Celebrating East African Writing!
Last month I went to the highlands of Nyamira after almost a year in the city of Nairobi. If you don’t know where Nyamira is, I can tell you. It is a place where people eat bananas in all its forms; boiled, and fried, with ugali. This part of Kenya is where I was born and brought up. In fact I had missed eating ugali served with ripe bananas cooked by Alixina, my mother.
In the period I was in the city I had decided that the comb belonged in the ladies’ handbags and the salons and for use by the school going fellows. So, I had decided that no razor and comb should touch my head. In other words, I had become a follower of Lucky Dube.
My troubles begun the morning after I arrived when I decided to take a walk around the town to see what was new. It all began with three children. They were following me stealthily without my knowledge. When they finally started giggling, I turned and looked behind and at last there were about thirty kids following me and shouting “Rasta! Rasta! Lucky Dube.”
Before I could say Grand Rasta, curious people had started gathering along the road and shops, eyes open wide like bulbs threatening to pop out of their sockets. In short, their eyes were tuned on my head. I thought it was amusing and funny, and kept moving ahead. I thought they were celebrating the fact that God had blessed my head so much.
Judging from the gathering of people, I thought I had become a celebrity of some sort in this Alvaro generation where it is not easy to be one. In fact I even thought it nice to make a stop and send greetings to my fellow villagers and if possible sign some autographs. You see it is rare for the villagers to see a celebrity. You see like many youth in these days, I have a vision and ambition. My vision is not like that of our politicians who have different ambitions and visions.
That is to say that they are not short sighted, they indeed are, giving us the vision 2030 when they are simply telling us that theirs is vision 2012 and hence we should never be worried. Since I am not stupid I decided that mine could not be 2030 either. It has to be present. Maybe Jah was smiling down on me and saying; ‘Grandmaster the son of Masese who people confused his name to grand coalition, Grand opposition, Grand slam and even Grand Regency. Here is your chance to be a celebrity. These people are coming to you because you are a celebrity.’
Times with a celebrity? I smiled and decided there and then and let them have enough.
Alas! How wrong was I? The people surged forward and closer to me, they were now asking me questions; are you the one? Is it you? Do you smoke? Are you in Mungiki? Before I could answer I started sweating heavily they were becoming rowdy. They demanded that I answer them.
I decided to address them and tried to defend my self. In spite of their anger, I told them that all the things they had said were not fit for my status. They started blaming the police for letting criminals like me have a field day when they know our whereabouts. They said that the fact that I have locks on my head suggests that I own a plantation of weed that can make Professor Saitoti and Major General Hussein Ali smile and send their Mboys and Ngirls to nget me .
Before long, people started to touch me first to be sure I was a normal person. Some even tried to pull my locks yet some also asked me to sing for them. Some asked if I was a woman. Since it was a market day, all the people going to the market also joined the party. The women walked holding their baskets and purses tightly as many put all their pockets on constant vigilance.
TO BE CONTINUED…
© Dennis Dancan Mossiere aka Grandmaster Masese 2009
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