By Merlin Salat
The other day, as I was walking down the main highway of our village, I was attracted to a group of youths in a loud discussion with some ladies in front of a miraa base. The miraa base is popular for political discussions and because of its strategic position.
Since I am the only son of the village who has gone past the bridge and visited Nairobi twice, I knew my opinion would be highly respected and therefore joined the conversation.
Ambaro, the village rumor monger, who seems to know everything more than the radios, asked me the first question; “wewe kijana ya Nairobi, ulisikia Uhuru alifanya nini?” to which I replied; “alibatia bibi yake hug akiwa kasarani”
Ali dheere, the guy who owns the largest radio in the village, had to remind me that the president, Uhuru Kenyatta is a somali. I tell him that our president comes from Central, is a kikuyu and does not have a relative in somalia.
He then asks me; “kwa nini yeye habana iko na kabande [kitambulisho]?” Even though he owns a radio, there is no way I could allow him pretend that he knows more than me. I told him that Uhuru owns both a kitambulisho and a passport. Indhagamun,a well-known fan of BBC Somali service, then narrates why he belives Uhuru does not own a kitambulisho; “Wakati jusi bresdent Uhuru ameenda America kwa nini alibatiwa reject? Kwa sababu yeye habana iko kitambulisho. Yeye alibitia ile bridege ya Ethiopia halafu askari naulisa yeye kabande, yeye kusha sema habana iko kibande. Si unajua hata wewe wakati naenda Norobi askari nasimamisha wewe bridge na kama habana iko kabande wewe nafunga jela. Uhuru iko bahati abana wekwa jela. Andege yako alirusha yeye Norobi”
By the time he finished, he had already spit half a little of saliva on my face. What he was saying is that he heard from the BBC that our president could not reach America because he did not have a kitambulisho. You see, if anyone comes from Northeastern and wants to see Nairobi, he has to pass through the Tana River Bridge where someone has to produce a kitambulisho or part with something small in order to pass. So, to this mzee, Ethiopia was a bridge where the president had to produce an ID.
Before we could continue, the monthly miracle took place. Two vehicles approach the village. The miraa base where we were is located on the main highway where vehicles pass once in a month or four times in a month during the campaigns.
I remember the last time we saw several vehicles enter the village at ago. It was during the campaigns when Mama Yako came to ask for votes. I remember the village mzee climb the vehicle with a microphone in hand.
He shouted: “Batia hii mutu yetu kura. Atalete mendeleo kwa hii filej. Vijana yetu taenda yolofesty. Bowlaytin ataleta stima. Musjana yetu taolewa na vijana ya Nooroobi. Ukijagua hii mutu, manamuke yetu hapana enda river kujota maji. Maji itajilete nyumbani. Hiyo inaitwa mufereji na watu ya Norrobi wanajua sana. Mukijagua hii mutu yetu, mutaona gari kila siku. Hata chief yetu atakuwa waziri”
But all I can assure you is that there is nothing like mufereji in the village. None of our sons went to that place called Yolofesty. No girl is married by any man from Nairobi. Everything remains the same.
Next week, I will tell you why our girls started applying lotion instead of mafuta ya ngombe.
The Shambaboy Series is a humor column and carries no ill intention against any individual