Six feet two, black hair slowly fading to white, dark glasses to hide his tiny eyes and the large nose beneath it, he stands proudly against the white washed walls of the late night store. Next to him is a girl, a real girl with bigger boobs than we all expected. Well we didn’t expect a girl, probably a fat Indian cat or a goat. Yeah a big he-goat with a goatee long and bushy enough to make Anyang Nyong’o rethink what dumb looks like. Truth be told his massiveness has a way with the ladies, I suppose he stands close enough to them, then leans over to their ears and lets out his hoarse voice spiced with foul smell. Basically, he’s the kind of man who’d chew pk and still smell like he just made out with Arnold Schwarzenegger. I suppose it’s better if I explain that the first time I met him, the quote “look like a pig” probably would define Rihanna. Looks aside, he’s a man of many talents, many of which are secrets even to him. Ooh before I get lost talking about him, let’s call him Rory.
Looking at him right now reminds me of the past two days when like normal campus students we had stolen our parents cars and a tiny bit of money, well not too much to make them bankrupt. We then took a drive to some place in Kambaland, a place you get to by driving through 10 roadblocks every hour. The buses on this road are driven in rally mode cos for an old yellow bus to easily zoom past to a 2 litre KBN is just not possible, unless the dumba stories are true.
Remember the guy who said Kaos suck at giving estimations of distance. Well our host kept telling us to look for a water kiosk painted in blue. It sounds easy when you hear that and remember everything pat Machakos is painted yellow, not so interesting when u speed race with an even a more powerful car probably a 2.3 litre on the sign-less roads of Garissa. The car eats tarmac for lunch and not so pocket friendly for an impromptu trip. So after 5 turn arounds we get to meet our host who is clad in full army gear complete with a 3 litre jerrican imprinted Fresh fry, I suppose for a water bottle. How would I know, I come from a place where water is not new, we pee whenever and wherever we want and that’s probably why we grow to normal height. The guy who meets us, let’s call him Kababa- that’s his real ocha name after all, is shorter than a metre rule. Looking at him makes you do weird things like trying to find the place where his waist is located only for him to bend to tie his shoes and you realise that was his neck. On his feet is a pair of brand new Akala sandals which I can bet he made himself from the used car tyre he stole from Matuu. Truth be told I’ve never seen more yellow in a single place in all my life. In this place yellow is swag and everybody has yellow plastic shoes, free yellow wiper caps or just a yellow sock, the other side missing or not.
Kababa graduated from Juja and the entire village are gathered at his dad’s to celebrate, a vast compound that is gated from 1km away. Past the gate is the dry Ngumalo river, one I understand is where his entire household takes a shower, past their ‘bathroom’ is a huge bump, huge even by Kamba standards. This homestead is awash with foodstuff from muthokoi, ‘maanya’ to weird looking Kamba delicacies that surprisingly taste better than they look.
The moment we get into the compound we are served with water, I wouldn’t know if it’s cold after all this is a place beyond Matuu or was it Mutuuu. Then comes very hot chapattis, so hot u can literally see smoke rising above the tray they lie, with it comes matumbo ya kuku and something else we couldn’t get its name right. But before we fight our hunger away we have to salimia 20 something relatives who dorn huge smile and shout ‘wacha’ into our faces. You gotta earn the meal, well if this is earning our daily meal, it better be good and good it was.
In our rounds shaking hands, some tender others as hard as hard comes yet with a tight squeeze in their shakes, we realise a goat has met its death; a chicken breathed its last and a squirrel’s mbio za kiwanjani fikad ukambani.
The gang consists of Rory, Duch, Mutiso and me plus whatever girl we happened to have dragged along. Ooh Duch is the unlucky one who get’s rejected now and again. The guy has probably known singlehood longer than Raila has known Kibaki doesn’t like him that much. On this fated trip, he dragged Patricia, pronounced Pathrishia who speaks English, a few English words and a tonne of mumbi language. She’s the kind of grl who will use “fucking” and “forever” in the same sentence and lower your libido while at it. The gang thinks by Duch hooking up with her he’s taken onto punishing himself which i won’t lie will be great news to us. In this car he chauffeurs he keep on saying “funga window” yet he happens to have the controls that could do all that. That however is just part of the drama in this car as Pathrishia went on and on telling us how so little she knows of Kamba, well she has as much knowledge as lawyer has honesty. On her bare back is a tattoo of a goat eating grass. Well that’s a story for another day. I switch on the car lights to look for a smokie or anything to chew to sleep but Pathrishia barks, “Wacha kuwacha taa.”. To which Duch whispers to me, ‘isn’t she funny?’