The other day I was told of a women group on Facebook rivalling Kilimani Mums… it’s called Vuteni Stool. When a woman says, “vuta stool nikuambie”, know it’s going to be a hot story.
I’m not a woman, not even remotely with this smug face of mine, but vuta stool I tell you about my village. It’s one of the best, most comic places you will ever find.
Life in my village is a comedy movie.
To the uninitiated, I’m a son of Gitura, some 3km East of Maua town CBD (yes, Maua has a CBD). If Maua was a bigger town, Gitura would be its leafy suburb.
Some years back, Gitura was a Kosovo. You wouldn’t have dared walk around if you were a visitor, or a skimpily dressed girl. It was a dangerous place. And rightly so, people were not going to school (you can blame a booming miraa business if you want but I won’t). So, people lived around. Our group was the first to come to Nairobi in search for higher education. When I came to Nairobi, I didn’t know anyone… that’s why Nairobi played me as roughly as it did. (Haithuru, I made it better for the next generation).
But then Gitura went through a change, people became more focused, parents started valuing education, the two churches became United and stronger…and things started getting up. We had piped water, a secondary school of our own, electricity, etc (only the main road remains a stony shamba that only Landrovers can navigate. F— the politicians).
Now you have the background, lean closer. Like every village, Gitura has intrigues.
Some village mushene
Kambura beats her husband, almost every week. And she sleeps with her daughters’ boyfriends. And she is the man of the house, literally. She handles the family miraa farms, she takes the husband’s salary, she is the one the kids fear… that woman even drinks Guiness while her hubby drinks Fanta and sugarcane. Where the feminists at?
Mamaa: They steal my wives
Let’s talk about Mamaa. I love that man… that’s right, Mamaa is a man. His life is a comedy strip. That man is soo good, soo friendly, soo funny. Some time back, Mfa joked to him he would bring him to me in Nairobi. Mamaa was ecstatic. The only other time he had hoped he would reach Nairobi is when he came to a pass-out at Kenya Prisons College in Ruiru. Mamaa was mad, they had told him Ruiru is in Nairobi..And how he was so close, so far. So this time he went and packed a bag, bade his family goodbye and with some swag, went to Mfa’s. But dude was asleep. He wasn’t going to Nairobi. Mamaa was too pissed and embarrassed to go back home, he went and slept at some place for a week.
Mamaa is a master miraa chewer. I have always seen him with a full cheek. He makes a taxii so hard David would have borrowed it to kill Goliath. So it came as a surprise when one week, Mamaa wasn’t seen doing his miraa. When asked me said he had a new wife and since people take his wives as he’s chewing his miraa in the market, he was protecting his new wife. And he was serious, people would snatch his wives. This time he stayed at home with a bow and arrows, waiting for any man to go near his wife! Mamaa is a legend.
Mamaa had a neighbour called Miriti (God rest his soul). If Mamaa is Churchill, Miriti was Mc Jessy. He even talked like him. Guy used to drink…all the time. He would drink and crawl home. One day, he quarrelled with his wife and took a rope to hang himself. With the rope around his neck, he went up a tree, and started doing a last dance. Unluckily, the branch he was stepping on snapped! As he went down he shouted “Uuuuwiiii! Mukundo mbita murii ntiukari serious!” Loosely translated to “Cut the rope, asshole! I wasn’t serious (about killing myself)! They cut the rope and gave him a serious beating. Unfortunately, Miriti committed suicide years later.
Village Clowns: Kirianki and Bandia.
Another ludicrous pair is Kirianki and Obadia (Bandia) They have been beat friends since we were kids in school. And I don’t know where they got their stories from, but during break time, we would sit around them to listen to their stories. Complete with songs like, “Kasabubu saided, aah saided, Kasabubu uumira aah uumira.” They would have won any high school oral narrative. And when the teachers noticed this, they made them start a school band that used to go all the way to District Drama Festivals. District is a big deal to Gitura Primary School.
People would be sitting in a chromed kiosk and Kirianki breaks the blissful silence that comes when miraa starts to shika and says “Bandia Bandia, kuna network home?” Well, Safaricom is quite strong those sides… what he meant was, “Is there food at home?” And Kirianki would be very creative. Picture this, he and another guy called Muriki would be eating mangoes, well, Muriki would be in a tree with mangoes on his lap and because Kirianki was a bit big and would not go up the tree, he would be gawking like the fox who said the fruits weren’t ripe… And then ran away suddenly, screaming… Muriki fell off the tree in fright, and fled, leaving the mangoes, only for our Man Kirianki to come back and take all the mangoes!
Kirianki, his brother and the cow.
And there was this time Kirianki bought a cow, which he would leave hanging out in his brother’s maize garden, enjoying itself. His brother confronted him and Kirianki told him, “if that cow as much as smells your maize again, sell it and drink the money.” The following day, the cow was having a good time in the maize garden again…and his brother, another cracker nut, took it to the market, sold it, drank beers instead of chang’aa that day and even bought Kirianki a beer. As Kirianki took the Tusker, he wondered how his brother had suddenly become so rich and philanthropic. So he asked him:
“Murume, why are you so good today? You have never bought me even the small soda ever.”
“All thanks to you, brother. Your cow ate my maize.”