Friday, December 15, 2017

Beating the festive season blues


By Mlagiri Kopoka

We are getting close to end of the year and it is rather uncharacteristically cold. So the other day it rained all night long. It continued raining in the morning.

I made a desperate effort to go to work through the rain without an umbrella. The children had vanished to school with the only one that was available in the house. To make the story short I did not get to the office that day.

On my route to the bus stop the rain somehow got even heavier. I was getting wet almost everywhere from head to toe.

Then I looked around for shelter and like a miracle Shemaya’s shop was open at such early hours of the morning.

I found myself saying thanking the creator. So I crossed straight to the shop for shelter. Now my dear, you know the wonderful occurrence that took place.

At that shop I noticed bottles of all sort of wines and spirits hanging on the shelves.

Alas! I asked if I could be served during those hours of ‘kazi tu.’ The answer that came was as sweet melody. And you guessed correctly that I could be served right there!

Mmmh, the place turned out to be quite comfortable and warm as I sat on a plastic chair.

Settled I ordered that small bottle of the ‘spirit of the nation.’

Soon I was no longer shivering as the spirit lightened up my system; a really warm, relaxing feeling crept through me.

Soon I was speaking to the shopkeeper in fully Swanglish as if he was so Museveni with a pipeline project. When the rain finally stopped; my head still had the wisdom of postponing work for the day. So I send a SMS to my boss who happens to be a good Christian. “Boss, the rain has done things beyond explanations, won’t be coming today.”

Now warmed up, I felt buoyant; so I marched straight to Mama B’s to kill off the day.

At Mama B ‘kazi tu’ hours commandments has long lost it emphasis. It’s business as usual. On the TV screen the Kenyan Citizen channel was on air. As I watched the lunch time news bulletin; my mind I thought of folks in Kisumu. “When would their Raila set them free?” I wondered the great ransom they would have to pay until ‘Baba’ gets that “nusu mkate?” Soon Ochieng came in saying he needed some boosting before go to work. This Ochieng guy was really dark, I mean really pitch black. So the pub fellows’ nick named him, “Zungu.” I asked him if he did not see he was already very late for the day.

He laughed showing bright white teeth, “The Boss is never late.” He looked at the TV screen once and demanded that the channel be changed. “But why? We are getting news from Kenya and you know they are living in very interesting times,” I protested. “Oh, this Citizen channel is biased against Nasa and Raila,” he said angrily. “Why are you so angry about it? This is not Kenya, and besides the elections are over and the Uhuru guy is officially in charge. “You don’t understand.” “Understand what?” I sharply asked him. Then I said, “Are you from Kenya or from this country?” “Of course you know me, I am from Shirati.” “ So if you a kamongo guy from Rorya or I don’t know where in Tarime, you should be helping Kenyans overcome tribalism and not taking sides.” I told Ochieng.

“ Aaaah, let me ask you guys is JPM also a Luo like Raila? Suddenly, Gumpy who had been quiet all a long asked this really awkward question.