Due to public demand, let’s continue from where we left. About the great city of Gitura. Well, it’s a village, but there is a Pastor who came to preach in a crusade at Gitura Primary School and he told God to bless the ‘City of Gitura’ … I was proud of my city my village that day , and as you know, what God has blessed no one can put asunder.
Speaking of Pastor, I told you there is a time Gitura was as bad as Kosovo. The few people who were saved… no, let me rephrase that. The few church-going people intervened and held a Mega Gitura crusade in December 1999, and almost every other December and an evening Revival every Friday. Gitura changed, completely. Salvation came to the village. and many people would come forward to accept the Good Lord as their personal saviour. Sample this:
“Sema Mungu Baba”
“Mimi ni mwenye dhambi”
“Vile Pastor amesema Baba…”
“Hapana, repeat after me.”
It was fun, glorious fun.
Before that crusade in 1999, we used to go to night mkeshas only on December 24th to wait for Jesus to be born and on 31st to vuka mwaka. And these days were the worst days of the year. The church would be like a club. People would spend the day looking for miraa and soda to chana in the church that evening. Those who couldn’t afford sodas would look for plastic bottles and carry tea with a whole muthoto of sugar in it.
A majority of the men would be drunk. Some naughty girls(the ones your mother warned you about) would be done in the bushes surrounding the church. The main soloist in the church was the Gitura village soloist in all ways. He would come straight from leading “Oothi“…these are very vulgar circumcision songs… to lead the church in worship and praise. They would remix Oothi songs in church.
Even the church leaders, Mutura and Mutia would come to church drunk that night. Mutura would lead us in singing one song always, without fail:
“Maso maso ya Bwana ni makaali mno”
(Maso maso ya Bwana ni makali mno) That’s the whole church responding. He would then rap resaons why the eyes of the Lord are sharp.
These used to be fun times. And perplexing. I don’t know what we used to think the Church was back then.
The Dedicated Drinkers of Gitura
The Kayole of Gitura is called Kinyago. I think Kinyago means shit in Swahili (don’t kill me, Kinyagoans)… and that’s the capital of drinking in the city of Gitura. People start drinking at 6:00 in the morning. And since it’s chang’aa, you shouldn’t see what it does to people. The only positive side is the entertainment it provides.
Take for instance Ntoaboro. Ntoaboro used to work at the Post Office. During the day he would be a very dignified man. Meet him after 5 and you would run. He had this signature track, and the small children would follow him singing after him:
“Piiipi, Nyukwe! Mai!” If you don’t know what that means, listen to hardcore hip-hop. One day he passed by our home and insulted my grandfather. Us, being warriors, came out with rungus and pangas. He never sang near our home again, ever. Hatunaga time ya kuonyesha kitambi sauna with drunkards.
Same as the village butcher, Karume. Karume used to be drunk every day, around the clock. Bogs me how he managed that.
Oh, and my uncle Dibidi (David for you). Dibidi was the richest young man at his age. He had a TV when there were no TVs and a bed with drawers back then. Being a genius, he had made a satellite thingy, so we used to enjoy many “Nairobi” stations when only KBC was the father and mother. And then he started drinking, and everything went downhill. Remember Kibuku? The infamous alcohol that was nicknamed Songa na Mwena. He would drink that and chase us all from home. We would hear him sInging Bob Marley songs from a distance and we would all run into the shamba. One day they had a bow and arrow battle with my father.
But despite all these bad Kinyago things, there was a veve Base, kwa Îrû (that’s the short form of Wilson 🙂 ) This place would be to be lit. It was the headquarters of Kirianki and Bandia. If you want to enjoy life, chana at Îrû’s. With Alibisa.
If Kirianki was Churchill and Bandia was MC Jesse, Alibisa was MCA Tricky. Legend has it that Alibisa went to a Revival at Gitura EAPC one evening, and went to toa ushuhuda:
Bwana aspiwe. Bwana aspiwe tena. Mariitwa yakwa i Alibisa. Na mbitawa Alibisa ûû kweri? Mbitawa Alibisa Gitari, kwetû i Luluma lakini turumaira kalaa au kwa Îrû.
For those who don’t know Spanish, that’s “Praise the Lord, Praise the Lord again. My name is Alibisa.. and what’s my other name? Oh, my name is Alibisa Gitari, I come from Luluma but you will find me chewing my miraa at Wilson’s most of the time “
Alibisa dropped out of school at Class 5, and he broke the heart of one Mwenda o Kiumbe. Mwenda always used to be second last in class, with Alibisa the last.
This one end term, Mwenda came home and when he was asked his position in class he simply said:
“Alibisa dropped out of school.” You know what that means.
But the grandfather of comedy has to be Ntombori the father of Itonga and Agnes Kamami. Ntombori has a shrill voice, he speaks like a woman. He is also the slimmest person I know. Tall and thin. He wear a kagodfather hat. More like George Washington.
Always confused, you should see him collect cess in Maua town, that’s his job. You know, haggling with the market women like a peer, and bouncing off like a bestee. He once met Alex and called him his uncle, Kalare. When Alex said he wasn’t Kalare and that Kalare was much older, Ntombori said, “Haha. I was just joking, how is your wife and children, Mutura?” Mutura is Alex’ dad, and Ntombori was serious. .
The winner has to be when Teacher Mbogori gave Itonga a beating in school. Ntombori came, blazing angry. He caught Mr. Mbogori mashati and shouted in that shrill voice of his:
“Unapiga Itonga, unapiga Itonga choo wewe…” If we ever meet, ask me to tell you how he said this.
Remember Ntombori is thin…well, he is as light, and Mr. Mbogori literally threw him several metres away. Ntombori rose and ran away, threatening to go tell the Police.
I should tell you about Somibwi, the woman who feared all forms of human civilisation, from torches to cars to aeroplanes up in the sky… but I won’t. You may break your ribs and I won’t take responsibility for that.