I have told you that around 2010 I was headed for greatness, aye? I was bordering on influential, controversial and philosophical. And now I just realized that I was also building another very important life skill- networking. I had some Musungu friends. Rather, a musungu friend, who had friends.
It so happened that we were holding a football tournament at Kigumo, the seat of my grandfather’s heritage, and I was captaining my home team- see, I was edging towards leadership too. Now, there was this musungu crew- let’s call it a mission- that had chipped in with extra coins and gifts for the teams. Very nice. The only problem was that they were on an AIDS awareness campaign, and were encouraging players to get tested. You know the word ‘encouraging’ is synonymous to ‘demanding’ in this context, right? Like when your boss encourages you to dress more professionally.
The other bigger problem was that as host captain, the onus was on me to lead the obviously not so co-operative group to get ‘measured.’ Not that I had a problem being measured, I probably was a virgin anyway, but that would have gone against a blanket Embu tribe resolution that two chosen people would NEVER get tested- Muminji Ward rep Newton ‘Karish’ Kariuki and yours truly. So you can imagine the dilemma I had of balancing the burden of society and immediate team responsibility.
I could have talked my way out of it, but my Rusungu has always been a hindrance. But then, with leadership skills, all is possible. When I went into the tent, I explained to the testers- luckily there was a translator in there- that I was the captain and needed to first marshal my players to take the test. I assured them that I had undergone the same numerous times so I would be more than willing to be tested when they were done with the rest.
Could they hand me a dummy kit to explain to the others what a simple process it was? Yes, of course. When I went back outside, I used the dummy as my own kit, told them that I had already done mine, and convinced them to do it too.
As I stood there ushering my players into the tent, a musungu male came over to introduce himself. “Something Martin,” he said, extending his hand. “Yes?” I replied, shaking it- the extended hand, silly. I thought he was asking me something about Martin, but I later learnt he was introducing himself as Fergus Martin.
He tried to engage me in a conversation, but, like you all know, huwa siskii kitu wazungu wanasema. So I just stood there answering ‘aah’ ‘eeh’ and yes. When I couldn’t take it anymore, I excused myself, saying ‘let me come,’ then pretending to be busy addressing my team. I don’t know why, but Fergus found ‘let me come’ a hilarious statement.
Seeing as the testing queue was quickly winding down, I knew I had to get away fast, so I told Fergus, “Come I show you,” as I pulled him away. He found that hilarious too, the perverted bugger!
Football is a one-language game, the language is football, so when I engaged him in a kick-about, we didn’t have to talk. In classic Kenyan version, I told him I could teach him Swahili, and proceeded to teach him a few profanities- my apologies, but I too found it hilarious.
Anyway, after the games Fergus invited me for drinks at the hotel they were staying, but the language barrier remained. They had in their pack some beauties, but when Fergus asked me if I could ‘hit that’ I responded with a quick ‘no.’ Only later did I realize what ‘hit that’ meant, na hivyo ndivyo hiyo chance ilienda!
Things did not improve in our subsequent facebook chats, because, again, I was among the pioneers of Xaxa Xema [Evidence in first comment of this post] and that proved to be a stumbling block to our friendship.
Now here I am, one who had started making connections worldwide, the farthest connection I have ni na huku Mbeere kwa kina Sammy Utuku. Maafa ya kutojua rusungu…anyone know a good English school ya kedo 3 months hivi?