No place like shags

Going to shags is a tradition i have come to like. Much so because down there folks look after each other. As much as ‘son of Opollo’ will inherit one widow after another or ‘nyakwar Odagi’ drinks too much changaa the society won’t just gossip about it, they will find time to at least tell the involved that it is wrong. There the line that divides right and wrong is quite clearly defined. Written or unwritten there is a doctrine that ensures that despite your double phd or vast wealth you still take time to at least meet the form four leaver the old lady across the fence set you up with. Here one has to take it when the old toothless woman spits on her palms and rubs it on your face (blesses you) or worse spits directly to your face. I know this sounds a little overstreached and an argument could be made as to why i shouldn’t accept such treatment but in a world ruled by a few old people who i bet don’t even know what day it is, what can one do? Forgive me if i give this old men less credit for even when they last saw you as a kid they still have the skill to liken your curled eye lashes to your granddad’s even before you tell them from where you come. These old people know the villages populace complete with an entire factitude of ones lineage.

Then they prod on what it is you take at the ‘mbararieny’ (campus) and suppose you say fancy names like  civil engineering or actuarial science they have the audacity (after you’ve explained specifically what it entails) to make a sentence like, ‘Haha the world is surely coming to an end, mimi na babu yako si tulitengeneza barabara bila kuenda university.’ But that is not what drives me to shags that frequently, what takes me there can be better placed by a sentence i overhead once when i was a kid. Fact is, my great granddad had 3 wives and my granddad had 12 children so basically i come from a huge family. It is therefore natural that once in a while, i tag along my dad while he moves around making courtesy calls. One of my step granddad’s, at one of this walks, once said, ‘One is never lost if he doesn’t need to look back to find his home’ . Well translations rips it of most wisdom but that will do.

This time however, while i went to a friend of mine to say hi, i walked into a meeting that had been called to discuss a child of the home. This might be news, but this year freshmen instead of a letter got an sms informing them of various campus  placement. One such student had travelled to KU to pick his letter and maybe survey what life is in campus and happened to run into a bash. Long story short he took a video which he shared with his pals at home and somehow it land in the hands of grow ups. The surprise and disillusionment of the parents at home of how students who happen to have been properly brought up behave when they joined campus made the parents present to consider not taking their kids to university. Some complained of the pains of having to sell land, cattle and sometimes conduct fundraising in order to pay for fees, buy laptops or provide upkeep at the expense of their hitherto born again son becoming an alcoholic or their daughters pic being found on Campus divas for rich men wall on facebook.

Well, without going to shags i would have seen such as the rot of our society but now that i went i empathise with the parents, rich or not, who sacrifice their comfort only to have a stranger graduate into a life they never wanted their kids to have. But that’s just my two cents.

In the end i bet it’s better to say ‘A stranger maybe one who is not known, but it is always one who knows not what is strange’

Great week pals.


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