African grandmother during a story telling session. Photo courtesy of zodml.org

Bottomline: We once held hostage a boy who had been criticizing our breast development, if it were not for the good Samaritan who passed by we would have been serving jail sentence for murder or something worse.

“ No Kenyan is free until all Kenyans  are free” said Ford Kenya party leader Moses Wetangula concerning the ill treatment of Kenyans in China following Corona outbreak.

The act is a facade of racism because contrary we have not witnessed any Chinese facing such humiliation in Kenya. Or can we call it a feud? There has always been a chill between the two countries in reference to loans Kenya has borrowed from China to the importation of goods and services. Silence will be a deceit to fellow citizens, it is only prudent that the government rescues them even when the risk of contracting COVID 19 is high.

Consequently this conjures memories of the olden days, how benevolent people coexisted peacefully. No animosity, for being a brothers keeper was obligatory. At the heart of saving Kenyans our ever mannerless politicians are on a visibility campaign as 2022 beckons branding donations such as sanitizer  to add face value.

The more we get old, say in our roaring twenties, the more we get the urge to embellish stories of the past.

The good old days

I have been on a visit to the village, well, my quarantine diaries hail here, most people especially the old perceive this pandemic COVID 19 as a punishment from God to a people who have forgotten the Biblical ways.

So one evening sitting with my granny under a mango tree  ( that’s our favorite story spot) she tells me fairy tales , this is after my attempts to educate her about the pandemic fail because all she says is:

“ Nothing gold stays,I am way old to worry about diseases, have I not lived my life?” With the pick up line…during our days… then as if shifting she proceeds.

The world a blur of flowers and smiling faces, a slice of heaven. The Melee of children playing in the fields hunting down grasshoppers adding scent to the air, mark you we never experienced this locust invasions ( I giggle).Daytime farm work and house chores then by evening we would gather under trees to listen to stories of the jungle that explains why I am a good storyteller. I wonder how your generation functions because you are always buried on those books like you’re lost in some dream. Ours was practical ,no theoretical arithmetics or chemistry.

I still remember the most precise moments like crouching under mud walls, swimming in the river then applying soap as body oil. However if it happened to rain before you got home all the soap be washed away. My crew of budding Juliets had captured the attention of any Romeo around. We once held hostage a boy who had been criticizing our breast development, if it were not for the good Samaritan who passed by we would have been serving jail sentence for murder or something worse. I still adore the firewood fetching gossips of whose daughter is getting married, about to get married, or got married to who, why and when .

Have I told you about my betrothal ? Then we didn’t hunt for men like you do, once you were ripen , on one of your amble walks you would be carried by a group of men and the next stop would be at the comfort of your to be husband’s home. Herds of cattle would then follow as dowry to formalise everything as a sign that your parents knew about your whereabouts.

Time can be a greedy thing, sometimes it steals all the details for itself, I can’t forget how disease outbreak meant fervent prayers to God and consultation of medicine men, indeed they never failed us. Occasionally rams would be slaughtered during celebrations and everyone was invited.

We feared death, it brought sorrow because we didn’t have modernized jembes we buried the dead right in the middle of our houses and took great care of the grave just so they don’t get eaten by wild animals. She relates the story of a man who died in Siaya yet wasn’t given a decent send off thanks to Corona virus which had led to his death. It was the most immoral act she has ever witnessed.  Her sombre mood marks the end of our story session.

Counting the loss

When I grow up, I look forward to telling such tales of my own but am afraid of the kind of ram-shackled grandparents our society is breeding. So are we just going to say we were a corrupt people who didn’t value morals? From the myths of youths on abstinence, eccentric lifestyle leadership and social interaction, is an embodiment of changing winds.

What kind of story do you have in store for your grandchildren?

# relinquishthebad