Celebrating East African Writing!
Baby, you will not believe what has just happened!!
Forgive my terrible manners…
How are you my love? I heard that you had a serious flu… Are you taking medicine? Have you tried FLUGONE!!? That shit will heal you in a few hours. ON TO THE STORY!
So I get to the office in the morning and find everyone jumping into cars and speeding off!! We had an event at Peponi School at 8am. So everyone was rushing there. I was not part of that team because I have so much work on my desk.
I have had the office camera for a while, so I had to come in early to hand it in for the event. I get the last ride out and give @aleyajamel the camera!!
I get a call from a colleague telling me that the camera does not have a battery. So I have to rush to Peponi school to drop off the battery!!
PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT THE JUICY PART IS COMING!!
I get to Peponi and drop off the battery and dash out! I get to the road and flag down a matatu.
PLEASE NOTE THAT I DONT HAVE MY GLASSES!
I jump into the matatu and I quickly state my destination, “SPRING VALLEY.” I am seated on the row immediately behind the driver… Right at the door!
The woman sitting next to me is holding a HUGE portrait picture of an elderly man. At the bottom of the picture ‘Eliud (Mzee) Kamau Kamau (1947-2011)’
I ignore this fact completely!!This woman was definitely headed to a funeral or was from one!!
I notice a red piece of cloth tied on both side mirrors of the matatu… (this normally means the vehicle is heading to a funeral*)
So I start paying very close attention to what’s going on around me.
The man seated on the far end of my row has his head leaning on the window. He is staring blankly on the empty box that’s supposed to have an LCD screen!
The women seated on the second row are all sniffling. Blowing their noses now and then…
The man seated at the back is on the phone. He is speaking in Kikuyu so I can’t tell what he is going on about. But from his voice, I can tell whatever he is talking about is burdening his breathing pattern. He was holding back a lot of pain!
Then he goes like “Gitonga hakuleta smiti, e berera?”
Now ladies and gentlemen. I know very little Kikuyu if not at all.
I know ‘Nekwedete’ is ‘I love you.’
I also know ‘roshio’ is ‘tomorrow’.
‘gui eno’ is ‘you dog’.
ANOTHER RANDOM ONE I KNOW IS ‘BERERA’ WHICH MEANS ‘GRAVE’!!
Then it hits me. When I was walking towards the matatu there was a huge box on the roof which I completely ignored!!! I look into the matatus side mirrors getting a glimpse of the humongous box on the roof, confirming my fears, Eliud (Mzee) Kamau was on the roof!!!
I almost swallow my tongue!! My heart is pounding so hard I can feel it on my back!! Chills make their way down my spine.
I am looking around. Everyone is looking at me with soaked faces. It’s like they knew I had just realised what was going on!!
“NASHUKA!” I shout with no second thoughts!!
“Haushuki Spring Valley tena?” the makanga asks in absolute shock!!
I get off about half a kilometre away from my stage!!
I squint to look closely at the casket on top of the matatu as it speeds off. All I can think about is ‘HOW THE F* DID I MISS THAT!? IT WAS SO HUGE!”
AND ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST!
RIP Mzee Eliud.
You scared me half to death!
P.S. The title is to get you to this point… If you are reading this and smiling, then I have done well. If you are not smiling I suggest you go learn how to read!
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