This is What Stupidity Looks Like

Things are thick, my people. Thick is actually an understatement, things are elephant! At such a time as this, I wish I was Biko Zulu so I can use words that start with an ‘F’ and others that start with an ‘S’ and end with a T without being judged and without being summoned to the Discipline Court (Presbyterians know how horrible it is), because I think people kinda understand that better.

This country of ours is headed south, and the only good thing with South is South Africa — when they are not beheading foreigners. But it is not the politicians who are taking it there. It is not even Ann Waiguru or Tunoi or Kidero or even Moses Kuria. O.k, on second thought, maybe Moses Kuria is leading the team taking us south.

Today Morning, I was at a paints company office to pick walnut vanish for some furniture. Have you noticed how edible paints are looking nowadays? They have these enticing names and colours I didn’t think existed, and trust me we women know all colours even those we don’t know. So, I’m waiting for my order to come through and suddenly, the office is a market! Soko Mjinga to be precise. Every town has a soko mjinga just like every town has a Marikiti and a Makutano.

What I witnessed is post election violence — without the elections and the machetes. There were machetes, actually, it’s just that they were word-shaped. Khalwale should have been here because this is what bull-fighting looks like. Kenyans were at each other, almost to a brawl point and for what? For who? One was trying to instill sense in the other one who was busy telling us how he was justified in burning an innocent civilian’s car in a demonstration. And he also added that ‘his guy’ is like Jesus. (Insert horrified emoji!)

My mind was taken back to a talk we had with a colleague a few days ago. According to him, my life is way better than his because I’m married to a Kikuyu and from Mount Kenya. So now, when I go to the supermarket, I buy my Dola unga at 3 bob while he has to pay 112 because Uhuru is the president and I’m a Kikuyu!

My mother’s house doesn’t have electricity yet, it is now that we are thinking about pulling resources to get it wired. Maybe I should just ask KPLC to send the invoice to Uhuru — after all, he is the president and I am a Kikuyu — by extension. At least with this one, we choose to agree to disagree to avoid throwing punches. We have come to the conclusion that we will probably never agree on politics and ‘my person’ and ‘his person’, but we will also not scream at each other about it. Actually we consider ourselves friends.

We are supposed to be wise. We are supposed to fight for the peace of this country. But I have witnessed even the most intelligent among us getting all emotional and loud and defensive of their ‘person’. We will soon burn this country to the ground with the fire we are breathing out of our nostrils. And we will have ourselves to blame. I thought 2007/8 was a lesson for us, turns out we will not stop until we out do Rwanda and Congo and Burundi!

fight

While we should not tolerate corruption and all other vices, we have a mandate to maintain peace in this country. You will never see a politicians punching the other, or even their kids burning anything, yet we are here fighting and getting all emotional and protective of ‘our person’. I seriously feel like calling us stupid, but I think Mzalendo Kibunja might still be in office so I wont. Oh, what the heck — we are stupid!

Stupid to think that these politicians have us in their minds when they do and say whatever they do and say. Stupid to destroy properties and businesses that a hustler has built with sweat and blood. We are stupidly pulling each other’s Brazilian weaves and punching daylights out of each other while the politicians wine and dine at break fast prayers (What’s with that, by the way? I thought prayers were food-less, you know, something called ‘fasting’). When did stupidity become cool? I may have political opinions but I will not punch anyone who does not agree with me. If we ever needed to exercise restraint and reason,it is now.

Because South is a horrible place to go.

 

THIS IS THE HARDEST JOB ON EARTH

Some jobs are hard! Imagine pushing a mkokoteni from Kongowea to Likoni Ferry (For those in Nairobi, this is like from Githurai to Muthurwa!) in the scorching heat, barefoot with no shirt on. By the way, we should form a commission of inquiry to investigate why they are always on bare feet and shirtless. The sweat flowing freely on the shirtless backs making them shine so bright, I swear you can see your reflection! And these ones need no gym to get them abs. They just form. But if you think this or ferrying stones in construction site is the hardest job on earth, you haven’t trying being hairdresser to a one and a half-year-old!

It’s 9.00 am. We have just finished a whole hour session  of begging, threatening, athletics, hide and seek and we have finally managed to finish two bars of weetabix. Where is the gold medal? We heat water in the microwave — because my electric kettle blew it’s fuse and gas is expensive and has a very very bad habit of breathing it’s last just when you have put on the onions for making food for visitors who have just called to say they are on the way. The microwave and the rice cooker are the best life savers in the kitchen. If you didn’t know you can cook almost anything (except ugali, of course) on the rice cooker. You  can even boil cereals and bake cakes on the rice cooker!

So, we microwave the water and get ready for the bath. But there is on little problem — the hair is still in the ‘matuta lines’ that mama professionally made. They need to be removed. So mama arms herself with an afro-comb and starts the process of unbraidng hair. This little Miss Sensitive does not want to feel any pulling and tagging on her hair. So she keeps looking up to see what mama is doing to her hair. I tell you it is very hard to undo hair when someone is bending over backwards to look up at you.

So madam hairdresser has to think fast. I gather a few pegs and throw them in the bath water. Threat temporarily neutralized! I get working fast and furious. This little miss has a very short attention span, something I can’t dare fault her for since she got it from me. After a while, the hair and massage pro is done undoing the hair. The air is shampooed and we finish the bath and start to get dry.

Once dressed, it’s time to do the hair again. Sometime I just let it stay for a week after undoing it to let it breath. I end up with a mess that can’t be combed. This girls hair is tough, my people. Do you know those short tough as nails plants that are used as brooms when dry? In Kikuyu I hear they are called Mahinga. That is Bobo’s hair. This one she got from my dad, no doubt!

bobs

Miss I-want-my-space has vowed to make my work very hard this time round. I touch her hair and she looks up , bending over backwards again and says a series of vowels that I pretend to understand. I nod and say yes. She looks down and I do the first braid — yeeh! I secure it at the top with a rubber band and advance on to conquer the next territory.

She stands up and starts to clap! I join in and then feign play-mode before gently putting her down again to continue with the braiding. She is restless so I bring play things — a torch (That light always amuses her) an open jar of aqueous cream (we use it because she has eczema). I even pour the rubber bands on the bed to amuse her. She loses interest in the torch after three minutes and turns to opening and closing the cream. I hear this is a stage — opening and closing stuff.

We do a few braids while she is pre-occupied with the cream. I’m white all over as she is trying to be a masseuse. She is getting sleepy and sleepy always means restlessness and scratching! Why do babies scratch when sleepy? After what seems like an eternity, I’m almost done. But there is a patch of marginalized area at the back of the head that always requires utmost care to avoid pulling. This one will have to wait. Miss Pretty needs to sleep.

She blacks out almost immediately. I’m tired and sweating, my fingers are aching from the strain. Right now, I think pushing a mkokoteni is easier!