There was a police officer who was posted to my village when we, the community, demanded for a police post. Crime had escalated, as had petrol sales, because we were sending a message to the government that we were tired of their force being ‘Utumishi kwa wachache.’ We took to roasting thieves, literally, until he government gave in and sent us four police officers. FOUR (4)
It still beats me how for men could be expected to restore order where a whole community was failing. But this is not about that. This is about a quote by Kimeu, God rest his soul, one of the four policemen in the first batch posted to Kigumo AP post. Kimeu will be remembered for a lot of things, but above all for this quote: ‘Hii mambo haijaanzia leo, imekuwa tangu enzi za mababu zetu.’ One bit of a two-part quote. The second bit I wont state now, but, for those who might remember, it began as, ‘Kimeu alisema…’ So when juzi I heard of one Bro Ocholla who exposed his fisi-like ways in a prayer cell Whatsapp group, I remembered Kimeu’s saying; this search for cloud nine goes back a long way.
The year is long ago. In the years when you do not want your name to be Múthoni, because then you are automatically christened ‘Kifagio’ The cock has started feeling the urge to crow at around the same time the hens are displaying ‘henny’ characteristics. Girls tunics appear swollen on their chests. My friend Head Mud (Edmond) thinks they are hiding something in there. Robin thinks they are developing muscles. Having interacted with my older cousins, I proudly get these two out of the drain by informing them those are breasts. They are magic organs, I say, but, for now, the only magic you might need to perform on them is aim for them if a girl challenges you to a fight. You hit one, she goes powerless, you win the fight. Now they know why I am not afraid of the biggest girl in our school.
Anyway, like I said, gacamba has tried to start crowing. I recently spotted a certain girl and I felt thithii. Thithii is a confusing feeling when you are a young boy. You see, at that age, you are conditioned such that when any thought comes to your mind, it is followed in quick succession by the thought, “Will I be asked?” At least it is like that when you are the son of The Man Beater. Then again I wonder whether that could be a disease creeping up on me, and from afar, could I be getting bewitched.
But thithii does not give a hoot; I decided me and Múthoni had to become one. So I pondered and pondered how to approach her. Walk up to her….no! And tell her what? Write her a letter? Weeeh! What if it ands in wrong hands and people know I am looking fora girlfriend? Or worse, what if the omnipresent Man Beater finds out?
Or should I look for a close confidant to secretly convey my intentions? Paaarfect!
Not much to think about who to send. Njo is the chosen messenger. Njo and I are like Kenyatta and Mbiu Koinange. And he is excellent at it. Njo goes to the same school as my Múthoni. He is one class ahead so he can talk to her with a little authority.
Anyway, all that is ilienda ikawa. Njo returns to me with a message the next evening: Mútho wanted me to tell that to her myself. “Tell me exactly what she said. Her words!” I demand.
“Kwa nini anakutuma, kwani hana mdomo? Mwambie akuje aniambie mwenyewe.”
She said that, are you sure? So, Njo, do you think that is a bad thing or a good thing? I think she hates me.
Of course it is a good thing, she wants you….
Get lost, is that why she asked if I don’t have a mouth?
She just wants you to say it to her….
So you mean she wants us to….
Yes she wants to meet you!
What have I gotten myself into? So if we meet, where, when, what time? And talk about what? Sex? Books? Marriage?
No, Njo, no. We need to end this. Now!
Njo will hear none of that, he insists he is setting us to meet up. Ma ya ngune!! Nimejipeleka Hague. Can’t we return to vague and just have a local tribunal?
Njo is of kusema na kutenda type. The meet-up with Múthoni is arranged for the next evening, Tuesday. 6.45pm, as she goes to collect milk. That time most mothers will be home beginning supper preparations. No father will be on the road home yet. It is dusk, not too light for people to see us from a mile away; not too dark for Múthoni to be outdoors. We have five minutes maximum, more than that her mother will venture out looking for her.
And thus, we are here.
I was told you wanted to see me…..
What is it…..
What Njo told you…..
He did not tell me anything……
[Thinking] Kumbe Njo is a cabbage! Aaah, this girl is shitting me!….He told me he told you….
Told me what?
So what do you want me for?
At that moment my mind is working overtime. Is that The Man Beater I see coming? What if I say something dumb? What do other boys tell her? Does she think I am evil? What if God punishes me? Will I start failing my exams? Who is the Minister of Education? Oh, teacher said it is Minister For, not of. Are Njo and the boys hiding around to hear how it goes? Yes they are! I can bet my ball! My pums ball. So I can’t blow this. But what is this lump in my throat?
I….I want you to be my girlfriend……
Si you have a girlfriend?….
No, that one is, aah, which girlfriend?….
You know her….
I don’t have a girlfriend…..
I have to go, nachelewa….
Aah, Ok, wait. Umesemaje?…..
And that’s that. That was the longest five minutes of my life!! Weh!!! Just like I guessed, Njo had spilt the beans, and the chimps had planted themselves to hear it all. They may say I blew it, but I am armed with two pieces of evidence:
- Ni vile she thinks I have another girlfriend
- She was in a hurry asichelewe. She said to tutaonana.
For now, I need to go and change, and also lie down. Never sweat so much before, or had such breathing problems before. Could I be contracting asthma? Hope not.
PS: I have just set myself up for big big trouble, a fugitive I am. See you next week.