I am not known to chase or beg, because I have this sort of entitlement that if I do just enough, returns will flow in. But life does not operate like that. The MB tells me that entitlement will be the end of me, and I agree, but I just can’t seem to shake it off.
That said, there are instances when a man has to divert from the norm. And I too am a man. When need arises, I can beg (Let’s call it petitioning for esteem purposes.) Like this one time when I had to beg Delamon the drama teacher to include me in the Festival list. Dela can tell you how much pain I took him through on that fateful afternoon when he decided I was not good enough to be in the choral verse. Or you can ask Ephis Mburea.
But that one is shadow, know what I mean?
In the year of our Lord 2007, I had made myself a name for playing minor roles in drama sets at box 1. You know, those guys who appear in one scene of a play, make a funny noise or cry then disappear? Yes, those ones.
It was a largely non-competitive role because most guys in drama had big aspiration of growing into national figures and as such wanted big roles like Fr. Supremo and Wakapuspus. Si ndio, Muriithi Collins na JayThuci. But not yours truly. As long as I got to be on the coveted mtokeo list and avoided menial tasks like pulling curtains and carrying backdrops, I was well sorted. Not like I was really the actor anyway.
So we are there in the dining hall doing rehearsals and dancing badly and living wild like we have no care for 8-4-4. Privileged to be out of class during preps. Someone from the production crew of Tahidi High is coming to help us polish up, but I couldn’t care less. Who needs to polish up wailing ‘Woooi, wooi…mabepari wametuamulia.’anyway?
At the moment my mind is on the material day of the festivals, and on two girls in particular. Joan W and Carl Thuma of Mecca. You see, Joan was this pretty lass who had somehow come to be associated with yours truly, so much so that she had reportedly adopted my name as a second name. And I was in a daze! You may not understand because you don’t know Joan. And I wont even begin describing her looks- the contours, the lips, the eyes- or her voice. This because….Okay, I’ll stop.
Thuma, her bestfriend, was my wingman. And Thuma was more than a knockout too. She was always saying how we fit each other blah blah blah. Actually, I never really used to talk to my Joan, I was always tongue tied in her presence. But Thuma was a godsend…convo was free with her and it always got to Joan. And, the devil is a liar, he once told me that Thuma was more suited for me than Joan. Weh!
So I’m here thinking of how I will treat my two favorite women when the Tahidi guest arrives, accompanied by the evergreen drama teacher Esther, and asks us to go over the whole set. And guess what he did to me. He said of my part, “I think we should do away with that.”
Just like that. With no consideration of my budding minor actor career or my festival plans. I looked to pretty Esther for intervention, but she just gave me that ‘the expert has spoken’ look.
After the rehearsal, I asked the teacher, ‘But I will still go for fests, ya?’ And she asked, “What for if you have no role?” And that is when my petition began.
And boy, did I petition!
I stuck to Ess like a tail. From the staff room to the department to the border of the no-go teachers’ quarters. Actually, she went home to escape me, but I bid her with ‘we’ll pick from there tomorrow.’
When she saw the next day I was letting off, she asked me why I was so adamant, and I gave it to her straight. I have to see Joan. You may not understand, but it is the only way I can continue living. It is the only way I can pass my exams. It is the only way I can give the English department an A.
But she is an understanding woman, Esther. “Come up with something to present, something unique, and I will fix you somewhere.”
Boom! My shuttle diplomacy went into overdrive!
And that is how I found myself introducing a new role in the folk dance, me who had never danced before. In one night, I had internalized the luo song, dance moves and taken the lead role with great assistance from the tale of Luanda Magere- and Allan Onserio.
All for my Joan. And my Thuma
Biro Kod mier/ jokodo biro kod mier aduwaa * 3
Owaang, Owang winyo gobombe gathano….
What, is that even? Luos?