Adventure

SHAMBA AFFAIR

I hope I have not interrupted your festive celebrations by prompting you to read this blog. Wait. Actually I’m not sorry. Because I’m just about to add some essence to your celebrations. Some of you are not even celebrating anything. So this might just be a favor since you don’t have anything else better, do you? Oprah I hope you’re reading this. Hehe. So even with the festivities ongoing, the realities of the word and life still goes on. Nothing about life grinds to a halt just because you have a piece of white meat in between your teeth. Be kind enough to grab a toothpick please. Or for the high class, treat yourself to dental floss. I on the other hand – am in Nairobi. For those who know me you know that I am a mjango of two worlds. 
The road in the place I live has been tarmacked. May I hear a Hallelujah! We shifted to this place that I in time past would call ‘a hell of a place’ but now it’s less hellish and more civilized – when majority of the population was walking on four feet. That is to say that it was still a home to wild animals. Had urbanization not chromed to these sides, I think I would either be a professional poacher or just a hunter and gatherer and that means nothing close to a blogger. My mjangos would be the hares that dig tunnels under our house. And zebras that graze outside our gate and like ‘asante ya punda,’ they’d leave pebbles of shit by the gate as they go to look for greener pastures. I would joke with them when I meet them saying that I don’t take that shit seriously just because I cannot eat them. If you’re asking why we cannot eat zebras for Christmas also be kind enough to ask yourself why you’re not eating the donkey that your alcoholic uncle uses to bring water to your family’s boma every year you’re in shagz. 
By the way is it just my observation or it’s almost accurate that every extended family has an uncle who is an alcoholic. Whenever they show up for get-togethers, they are either already smelling like booze or the first thing they ask their young nephews is, “When are you going to buy your mizingas pia mimi muniletee Christmas yangu?” So apparently he already says that he wants nothing else for Christmas but booze! If you happen to get a promotion and your salary is rolling with the stars in the sky or you happen to win a mega jackpot, and you just feel like blessing everyone in your extended family, when you get to that uncle, here is a tip. Don’t waste your time, just know the best gift you can get him is a crate of booze. Don’t worry that you’re helping him see the grave before he cuts the addiction. Okay I meant only do that having in mind that you’re speeding up the amount of time he has to still empty the bottles of booze in this world. 
Anyway, back to this place called home. The closest neighbor was an old Luo guy living with his family about 800 meters from our place. Electricity lines had not come this far yet. So there was nothing better to do while at home than either watch or join the Masai nomads in grazing their cattle or hunt for wild game (of which none of us even had basic experience) or start farming and grow it using irrigation. 
Speaking of farming. One time my elder brother grew maize in a small portion of our compound. It was the Katumani type of maize. Harvesting season came and the ‘farmer’ was to reap what he had sowed. I don’t know who was his agricultural advisor by then, but he started by cutting the stalks first then he proceeded to pick the maize cobs he found fit for human consumption. Like a nature call that is just as automatic, he was bound to roast them and well, eat alone. But I was a poor hungry boy. Yes lunch had been served some three hours earlier but I still had some space in my tummy for some late dessert, don’t you think mjango? Although I knew very well what he would tell me if I happened to ask him for a share of the three cobs, I had the faith of a younger brother. 
He waited for me to finish the sentence I had neatly constructed to touch the brotherly side of him. Then he said, “Mimi nikilima, na kupanda hizi mahindi, si ulikuwa unaniangalia tu?” That is exactly what I had anticipated he’d say. If he was to use the language of this current generation, perhaps he’d tell me to lamba something something. I can’t remember how they say it. But yea, I turned around and left him in the kitchen risking his fingers on the hot jiko – since I was not good at comebacks by then. We had a house help by then. She was (and still is) a Kamba. I know that because up to date, whenever we go to my mum’s shagz, we always meet her on our way back. She taught me the basic Kamba I know. Had she stuck around a little longer, maybe I’d be a pure Kamba blogger, this blog’s theme color would be yellow and probably it’d be called ‘Muyango Series’. See how the Lord does things in marvelous ways? So she witnessed it all and told me not worry. 
Well how do you expect a kid not to worry after seeing his brother have what he cannot have? Especially if it is food! My worry ended when I took a stroll around the compound to do some thinking perhaps on how I was going to wake up the following morning and dig my own shamba. This time, a bigger portion than he had. Then I’d plant the real maize, not that shoddy Katumani. Soon enough, I will be roasting my own hard earned maize and I’d share with everyone else but him. He’d have to buy if he wanted any. 
But lo and behold! I got to his already harvested shamba and decided to check why he had only harvested three maize cobs. Yes, I found out that most of them had not matured well and others had been infested by whatever insect that preys on maize. But not all of them! Like five of them. I started with one. I found one worth the roast and quickly went to sit beside him while he finished roasting his last cob. They were small maize cobs so it took like four mighty bites to strip one cob. By the time he was done eating the three, I was done eating my one though not only maize cob. He must have told himself that I just got lucky.
I took another stroll and you bet I found another one. Same process and he still didn’t react. It may not sound real but I took another stroll until I found three more. Hehe. The mjango couldn’t stand it anymore. He left the house and went for a walk in park. (Pun intended. We were living in a game park of a kind.) He wasn’t able to ask for my share or claim my share because the products were from his shamba. The shamba he had disowned three maize cob harvests later. Now I didn’t work in his shamba but I ate more maize cobs than him, the farmer. 
You bet he stopped farming and pursued other passions. I on the other hand did not pursue my conquest of having a maize plantation to prove to him that he was not the only one capable of planting and harvesting and roasting. I can’t remember the last time I dug anything anyway. Wait, let me be specific or else I may be misquoted. I mean dug the ground using a hoe. I don’t think he remembers the events of that day. But brother, mjangos should know that what happened in the shamba stayed in the shamba. Those are just good old memories. You should see us now. One of us has a beard and you bet it’s not him. And one of us has abs and biceps and it’s definitely not your Mjango here. 
Hey, no long post today. Otherwise your roasted goat, or bull; no let me just say ng’ombe, or chicken or even roasted maize – may get cold as you read this. Don’t be ashamed if you having maize for Christmas by the way. Leave these people who eat a lot of meat. They don’t usually live very long. Doctors say so, not mjango. Though we do want them to live long. So I don’t want you to suffer from indigestion. You have to travel back being healthy so that we meet here on New Year. 
On that very day, The Mjango Series will be celebrating the dawn of its THIRD YEAR; third birthday rather. Kids grow so fast nowadays, don’t they? 
So prepare your gifts and a surprise party. If you watched my Whatsapp status on my birthday eleven days ago, you must be knowing who the dancer of the day was. Well, he will not be dancing again, sorry. But be sure there will be some dancing in here. Mjangos will definitely shake what their mamas gave them. 
Adios!

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