I am a mixed breed. A pointee if you like the slang. “Mixed breed wa saa ngapi?” some hater will petition, not with the way she loves mukimo, only one tribe would proffess this kinda love publicly-people from the house of Mumbi.
I lay not a claim to being inter-racial or inter-tribe, my hybrid-ness is centred on metropolitans. Tao and shags. I have experienced the cesspool of both rural and urban life. Am mannerism rich- I know what cards to play, what slangs to use, the inner talks. Think of me as a migratory bird which sometimes lives in the grass woven nest situated on the macadamia tree in Othaya, and when I have enough of pecking the ngandania fruit, I leave for the city to live at Dstv aerial.
If my cross-breed-ness had hair, it would be uniformly black,fashionably messy and thick, doubly short, after a wash and long, after blowdrying. It would be curly and still plentiful. It would forever be at the crossfires of salonists who can’t decide what works for it because it is neither kinky nor gleamingly soft. And when people have had it upto here, it will worry and wonder, “why am I not like the rest?” Identity issues will then set in. After a long talking facing the mirror it will have self love. And live happily ever after.
Suffice to say one does not escape this tourism lifestyle without spotting a language crisis. One too many times, I caught my caught myself speaking Kikuyu to non-tribes. Most times am far too gone in a story to switch back.Innately, I will think to myself, “choma kabisa. Cheza kiwewe. Ongea lugha ya mama. Wasikutishie, wewe ni mtoto wa Gikuyu na Mumbi, kweni iko nini?”. And after this self consolation I will point blank speak unwavering kikuyu.
Before I burn the whole photo, let me say am not one of those Kikuyus who speak almost kiswahili. Ati tulikuwa mto gwithambira.Or, nafeel thiurura.I either spit the green cub of Kikuyu whole or I dont at all. We have got to be the only tribe in kenya that incorporates kikuyu, kiswahi and English in the same sentence. And should we wake up day with french imprinted in our minds, we will add to to the mix. Mixing things is our forte. Just imagine even in planting, we put maize and beans seedlings in the same hole. And in the same acre of land we will plant potatoes and cassava. Just imagine we have no shame.
Of our many transgressions, here’a an entanglement in our complexities you may not know. Kikuyus love they cattle. When people think of cattle love, Maasais’ come to mind. I contend not for the top position of cattle love, Maasai’s win hands down, but we still make the list.
Kikuyus are tethered to animal husbandry. They frown on school meeting, barazas, get togethers, the rain for petesake. Even in hospitals, patients will go back and forth with doctors over admission.
“Daktari,” the utterance begins, “I can’t sleep here doing nothing for a week. Not while my cows have no-one back home.”
“First, its not really sleeping. It’s an admission,” the doc snaps,” It’s an admission. On the other matter why not request your son that you’ve written down in the next of kin.”
“Wooii niwatangatha mahiu makwa mone uuru. My son is a drunk, can’t find his way back most nights. I can’t rely on him.”
There is nothing in a class book that will teach you responses people can give. With nothing to compel the patient, the doctor pulls his final card-if you don’t get imediate treatment, your life will hang in a balance.
At this point the patient will slouch in her chair in defeat but mustering enough caurage to say ,”Fine, but talk to the management see if they can let me bring my cows here to graze. The grass here is luscious.”
Let me add to the claim that there is tea overflow in shags. Yes, there is and the ration of litres water to milk is 3:1. (And yes, I have relocated from the Dstv aerial to the nest. Thanks corona. There is a welcome mat somewhere). Tea in shags never runs out. You are gifted tea at the birth of a new calf (baby shawls are are overated anyway). Tea in shags in not like the tea in Tao, the one in shags is sweeter. Most morning here tea is accompanied by mukimo. And dont even think of giving me crap about bland food. Try as you might, you wont hurt me with your comments, am bulletproof.
I love that am a hybrid. I love that I now the inner organs of towns and my rural home. Speaking my mother tongue is such a gift and I wish every child would speak theirs. Of what salience is it to know only English? Or Swahili? What is so wrong about visiting your shags?There are people from the school of thought that claim shags people are poor and primitive. That living in town means you have class. No, it doesn’t.
Penda your shags. And invest in it if you can. Go to children homes in your shags, visit the sick in your shags. Suport the talent in you shags. Love where you come from.