The setting is RUAKA, KIAMBU COUNTY yesterday, 9th July, 2014 at 6.00pm. I have a car break down and i pull to the side of the road. Almost immediately, some three men (one aged mid-fifties, the others in their mid-twenties) emerge and offer to assist. But it is nothing major and i am able to fix it in 5 minutes or so.
In the meantime, and in the unbelievably short time that is 5 minutes, the fifty-something mzee is busy engaging me in some diatribe laced with heavy ethnic undertones. He says that i am lucky the misfortune happened to me amongst “my people”. He shudders to imagine what it would be if it occured to me among “Ihii” (“the uncircumcised”).
He then goes on to rant and curse RAILA and SABA SABA- all within 5 minutes or so. Now, i did not have time to discuss politics. But i decided to take a minute or so to inform him that half my childhood was spent in Kakamega County. The other half in Nyandarua County. And that with that background, if I was relying on my tribesmen alone, i probably would never have reached where i am today.
I then thank the chaps for their willingness to assist and decide to buy “chai” which i peg at 100 bob for each. I do not have lose money. So the mzee convinces me to give him my 500 bob note so he can look for change. He disappears to thin air. You see, the mzee is crafty. He realizes my time is limited and i would -in-not-so-long-a-time leave. So much for “my people” whom i, supposedly, should be eternally grateful about!
This was a Facebook post by wakili Ng’ang’a Thuo.