Onyango And His Fish

Tags

, ,

By George Ogutu

Back in the 1980s, when Kenya School Equipment Scheme used to supply pencils and exercise books and my classmate at Buduma Primary School, one Oliver ‘Twist’ Musundi spelt Kiswahili as ‘Kisweli,’ and the headteacher at the school was Simplicious Echesa and Mwalimu Pino had just joined the school, Mumias Sugar Company worked.
It worked so well that we had acres and acres of sugarcane plantations in Ebumarachi, Butula sub-county, and every 24 months we’d have temporary thousandaires, who would go on to buy bicycles, mattresses, tea kettles, sufurias, roofing sheets…some even married younger second wives.
In this working well, there were plenty of jobs too. I am not referring to the high-end, falutin jobs like those supervisors who donned green overalls, or those guys who wore cheap ties to do book keeping, or the watchmen, or those truck drivers, no. I am talking about abaremi, the cane-cutters.
They were a rarity where I lived. The first omuremi I ever met was Omwanga, a Wanga. Abawanga are sub-tribe of the Luyia which gave us Nabongo Mumia. So abaremi were largely Abawanga, yaani relatives of Ted, Alphonce and Were Wetaba. And boy, those boys were generous with vulgarity and swift with the lupanga (cutlasses). They swarmed the land and in no time, the sugarcane farm was empty, stalks upon stalks of sugarcane piled high into ‘steki.’
Much later, the cane-cutting job was open to all and sundry. So even the laid-back Abamarachi and their neighbours, Abanyolo, could join.
This is where Onyango, my Khurana villagemate comes in.
So, Onyango, whom unverified rumour has it that he is my uncle, born of my grandpa Okile’s kalongolongo with the fellow’s mother. He looks like my aunt – big head, wide face, wide feet, big ass, the voice, walking style, the works. That is a story for another day, I swear. In fact he once came to claim land, years after Kuka had died, and my late father chased him away with a panga.
Now, Onyango became a cane-cutter. The cane-cutters would be trucked from block to block, cutting and pilling sugarcane, week after week. They would be paid at the end of the week. Always at a market and traders would follow them there.
These traders would be selling fish, utensils, clothes name it…but food was most preferred.
So, Onyango, upon receiving his princely pay, would buy fresh fish (inyeni imbisi), and pass by the local and imbibe chang’aa to his fill then stagger home with his fish.
His wife would do what wives of such people do: Prepare the fish, make ugali and serve Onyango then wait until he is done eating, bring him water and soap, have him wash his hands then keep away the utensils. Then retire to bed to complete the other married adult stuff.
To prepare that fresh fish, one had to make an incision, just before the tail, and squeeze out the intestines. One then hard to scrub the scales off the fish, then wash it thoroughly before cooking it. That or there would be no fish to enjoy.
But Mkha Onyango never used to eat inyeni imbisi. For some reason, it didn’t sit well with her. Just the way some of you are lactose intolerant. So while Onyango would bring fish for himself, there would be just tsimboka, elikhubi and miroo for mkhasi waye, I mean his wife. The greens. And you know poor people think fish and meat and such are the stuff of good living, not greens.
This went on and on and on. On and on bindu shi, it could have been six or eight times.
“My husband Onyango, you know I don’t eat fresh fish but you always buy it, not even bringing me omena. Where you buy this fish, they don’t even have kerewa, obambo, or just omena? Eh?”
“You woman shut up. Who even told you to speak?” Onyango would retort and that would be the end of it.
Onyango would rue that comment. Rather, his stomach would.
So, Onyango goes to his cane-cutting job and Friday evening, without fail, he shows up with fresh fish. The wife receives it. Intestines, out. Scales, scrubbed. Ready to cook it.
Cooking fat? Tick. Onions? Tick. Tomatoes? Tick. Binzari? Tick. Salt? Tick. Sufuria? Clean. Tsikhwi? Ready. Kiberiti? Kipo.
Twende.
Cooking fat into the sufuria. Sufuria on maika, er, those three stones. Tsalalalalala!!! The sizzle of the fat and the sufuria, which had some water, heats up. Tsikhwi, the firewood, was of good quality, I guess.
Onion, thrown in. Tomatoes, chopped and thrown in, too. Some salt, in. The binzari, very much. Oh the aroma!!!
Onyango, high as a kite, is seated outside the house, his small Luyia radio held by the ear while he sings a corrupted version of those lingala songs of the 90’s
‘Simanyula pe, eh eh simamyula pe, eh Moi uno.”
In the kitchen, Onyango’s wife is humming to herself whatever song it was she was humming. A few minutes of heating the sufuria with its contents, she lowers the fish into the sufuria, to settle on top of the mix of Kimbo, tomatoes, onions, salt, binzari and a little khamlari, that small-size very hot pilipili.
That should take upwards of 30 minutes but Mkha Onyango gives it less than 10 minutes. She makes ugali and serves Onyango the partially cooked fish.
Onyango, remember, is sky high. And doubly hungry. He digs into the ugali and clears the meal like a nonsense. Drinks water off a Kimbo tin and belches.
And that is when Onyango’s stomach says no, I can’t take this shit no more. Onyango, poor bastard, Onyango gets into a vomiting spree. He vomited and vomited and vomited. Yasala ambi alole Mahero nabira. He vomited, shed tears, farted and came so so close to choking on his own vomit. Ambi afwe, his wife would later say. He almost died. And in the village we don’t die easy. We fight death to the bitter end.
The wife? The wife was beside herself with glee!
That was Friday 1. Onyango with wages, Onyango high, Onyango fresh fish. Onyango vomit like crazy.
The wife? The wife was beside herself with glee!
Friday 2. The very same combination of stupid. Onyango with wages, Onyango high on pelele, ‘scud’, Onyango armed with fresh fish. Mkha Onyango uncook the fish. Onyango eat up everything. vomit like crazy. The wife? The wife was beside herself with glee!

Friday 3. The very same.

Onyango concluded it must be the fish. The fresh fish. He even told his drinkmates (the likes of Kwete, Nzabanyi, Okemba, Ojwang’i snake and such riffraffs) that he was quitting eating fresh fish. It was messing him up in ways he never imagined possible.

Friday 4. Onyango brought home kerewa, the normal dried tilapia. It was the sweetest dish he ever ate.

“Mukhasi ewe wamanya khudekha po,” he praised his wife as they retired to bed. That she was a marvellous cook.

Up to today, Onyango doesn’t eat fresh fish.

PS
The wife shared the story with her friend who shared the story with another of her friends who shared with another who shared with another girl, who shared with my sister who regaled us with the tale one Saturday morning as we bent to weed a cassava farm awefu awo.

Lost In The Hidden Village

You seriously don’t want to be asking for directions in the village, especially when in a hurry; you’re either grilled or regaled with juicy tales. Oh, and you’ll get ‘sold’ a local lass or ‘bought’ by a local mohine. Whether you’re interested or not is beside the point. So here I am, losing myself deep in a village with the unusual name of Ihithe, a Gîkûyû name meaning ‘It is hidden’. Ihithe is a bowl-shaped hamlet bordering The Aberdares, a scenic hilly area peppered with lavish tea farms.bila-chills

I’ve been dragged here by Kîmûkwanjû to attend his brother’s ‘Ûthoni’, a meet-the-in-laws visit before the poor fellow gets fined for breaking a goat’s leg. The lady in question is quite a hot number; of medium height, chocolaty complexion, plump just so, with dimpled cheeks, and eyes that are swirling dark pools of mystery. I understand the brother knocking her up before dowry negotiations. The in-laws are a jolly bunch, and yours truly has had his fill of goat-meat, chapatis, arrow roots, sweet potatoes, mûkimo and bananas, all washed down with copious amounts of tea plus sour gruel. All I now need is a cigarette. I ask Kîmûkwanjû to tag along but he’s having none of it; his eyes are stuck on a certain lass he wants to throw darts at.

So off I go in search of a shop. Out the gate, right turn, up a steep incline, another right onto a murram road that snakes its way up the hills forever with not a roadside structure in sight. Some paces away, an old gent tends to a herd of goats. He’s wearing clothes that have seen better days, akala sandals on his feet, all topped off with a wide-brimmed hat. I walk up to him as his fleshly lips split into a bubbly grin, his entire face lighting up. I’m not sure whether he’s happy I happened along, or he’s laughing at me; I must be waddling like a duck, what with all I’ve hogged.

“How’re you young warrior, you must be a visitor in these here parts,” he says in greeting.

“I’m fine Mzee,” I answer, “Yes, I’m visiting with friends. We’ve come to buy ourselves a bride.”

“Ah, yes, I’ve heard the joyful laughter all day long,” he quips, “a young warrior like you needs a mûtirima (walking stick) to walk with through the journey of life.”

I chuckle cheerily, “No Mzee, not for me, I accompanied a friend.”

“Not to worry young warrior, you’ll get yourself a mûtirima too. If not there,” he indicates the home we’re feasting in, “then surely over yonder,” he turns, pointing to a home uphill, “you won’t be disappointed.” He tells me it’s his humble abode. I’m itching to seek directions and take off, but one never rushes an old man. Plus this being, by all indicators, a rather quiet neighborhood, I doubt he gets any passers-by to chat with the entire day. I stay put, and he delightfully proceeds to recount about his wife, his two oh-so-pretty very wife-able young daughters who’re presently at the tea factory, his schooling days with young Wangarî Maathai, [”we called her Josephine,” he tells me] the ‘emergeneti’ years …  plus a host of such interesting tidbits I momentarily forget about the shops. I eventually manage to steer him to the subject, at which he begins to give directions.

“Now look here young warrior,” he starts, indicating with his staff, “you take this here road and go with it until you get to the huge tree over there. See it?” The tree is roughly half a kilometre away, “Just there in front, you’ll see a road that cuts across this one. Leave it alone,” he sweeps his arm across. “Cross it and go on. A little while later, you’ll see another road also cutting this one. Leave it alone too,” he whips his staff across to drive his point. “You go. Just go completely. A few short moments away, you’ll come to where this road ends and another begins. Now listen,” he leans forward, legs apart, and draws an L-junction on the ground with his staff, “you’ll be here on this road,” he stabs the ground, “so turn,” he bodily turns right. As if on cue, his goats glance up, one of them bleats and I can almost swear they all turn!

Now, ‘Kîîgama’ is the Gîkûyû word for ‘turn’ he uses. It also loosely translates to ‘get stupid for real’ when the syllables are split. He isn’t done as he tells me that right after the turn, I’ll go a small one and right before me will be a solitary shop. I’m to buy him a roll of tobacco along with my pack of cigarettes. I promise to call on him to pick and buy one of his oh-so-pretty daughters, bid him and his herd good day, then stroll off.

I take the road and go with it up to the huge tree; get to the cross-road a big long later and leave it alone; I cross and go on to another cross-road a bigger long later; even that one, I leave it alone and cross; I go, just go completely, and come to where the road ends and another begins many long moments away; I get stupid for real, go a small one, then another small one, then another, and right before me opens a green carpet spotted with trees stretching as far as my eyes can see. No shops! I go another small one; take a turn left, a few more small ones into the vast unknown, and still no shop.

And then it hits me – this is stupid for real! I figure at this rate, I’ll have better luck running into a rhino choir or a bunch of yodeling zebras. After I’m done cursing and venting at nothing and everything, I head back, hoping I can find the old man at his spot just so I tell him I won’t be buying any of his daughters for sending me on a wild hunt for zilch.

Si we talk about sex today

“Could you please ask women to learn how to ask for sex?” I rolled my eyes at my friend, not at his question, but because I hate, hate hate hate, sweeping statements. There and then, I put my friend on the same pedestal with people who say stuff like “Kikuyus are thieves”, “Luos love showing off”, “Luhyas love eating” etc etc. As has become my usual answer to people with sweeping statements, I told him “speak for yourself and your woman, not for every woman”.

Six plus years of writing a more or less relationship column for Daily Nation trained me not to run away from a relationship issue, whether mine or other people’s. So I asked him to expound…you know, background check and stuff.

img_4339

Sex is life food. You need it, get it

He has this woman he loves, she turns him on alright, and he would have her for breakfast, lunch and dinner and snack on her as well. Yeah, he desires her that much. But, she never, ever, initiates sex. It is always up to him. If he doesn’t ask, no action happens. He has tried to sulk (who said men do not sulk?), but she doesn’t seem to notice he is sulking. I, naturally, wanted to know if he thinks she enjoys sex with him. Affirmative, he said (unless she is an extremely good faker). Women have done greater things!

So what is the problem? I am no sex therapist, I am not a psychiatrist/psychologist (what is the difference) either but I always have something to say about everything. And so I did on this subject. I hereby present my short thesis:

I blame the African culture in general, seriously. Women are taught not to ‘like’ sex (ridiculous) otherwise they would be viewed as whores. Yes, I said whores. I remember a friend once came crying to me, she had just demonstrated a new ‘in the sack’ style to her husband, and instead of jubilating, he asked her where she was learning prostitution from. Now, she is a good wife and doesn’t do angle cosine and angle theeters (how do you even spell it?). Long, long time ago before the birth of Facebook (actually earlier), African women stopped having sex just for procreation. In fact, hardly anyone has sex for procreation, we have it for pleasure. Why change this culture halfway? We need to treat sex like we treat chips or chocolate – you want it, you go gerrit (of course, from the right supplier, beware of bonoko).

Not only do women need to change their attitude towards sex, the men need to change as well. This is certainly not a sweeping statement, but I do know for sure that when some (enough) men want some wild in the sack action, he finds himself a side dish or rents a woman for a night? Who is your mother, such men? Why are you assuming that your wife will not enjoy those styles? Go home right now and demand that she uses Strepsils (See Caroline Allegret’s post below on Strepsils). You want it under the table? Come on, Ask…and many more places.

Then there is the rubbish that a woman has to be submissive – this Bible verse is so misinterpreted but I shall not go into Bible study for now, but I think it is unfair to frown upon your woman when she wants to get freaky and asks for it. If you do not want your woman to get ideas on Ben 10s and others, you better let her know she has the freedom to grab you in the middle of frying meat and leading you to the bedroom, or bathroom. Whatever rocks your boat.

I did ask my friend if he has ever discussed this with his woman. Shock on me, no he has never. He just sulks. I know the famous phrase is ‘men are not mind readers’, but who told you women are ‘mind readers’? You need to sit down and discuss your sex life with your sex partner. Discuss it like you discuss when you are about to buy a car…preferences and all.  Surely, if you cannot discuss sex with your sex partner, whom are you supposed to discuss it with? The gardener (there is an idea). Sex discussions need to stop being taboo discussions.

Okay, bye!

THANK YOU STREPSILS!

strepsilsThe manufacturers of Strepsils are wondering why so many Kenyan women are coming down with severe sore throats. The chemists are making larger orders every day. The orders are not concentrated in Nairobi only – they’re coming from all over the country. What virus is this ?

The Marketing manager of the company has been promoted; what a good job he/she is doing! Jobs have been created. The company needs more hands to package all these Strepsils. Mouths that were going hungry have been fed. Bills have been paid.

Husbands are happier.The usually moody wives are smiling.  Boyfriends are exhilarated; even the Sponsors with big bellies are dancing Kanungo (I’ve never really known what this dance is, but I hear it mentioned).

There’s a Revolution!

THANK YOU STREPSILS!!!   Mungu Akubariki sana!

The Kei Apple Chronicles

On the dusty murram road, home-bound, there are two younglings by the side standing face to face, but at a distance from each other, like they’re bargaining over a goat unlike a lovers’ close-up stance. The young man is dressed in school uniform: a pair of grey trousers topped off with a navy blue shirt. A dark blue sweater is loosely slung on his left shoulder. His female paramour is clad in cream slacks topped off by a multi-colored jumper.

They are standing next to a Kei-Apple fence, as light from an electric mast further off washes their supple selves in sultry embers. The fellow has in his right hand a small stick, which he uses to whip the fence repeatedly when speaking as if possessed. Young lassie has a Kei-Apple twig dangling loosely from her mouth while her hands frantically pluck leaves off the fence; keiappleit’s a marvel her hands aren’t being pricked by thorns. Both appear to be quite agitated – neither can keep their feet in one place and their hands are conducting an orchestra of their own.

I can’t tell what endearing words they’re whispering to each other but from their actions, it is quite clear they are not debating Archimedes’ principle or the Mole Concept; more than likely they are contemplating how to practically apply the “Latent heat of fusion” lesson learnt in Physics class. Or the moon is playing her magic and they’re about to turn into werewolves. Their feet are still moving while their curious actions of whipping and chewing a fence continue unabated. Funny, the last time I saw someone move their feet that fast in one place, one ended up pregnant and the other fled the village.

If you’re wondering why I am staring at two hormonal teens at the hour of dusk, I am not – a Shineray motorbike I had borrowed picked this particular spot to stall. I’m trying to tinker with its innards while parked on the side. It’s as I am tinkering away that the scene changes and my eyes latch onto a more interesting scene; a *mature* shapely lass sashays past, walking in a slow easy cat-like manner. She is clad in a fitting black dress that has white lines swirling across and round her body. Them are the kind of endless swirls that would hypnotize any hot-blooded mohine. My eyes are immediately drawn to her fine derrière which, in her slow sensuous motion, mimics two squirrels fighting inside a gunny sack. Suddenly, my borrowed transport comes to life.

Houston, we have take-off! A zebra has been sighted crossing ahead!

Open Letter to Insomnia

Dear Insomnia.

I just recently met you, and I hate you, you nasty. I do not often hate at first sight but for you … you, hate is the kindest word I can use to describe how I feel about you. Because you have taken away my ability to ‘sleep-dream’, I have resulted to ‘day-dreaming’ of stabbing you, with a blunt object no less, repeatedly, and taking great pleasure at your pain. I have day dreamed of performing some sort of Chinese torture on you, just like they do in those second world war spy movies. I really want to hurt you, real bad.

IMG_4183.JPG

Just….eerie nights

The long and short of it is, I do not like you, especially because I am #team.8.hours.straight.sleep #team.beauty.sleep #team.afternoon.power.nap. ‘Anti-somnia’ is what I call my love for sleep, and I have humanized it. She (must be a she) understands my language of sleep, she understands my need to rest, she gets my need to have at least eight hours of sleep, just like the doctor ordered. We gel with Anti-somnia, we were meant to be. I do not know what it is that has attracted you to my life at this late stage but if I knew what it is, I would turn it into a skunk, just to repel you, the same way you repel me with your presence.

One thing I like about you (there is always something good even in the nastiest) is that you are always on time. It doesn’t matter what time I sleep, you always appear at 2am. When I feel you nudging me with your spiky, cold elbow, like an unwanted, hungry lover, I do not even have to look at the time because I know it is 2am. How I wish my salary could always be on time like that.

Then you get down to business – you do not waste time, do you? Characteristically, like an unwanted lover, you get on with your caresses – thoroughly, starting with my head, my shoulders, my not so-ample bust, my stomach …all the way down to my toes. You give every part of my being, in and out, thorough but unwanted attention. I suppose you imagine you are awesome because even when I scream at you to stop, you go on, without flinching. Your entourage of mosquitoes keeps watch over you and me. Like a band of flying bodyguards, they hover above us, their cacophony of horrible noises making everything worse, tenfold. This is Limuru for goodness sake, mosquitoes are not meant to survive in such temperatures – unless they are from hell! You are from hell!

In irritating whispers, you remind me that I do not have the best hairline and you make me question whether the expensive black castor oil I am using is really working, even though the results are there for everyone to see. You repeatedly remind me that I am four kilos heavier than I should be and just to rub it in, you cause my stomach to rumble with hunger, making me obsess about the leftovers on the cooker or in the fridge. You activate my taste buds, so much so, I even start imagining sand would taste just as good as my mother’s njahi. Shidwe!

The silence of the night is louder when you drop by. I can hear the dogs breathe becasue you make my hearing exceptional – when the dogs breathe, I imagine it’s a thief panting from trying to make a hole through our wall. The dog barks at another dog outside, the dog outside runs, the sound of its paws against the ground sound like giant foot-steps. A drunken neighbor struggles to open his metal gate; I imagine the thieves are hacking into that gate. The wind blows against the senile avocado tree right next to the house, it sounds like Limuru finally gets a share of some hurricane. My adrenaline is high when you visit me, high in a bad way, all from imagining things from the worst case scenario angle. Insomnia, you suck!

You love teasing my brain, don’t you? Even the archived memories start making their way to the surface. You remind me of that nasty friend who ‘stole’ my boyfriend in my early twenties. You remind me of that couple I worked for and the wife thought I was having an affair with the husband so she fired me. You remind me of my best friend in high school who thought I betrayed her when she was caught drunk in school. You remind me that I have not even ticked off a quarter of my bucket list. What is it about you, dear Insomnia, that makes you want to concentrate on the negatives so much; why do you dwell on failures, instead of the enormous achievements? Why do you like messing with my peace?

What are you? Devil incarnate? Leave me the heck alone. Fagaa!

Being Alone, Solo, Single

I was a late “bloomer” – lost my virginity quite late – 22/23 years of age. If I had known what was in store for me….

I’m now 42; I think I can say I’ve caught up… LOL. Am I proud of myself? Am I ashamed? No.  I’m just me. My life has gone the way it has gone…. I hadn’t planned for any of it. It just happened.

I was never one to plan ahead – and I still haven’t learnt to. Despite having gone through so much hell, I still can’t think ahead. I live for every day.

But one thing I’ve learnt in the last two years – is that Solitude does not kill. It’s horrible…. It’s painful… But it doesn’t kill. You learn to know yourself – who you really are, what you’re capable of. The first time my car broke down, I called my Ex – LOL. He was out of town – with his new catch. He couldn’t help me. I needed my car – I was going out of town. I called my “friends” – none were available. I had to think really hard. I called a guy I hardly knew – he came.

Solitude gives you the opportunity to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses…. Know who you really are. I’ll continue…

 

 

 

 

Of Black Hondas And Grey Rabbits

It’s a Njeri.jpgdog’s life, this bachelor life. The sun is blazing as if the entire village woke up to early morning firewood duty. The wind whistles twixt the trees, carrying with it a promise of brimming pots over open fires. It’s enough to make a starving bachelor boy swoon from sensory overload. But it all comes to a head when, as I pass by Mama Maina’s, the unmistakably heady aroma of chapati assaults my sinuses like a sledge hammer. It loftily floats on a plane of fried pork, fluttering on wings of green peas and fresh carrots bathed in spices. My entire self is caught up in orgasmic paroxysms of delight as my stomach juices dance to a culinary kayumbet.

“Maina must be visiting, just go on in dude,” an evil imp in my head whispers. Now, in the village, you just don’t go visiting your folks’ age-mates without a valid reason, and I’m not so sure Maina is around. But those chapatis and stew are literally screaming my name. Got to get a plan and I finally settle on a “Do you sell rabbits?” excuse. Nobody around here rears them anymore. Ding! Ding!

 In through the gate I go, down a short grassy path, whistling – in case Mama Maina has recently acquired a dog, there’s enough space to take off. There’s no dog in sight so I turn left into the homestead then head up to the house. I lightly rap my knuckles on the half-open door as I call out, “Eeene kuo?!” [“Owners of the home?!”]

I put on my best smile while coughing lightly to clear my throat as a patter of feet approaches. The door swings back and an ethereal angel appears – the dying embers of a setting sun frame her dark hair in a molten halo; she’s wearing a strapless pink sheath that only goes as low as her navel, her breasts jutting out in marked impudence; a black flour-splattered short completes the ensemble, atop a long pair of legs that stretch from here to heaven. I’m gobsmacked! My saliva bank dries up. My WTF meter reads red. She smiles, her lips move – wording what, I haven’t the foggiest idea.

The last time I saw Njeri was when I was leaving for college as she joined high school. She has certainly blossomed, from the goofy-faced strappling I knew years ago into this perfect woman standing before me.

“Heh, I see we have a visitor, Njeri, won’t you invite him in?”, her Mother says from behind me as she walks in on us. I swing around, jolted back to my senses, “Oh, hello Mum!”, I say.
“Hello son,” she replies, “get in, I’m sure Njeri won’t lack something we can eat.”
God bless Mothers!

I step in after Njeri and boy, the sight in front is pure torture! “Have a seat while I bring you something to eat,” she says as her Mum follows in. She heads off to the kitchen whilst her Mum gets to grilling me, before finally posing,”It’s been a long time son,… is there something you wanted?”
“Aahm…, I wanted to ask, do you sell rabbits?” I reply, fully expecting a NO.
“Oh yes I do, just delivered a new litter last month. How many do you want?” she asks.
Bloody hell, I’ve been caught offside!

But a man never backs down, “How much for an adult male?” I ask.
“Well, since your folks are my friends, I’ll give it to you for 1300 bob,” she replies as Njeri steps in carrying a steaming bowl of pork stew alongside a plate of hot chapatis. I innocently ask if they won’t be eating with me, though I care less, truth be told. Yeah, I’m a self-centered cretin like that when starving. Njeri good-naturedly dismisses me, “Don’t worry about us, just dig in young man,” she quips cheekily as she seats her fine self next to me. Hail a luyha Wanyonyi!

Of course I dig my famished self in with glee, as conversation momentarily ceases. Njeri breaks the silence; says something about milking cows or feeding rabbits; her Mum takes the cue and steps out. Oh, she’s a sharp one this one; I’m already picturing our kids running around in my bachelor pad.

There’s loads to catch up on with Njeri, and loads to feed on, but I finally gotta bid her goodbye, of course after getting her digits plus wiggling an evening date later out of her. She offers to see me off to the gate, and it’s as we’re stepping out that her Mother comes over swinging a small carton, “You’re leaving this early? I hope Njeri hasn’t scared you off,” she says. I mumble something incoherent as she adds, “Here is your rabbit”. Crap! I’d forgotten all about it as I swam in the beguiling wiles of her bewitching daughter. Oh well, I asked for it! I reach into my wallet and hand over the necessary, then take possession of the littro furry buck, “Say hallo to Mzee when he comes, Mum”, I say. “You say hallo to him,” Mama Njeri retorts, “You know where you two meet to swig cold ones so I know you’ll see him before I do”. How the heck does she know that? Women and their sixth sense!

Off we go, Njeri gaily chatting away, and I, stuck with an expensive fat grey fur-ball I don’t need. We swing out the gate and this is where I must employ my romantic lines plus interesting tunes; this is when I gotta go for broke to mbosk this hot chica.

I’m knee-deep in humorous asides when a sudden loud buzz cuts into our reverie; a gleaming black machine is noisily eating gravel as it buzzes up the untarmacked road, fast. I wait for it to pass but the huge loud beast comes to rest exactly where we are standing. The rider locks in the mechanical beast to rest, then expertly swings off and removes his helmet in one seamless move. The smile that lights up Njeri’s face is a searing knife into my innards. The guy leans in for a peck on her lips and I almost jump between to throttle the bugger. Hellfire! How now? Who? Why? … Catch me before I thump him twediseven ways to Christmas Rod, catch me!

 In my falling in love, or lust, moment, it never occurred to me that she could be taken. Stoopid me. And to make matters worse, he rides a Honda. How the blazes do I compete when the best I can offer is a half-blind donkey that hee-haws with a lisp? Soon as I’m done drowning meself in frothy liquids, someone sign me up to a Buddhist monastery pris!