Previously on #Timbitii…Literally, Hezzeh will never know what hit him. This is because as soon as the knockout blow hit him, whoever delivered it disappears in the dark cloud. So does Múthoni, Njo and Ngondi. I leave last, but before Hezzeh can recover from both surprise and pain. I am not mad, I don’t at all suspect that I have been deserted.
I meet everyone at The Transformer, the place we all wait for each other after the film, because we lose each other every other fifteenth. Múthoni is there too; she professes her undying loyalty. The boys from Gítitú celebrate their victory……To cap a wonderful evening, boys from Gícúgú village also declare war on Hezzeh. The charges of urinating in the Nthaka toilet are effectively dismissed as vendetta. I have no doubt Hezzeh will be back with vengeance, but I just wanna live this moment.
So now it is a case of the people vs the bully. And I am the unifying factor.
With KCPE done and dusted, it is time to shave the foreskins of the candidates’ penises so they can be inducted into manhood. The same applies for those who have spent 3-4 years between class six and seven. Simply put, baada ya kuwa mtahiniwa, automatically unakuwa mtahiriwa.
But before the shearing is done, a boy has to take his first manhood responsibility: Build a house, because men do not sleep in their mothers’ houses. A mud house. Basically, it takes an event , íthinga, where you invite anyone known to you to come help plaster your house with mud. The mud plastering is more of a boy thing, the girls get more involved at the final and final stages- cow dung and lime smearing to create an attractive finish.
Íthinga is one of the few occasions where ivící and nthaka [the cut and the raw] are allowed to mingle. In real sense, though, it is a place where nthaka exercise their authority over ivíci, by assigning them menial tasks and floating unnprrintables.
So today is Mútwiri’s íthinga, Kamúrai village. I will not go into details of plastering a house with mud, because it is well, plastering a house with mud. The rel bit comes in the evening, when there is a dusk to dawn dance which is labelled ‘warming the house dry. Ivící are not allowed at the dance, but who are we? We hang lurk around in the bushes and suffer erections as we watch the inducted men get a good whining from the girls. Weh! Can’t wait to get inducted.
Kwanza there is a guy called Wallet. That man dances! He is well known across the ward-seven villages-for his sublime moves and slaughtering the girls. There is not a single dance he has not gotten invited to in the last five years. The owner of the dance has to have a special budget for Wallet- a packet of Supermatch cigarettes, a kavembe of muratina brew and ample space. The girls he would bring himself, this magnet.
But this is not about Wallet either. This is about Hezzeh.
On this day I am in between a nthaka and a kívící…since that incident on 15th, the boys want to keep me close as bait to batter the bastard.
Hezzeh shows up at around eight, with his boys in tow. It is well known that they do not love him, they just hide behind his Goliath figure in the war of the villages. His mission is clear: He is after me, and whoever was man enough to hit him during the film.
But he is poor at intel, this bully. He quarrels too many people, he has not done enough research (or narrowing down) to have a manageable number to pick beef with. He keeps voicing threats from corner to corner. In short, he is spoiling the party mood.
Worse still, he displeases wallet. Displeasing wallet is displeasing the girls, and displeasing the girls is killing the party. If the party is boring the house is not going to dry, and will remain Wallet is not a burly guy, but he is beyond Hezzeh’s age group, so a fight is out of question. But Wallent is not violent, so he opts to leave. After all, he has like another five dances to choose from.
So when the party begins to take a downturn, everyone rises against Hezzeh. I am fetched from the shadows by Mbothe, an angry lover of dance. I whisper Njo and we move forward to the main arena. Not that his size can hold a candle to Hezzeh’s, but it is well known that when Mbothe decides, he decides and decides. His slogan: K’ría kíaúmbire níkío gíkaúmbúra. Wa gúkua akuire tene. [That which created is the only same one that can/will destroy. Those meant to die died long before]
Mbothe brings me forward and dares Hezzeh: So now we won’t dance because of you? Kwani who do you think you are! Athicaa! Here is the boy you are looking for! Go ahead, do what you wanna….and hurry up, we have other business to attend to.
The ensuing actions I cannot narrate first hand. All I remember seeing is Hezzeh making a mad dash towards me, and Mbothe giving him a stopper punch before all hell broke loose. I hastily beat my retreat into the bush, beckoning my fellow uncut lot on my way.
I am home in 10 minutes flat. A dash across three villages. Three effing ridges! I also know that the freshly plastered house had to be re-done the following Saturday. Also, The Man Beater cannot make sense of how I was the center of a whole rampage by circumcised boys. That, or he just feigns ignorance to get me out of it all.
By the look in his eyes, I can tell that I am soon facing the knife. Sooner than I may be able to gather confidence. Too many fishes to fry!