or bushy) – refused to take the stories seriously without hesitation was simple- it has been ages since we experienced an earthquake. The last time there was a tremor in the village, His Excellency the cockerel holder was the main headmaster in the country.

His Excellency, whose full titles were a page long and had to be uttered at the beginning of every newscast, was sitting pretty and content despite the noises by some disgruntled elements (whom he described as ‘never be satisfied’ claiming that there were other chickens in the roost.

He ( his Excellency, the Chief Chancellor, Chief of all Armed (and Unarmed) Forces, Chief farmer number one etc ) also had the pleasure of attempting to knock out all sense from the noisemakers but that is a story for another day.

What am saying is that the villagers, who never knew a two finger salute but a one finger salute were jolted by screams and wails one night. Some villagers were crying out that several thieves were simultaneously attempting to break their doors!

The thieves were giant sized because they were also shaking all the beds, furnitures and whole houses.

A certain well informed and traveled old man was making counter noises at the top of his thunderous voice ‘Calm! Its an earthquake! Calm, fellow foolish villagers, calm!’

Now before the tremors visited us, there was no prior warning. In as much as the oldest villager could remember, there had never before, in their living memory, was there an earthquake which had been predicted. So we dismissed the talk as the empty talking class manure- of no consequence but to foul the air.

On the earthquake day, with feet firmly planted on the ground we awaited to be shook and shaken. As a precaution and with the adae tha its better to be safe than sorry, we all sat outside out huts, lest the conical structures bunch and entomb us alive.

As the dusk settled and there was nor rush nor precipitation, we shook our heads in wonder- How outrageous today’s liars are- they even attempt to pull wool over our eyes on God’s deeds!

PS

This villager laer on learnt that it was a certain senior fellow in Kukuland, yet to discover flash disk so calls himself maDVD who was consummating an alliance with a former chicken seller who now sells hustlers and bottoms up.

This villager is still seeking an understanding of the musicality of the association and whether it is a dance which he might participate in, despite being both left legged. He however seeks to clarify that he has no desire whatsoever to to shake any hand or any bodily part. he insist that He has no Azimio or Tanga tanga blood in him and wishes to be left alone to enjoy the village breeze unmolested by the noises of either camp.

End of story!

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Old Age

If there is a stage in life which this not so young fellow, with white hair and scattered bushy beards in tow, anticipates with many a hearty palpitations, is the old age.

It’s an time set where the mention of bones and knuckles make the old hearts to pump a bit faster. This time frame, despite being described by the optimists as a time to enjoy the fruits of your labour, to play with your grandchildren and generally chill as you dispense wisdom gained over time has turned to be a desperate time.

In as much as it is inevitable of every villager (am not sure of the city dwellers as every time I visit, its full of young, energetic and beautiful young people whose shine never fade) to age, as decades pile upon decades, as you breath more the Lord’s good air, many thing change. And not for good.

In the days of yore, to be old was golden. An old man, some not so foolish fellows declared in those days, wasa living library. He or she had respect which was accorded simply due to his age. He never queued, he never waited. He would be waited upon, fussed over and generally had a good run.

It was a cursable offense not to step aside for the aged to pass. Everyone, without a grudge or hesitation would give way to the old to sit. In buses, in hospital or any other social place. Today, in the village, old men and women are scorched by the sun the whole day as they await to be given the little money from the government. No one gives way in the bank queues and as long as they have paid, with earphones stuck to their ears and phones in front of their eyes, the young ones are smug- the old be damned.

Today, the aged are harrassed, left on their own (even by their own) and the youngs ones’ have the audacity to scold them. Its no longer a shame to shout at the old ones, with the young ones shouting down and shoving them out of the way. The bodaboda riders race with the old ladies clinging to the pillion like scared rabbits, often at risk of falling and breaking their brittle bones. Along the roads, it is either dust being sprayed during the dry season or mud being splashed in the wet season- everything goes at this age.

The old people in the village are lonely. Surprisingly, even the former vibrant, rich village nabobs who live in what n the village standards are mansions are suffering in their huge houses. Whether the old fellow lives in the humblest of abode, a hatched rounded mud walled habitat which he share with rats – which often dip their snouts to his leftover food as the old man snoozes- or lives in an empty three bedroomed cut stone structure which was the pride of the village in its heydays, many a night both sleep hungry.

In both instances, their grown children are either away , making a living in the city or have moved into heir homes and are busy taking care f their own. For those who are aay, the luck old men and women get a monthly visit, with ait all kinds of food stuffs. Yet the food spoils and old people sleep hungry as here is no one to prepare it.

The nearby sons always have a tiff with their parents. In the village, this is always about land. The not so young sons are demanding to be given a share of the most productive land for their use. Unfortunately, its this portion of land which the aged used to keep themselves busy and relevant. Its on this piece that he aged sek people to help them cultivate (for a fee, of course) and get people visiting them. People with whom they can interact and socialize. So the requests which soon turn to demands are met with firm denial. so in both abundance and lack, the old ones are abandoned by they loved ones and taken advantage of by the outsiders.

By the time the old villagers are lucky to be eight to nine decades old, a new affliction awaits. Out of every three old people of that age, even a decade less, two have issues with their glucose control. So every second homestead there are vials and injections containing that syrup used to assist the aged bodies to beak down the glucose. Many a sitting room for the aged in the village resemble a pharmaceutical outlet- with tablets, bottles and injection packs competing for space with the long rear TVs and heavy ancient radios.

This condition demands the aged keep a regime which tests the patience of every care giver in the homestead. The type, amount and timing of food, the avoidance of certain types of are subjects worth a whole semester learning. The aged couples and at times single (wo)man is expected to keep off sugar which every visitor brings. Controlling the glucose level at the ideal lever poses a steep challenge, with the levels being high or low being fatal, more so if the levels are too low.

Associated with these are associated challenges including heart and pressure complications, loss of both sight and hearing, mood swings stiffness of joints, pains and generally sicknesses. a jovial old man turns to be a vindictive, cantankerous villager, feared by all. hs eventually distances people who the villager need most.

It’s tough to be old in the village!

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cuddle power

There are howls and yowls once again, especially from the netizens of this good land which comprises of Remoteroute village amongst others. It is in this Remoteroute village where a bearded fellow, with his hair turning the colour of curdled milk has been hearing howls, some from as far as the city of many many lights.

The root cause of this consternation and pain, the villager came to learn was due to the antics of a power turned darkness churning or at times power selling company. Kenya Paraffin and Candles Company, as the howling netizens decided to christen the power utility company had decided to give the good city -zen fellows an opportunity to cuddle- by providing darkness.

Romour in the village is that the people who live in the city of many many lights are always on their toes. These blessed fellows, although they live not from hand to mouth live from foot to foot. The city and other pretend cities are always rushing, in a move to yet make another coin. The infamous fellows , whether on foot or in a matatu and especially those in porsches and mercedes are always speeding. Indeed, the last time the villager visited the city, as he gawked and stared at the glass monstrosity going upwards as far as the eye could see, the city dwellers knocked him over, almost throwing him on the path of the manically driven never ending string of vehicles.

So these god forsaken fellows thought they ruled the world and neglected to do the important and critical national building duties. These duties begin at home, and as they say, a strong home leads to a strong nation. The need to keep each other warm, not only with emojis on the screen but by being close to each other- with a candle and do what the word rhyming with the candle says.

On realizing this critical dereliction of duty, KPLC decided to act. On Tuesday 11th January of this brand new year of our Lord 2022, at around 10.45 am, all lights, sockets and other electrical appliance were switched off. And citizens mouths on.

Whispers began after thirty minutes when some elite villagers realized that their gadgets – which had been half charged were almost off. We at the village had long given up as our phones work when directly plugged to a power source, By the time the candle company was alerting its users that one of the poles carrying the good poer liquid had fell and therefore there was no hope of any lights in the course of the day, the whispers had turned to shouts.

Three hours later, we at the village could hear the howls, yells and yowls and all manner of noises as the city-zens headed home- to cuddle in candle light.

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Is this all there is ?

After spending close to to five decades wandering and wondering on this God’s good planet, this villager is up in knots.

This earth, albeit in the village sense, seems too have so much to offer. There are a thousand plus one problems to solve, there are inimitable joys to sample. The thousands of music strains and tunes awaiting to be played, and a million possible Soduku permutations.

Yet it feels so empty.

this life seems to be that so precious- what- not which i heard in a tall tale, so many moons back. it seems there was a gentleman of no mean repute- probably a direct descendant of the gods – whom the same gods played. they gave the man a so precious bundle wrapped in so many wrappers in order to make him ‘see’ sense of life.

Every day, apart from the mandatory life processes of eating and voiding, he was unwrapping this gift. Every. Blessed, Day.

And the man aged and died, finding that beyond the wrapper is another wrapper.

Life full of wrappers.

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Writing Bliss

There are many things villagers do to while away their time. Some sleep, some meditate, many a young couples take to the road and just walk their time away.

I have heard of a certain villager near the Aberdare ranges, probably the coldest spot on this good country- a place where when fog decides to act up during the day, whether or not you are whiling your time away, you have to take several steps. One, if you are blessed to be driving, you put on full lights. Since the blessed place is in the kenyan tropics, you cant put on the fog lights as they simply don’t exist.

If you are walking, and you had not been well advised to wear a heavy long kabuti, pole sana. you will shiver till you forget that you have teeth in your mouth. Even those inside their vehicles have to tighten the coat tails as the cold bites. If you are passing by or intending to live in Limuru- that the name of the village, by the way- you are further advised to buy a pair of dark coloured gumboots.

Don’t buy the white colored ones as you will be mistaken for a butcher. Or if you are a nice, well cut suit, with a woolen full-neck pullover, a surgeon. A pair of those gumboots must be with you all the time as you might need them at a moment’s notice. Also you are likely to be having them all the time as the fog is a constant companion and with unpredictable weather these days, look for a foldable pocketable pair.

This villager, who was once a tough mohine, a gun carrying member of defence forces who now has been turned to a ‘look here children’ officer has also interesting tales of a place near the cold village. Tales tell of a place where law enforcement officers will be called on you if you are spotted lighting a cigarette.

A place led by the cool religious chaps, not those who cry and shout on tv and demand you break all kinds of spirits via an Mpesa message. Definitely not this type ! Now this cool chaps decided that there shall only be holy waters being taken in this place. No wine, no spirit nor beer is permitted. In fact , its possible that you can be brought before the Local Parochial Council (LPC) in case you are found drunk and disorderly.

Anyway, I guess you also while your free time reading. Thanks for that!

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The Egyptian Irish Potato- Waru Wars 1

There are Kenyans somewhere who have decided to wage a guerrilla campaign on their own behalf and on that of that tuber which bears an English connotation, the humble Irish potato, the elite food, it seems, not just atthe Remoteroute hamlet where this bearded grey haired not- so- wise fellow was born and brought up but also all over the country, with cities with many and few lights included.  

Now if you have managed to read (and understand!) the whole of the above paragraph pretending to be a sentence, bear with me a little more.

The bone (and marrow) of contention in this keyboard inspired quarrel is that some company which rhymes with AFC has decided to take Kenyans to Misri (Egypt).  It is alleged that after using all sorts of thermometers, wind vanes and barometers, the Kenyan branch of the international brand (the AFC sounding one- you can’t be too careful with libel) decided that the potatoes grown in the slopes of Mt Elgon, Mt Kivu and Longonot  are just like their African counterparts- the Arrowroots.

This is to say that the health and reputation of the company was at risk if the consumers [those who patronize (not visit) these establishments (not kiosks) don’t eat but consume ] was at risk from Kinangop potatoes.

To mitigate such risk, the investors decided that for the last decade, all the potatoes must come from the land of Egypt where the holy river Nile sanctifies and cleanses the potatoes from such and any malaise.  

To say that the village in me was surprised is an understatement.  The shock, it seems, was shared by thousands of other villagers across this beautiful land of peace love and unity, we have Azimio, Tangatanga and Kigame as our leading motto in these tumultuous times.

This villager initial encounter with Egypt was through our Sunday school teacher who had many not so positive things about this land. The land of Misri, he told our small brains then (not that they have grwn much ), was ruled by a tough Kaburu known as Farao. These fellow was not a fala (fool)  at all  as his tile might insinuate but was a full no nonsense man.

He was a man who would welcome you to eat to your fill in his household but if you overstayed your welcome, he would gladly and literally bring the house down on you. Some enterprising fellows sold a younger brother, locally christened Jusufu, to some trader. In a twist of fate fit of the gods themselves, the young fellow was enslaved in the Farao’s household where he attempted to take over the kingdom by taking over the household’s assistant head.

Since Farao, just like our own Nyayo, was the president 24 hours in a day, including when he was doing the unmentionable in his home and that further he didn’t like opposition in his own household, he threw the young fellow into the dungeons.

Now, I hear the dungeons then, especially those reserved for merry amorous fellows accused of attempted coup were particularly harsh, Yusuf didn’t get a wink, leave alone the famous forty ones. In the long hours of sleeplessness in the Egyptian nyayo horror chambers, the young man got an inspiration.

He whispered the same to his fellow inmates. Since romours run round the world twice before the truth has tied its shoe laces, the romours reached the big man in the big house. Suddenly, the young man was in charge of Egyptian NCTPB (National Cereals, Tubers and Produce Board).

The young man had no wish to go back to the dungeons and since the king promised him (Jusufu) his (King’s) daughter in lieu of leaving his (kings) marital status intact, Yusus was adequately motivated and worked so very hard as the Tubers’ board chair.  He ensured that all Egyptians had a taste of wheat, maize, beans, and potatoes and all other tubers and roots except arrowroots. Which he banned on account of their strange cooking requirements.

The Sunday school teacher had many such stories which I shall relate later on but this I understand was the root cause of the guerrilla keyboard campaign on going.

These Kenyans are insisting that they cannot continue suffering by eating the products sanctified by river Nile which originates from their land. They are arguing that there is no way the river downstream can be able to serve better potatoes than the ones produced by the river’s source. They have stated- nay shouted – they are not ready to go back to Misri when they can see Canaan.

Despite having being warned by the Azimio supremo that the bridge to Canaan is broken and there are crocodiles in that river, they have howled that it’s better to be swallowed by the crocodile they know than to swallow Egyptian Irish potatoes.

We await with bated breath to see which party  will blink first.

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oh men!

Some years past, men in the Remoteroute hamlet were the men. They were the primary providers, protecters and used to precede in all businesses.

his is unfortunately no more.

Men’s provision started early. The boys, in their youthful exuberance would charge into the bush and on lucky weekend, a buck would fall. Even if it were a hare or a bird, to he boy’s would be sleep with animal protein in their belly.

when adequate muscles would form, there would plenty of manual work ithe farm, forest to and lake. Thus the role of man in provision was well established. This therefore gave to the man the prime position in his homestead, dictating the pace, the tone and tenor therein.

The protective role decline started with the advent of the white man. In the Remoteroute, men stood up to resist the plunder and subjugation by the colonialist. Once the Mzungu defeated our forefathers, his 1st task was to emasculate them. He made stroke off the protection role by employing several tactics. One he employed Askaris to offer protection. This is were also used to beat up and generally weaken the menfolk to conform with the white man’s creed. Even protecting kin and Kith from wild animals attacks was stopped and the African man branded a poacher.

The man was displaced as he was required to work away from the family in order to among other things, pay taxes. The man hut where wisdom was brewed was almagamated with his women folk as number of huts was the basis of taxation.

A more insidious but lethal emasculation was through indoctrination to the new creed. In this, the man was required to turn the other cheek when slapped, when land- his very livelihood- was grabbed and thank the good Lord high above for the suffering.

to date, the protection role evaporated.

when the man provided and protected, he preceded. No decision, major or minor could be made without his say so.

In time, the good women started to provide for themselves and family. The nature of work continuously has changed such that it was less of brawn and more of brain. This work required concentration and long periods and ability to take instructions. Men would rather give instructions.

While away toiling, the good ladies took over the men’s broke and still performed theirs. Thus they (women) nurtured and provided.

When men returned to the houses/homes, they no longer had the space. Soon, a culture of men never being seen by at home during daylight hours was established.

Plenty of young boys lacked the masculine presence at home thus missed to learn by observation what men ought to do. Before long not anly were the boys wearing nose rings but we’re experimenting with make ups

This cycle has gone full revolution. It is not surprising today to see young men fully dressed like their feminine counterparts.

Today, when men at home just stare at the zombie screens, sleep or are just plain lost.

It will take a miracle to make men the men they were.

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Rewriting history- Jirongo way

This villager read with unvarnished interest one Cyrus Jirongo’s take on life and events and was surprised.

The main amazement was that he agreed with Hon. Jirongo on the need to sanitize our politics. However rich it was coming from a man synonymous with tanking our economy, and to hear him diss his erstwhile friend bellied the expression of no permanent friends or enemies in politics. That he saw no irony in pointing others ills while deflecting his own contribution while deft still makes his call to sanity suspect.

It is hard to tell what the Sunday Nation intends with these uncritical interviews with heroes of and villains of yester years. Whereas any people bereft of their history are doomed to repeat the past foolies, it’s inconceivable how giving demagogue of yester years a platform to cleanse and re write their history helps a nation.

Let us not mince words- Mr. Jirongo and his ilk and partners in crime not only impoverished Kenyans, stealing billions of shillings but led collapse or fatally weakened public organisations.

NSSF, Postbank are some of the institution bled to coma to support the extravagant ways of the kanu elite and their later day offsprings, most notably Jirongo.

ItS therefore simplistic for the honourable senior member to attempt to whitewash the past and declare self a saint.

Mr. Jirongo prides self a a bullish African with many kids. He takes a commendable stand on owning to kids sired. He has unrelentingly fathered, from what I could gather, tens of children. Apart from wondering if the large family led to the recorded heists, or heists led to the large family, I would rather stay mum on matters two consenting adults do in their privacy.

The casual disregard on matters money is confounding. This is so very worrisome considering the gentleman has presidential ambitions.

On financial prudence, much can be said. That the loaded Mzee can have 10 million and blow it in a week is a clear and pointed inability to manage his finances. A nice feeling from being told thanks is the poorest excuse I have ever heard for giving out money like candies on Christmas day.

There surely must be a better and sustainable way to channel charity which doesn’t leave the giver in financial doldrums!

My hope and prayer is that his offsprings and the general public doesn’t take financial advise from him.

An, the villager lives on. To be shocked again.

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Flip flops

A wise man once said that politicians and nappies need be changed regularly for same reason.

I think we are past time to change them.

Our politics, and our politicians by extension, have no moral fibre. There are no principles, no conviction, no cause to fight for but self preservation, self enrichment and preservation.

If the political leaders are a reflection of our society today, then we are living the worst of times.

Whereas there are tens, nay , hundreds of political parties, there is hardly a discernable policy or ideological difference. The only difference in political party apart from the tribal nature is the leaders who can comfortably fit in any other party save where the party leader/ owner comes from.

When the huduma number 1 cobbled a coalition with his erstwhile friend, they promised unity, synergy and profound digital growth in a party they associated with the biblical remission period.

Kenyans were warned by among others Prof. PLO that it’s the same monkeys but in a different forest. That it was the same chancerious guys but wearing a different hat. To no avail.

The people of the good land whose name is associated with the whole country knew, heard and were aware that the lady they were electing was a known crook who had grubbed on billions of the country’s money. Yet they deluded themselves that it’s our thief, we shall elect her nevertheless.

True to the famous footsteps we love to follow in this country, the senior most seat electees were indicted international fugitives. In our amoral speak we declared- they are our killers, we embrace them nonetheless.

Back to Kirinyaga. Once ensconced on to the seat, she became what she always was- clever by three quarters. The wanachi at Kirinyaga she purports to lead are so beneath her that she speeds off to the big city every Friday. That she can’t spend her precious Sunday with Mwea holoi poloi – its not adequately treed!

She recently exchanged bitter words with some wheelbarrow fellows and declared a wheelbarrow no heaven bound MV and if so, well, she was ready to go to hell.

A few days later, she is the high priest of wheelbarrows and bottoms!

There is yet a chance that the good people of the mountain will elect her plus her wheelbarrow. And her senior bottoms experts.

And the same public will spend the next decade crying foul.

We as the electorate need a serious nappy change. And cleansing.

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