So England have exited Europe twice in the space of one week. Once voluntarily and once they got kicked out. Well, these things happen, I’m sorry. And it is not the first time, my cousin Mugendi once tried to #Brexit his father’s house, with dire consequences.
After the three week seclusion that followed his circumcision, Mugendi came home and made a declaration: He did not think his father was the right person to captain his ship to its next destination. Thus, with immediate effect, he wanted his share of the family wealth, and an immediate secession.
His father looked at him and wondered what had gotten into the little devil, was it the cut or did he land the wrong teacher at seclusion. “Okay, take out that circumcision of yours so we can all see it,” Mugendi’s father mocked him. But Mugendi was not getting cowed, he made it clear to his father that no amount of powerplay would divert his focus.
And that is how the case was referred to the highest court in the land-My grandfather’s. You must know him, we called him Mú-Taliban. The Taliban’s Court of Supreme arbitration happened to sit in the same compound as my home, so I was quite an insider on its goings on. A court clerk kind of.
So Mugendi was brought to court. Mugendi’s father gave the opening statement. “Tell Mzee what you want.” But Mugendi has always been a difficult character. “You tell him. He is your Mzee, not mine.”
His father, aware of Mú-Taliban’s loathing for time wastage, put the whole case before the supreme leader.
Mú-Taliban’s questions to Múgendi were simple and direct.
Why do you want to Brexit.
I have decided.
And what is your exit plan?
I have my own plans.
Have you thought about why your elder siblings have not made such demands?
They are them and I am me, Mugendi. To each their own.
Will you expect any kind of support from your father’s house once you Brexit?
It was a long session, broadcast (semi)live to all family members through me. I would listen in for around ten minutes then disappear to the communal kitchen to relay proceedings. Eventually, it was decided that an opinion had to be sought of all stakeholders before a decision was reached, yaani, a referendum.
So the campaign started. Mugexit vs Mugestay
Of course this was settled at the court, the campaign was just a trap for us the sons and daughters to learn a hard lesson. No one was even campaigning for Mugestay.
And Mugendi? He was not even campaigning; he was threatening us. “If you won’t vote Mugexit, you better abstain from voting, because after the tally I’ll be on your neck.” But, like the British, he was seeing a great importance in his referendum that did not make the least bit of sense to us. Not like Mugendi was the baddest of my cousins, but people were just not bothered by his threats because there was no stake. Which was a very bad precedence, by the way.
We all gathered outside Mú-Taliban’s house, where the ballot was to be cast. Nothing like secret ballot. You were pointed and you said Mugexit or Mugestay. For some reason, I was disqualified from voting. But then a tie happened, and Mú-Taliban asked me to break it. I looked around at everyone, weighed the repercussions of my decision- The beating from Mugendi or falling out with Mú-Taliban, and I decided penye wazee hapaharibiki jambo.
In the pin-drop silence, I said with unusual calm and confidence- “Mugestay.” And at that very moment, favorite grandson tag moved from Bakari and settled squarely on me. But that’s another story.
I don’t know what side Mugendi leans on, but results are never fair when they don’t favour him.
He announced the referendum null and void; he was getting his inheritance come what may.
And inheritance he got, along with a secession notice. No food, no water, nothing from his father’s house going forward. But the old man did not get him a title deed, so the land he got was just ceremonial.
Suffice to say he was back at Mú-Taliban’s less than a week later, seeking intervention for readmission. He was eventually taken back, but from that day, if you went to their stead, you could always tell which dog had been caught trying to pry cooking fat from the kitchen shelf.