When i was 6 years, a new pair of shorts dint last a week on me. After giving me vibokos( serious spanking) my mother gave up and invented a designer short for me .She would have won an award  at the Kikoromeo fashions with her inventions. She took my elder brothers old jeans trouser and cut them into a pair of shorts. She then found other jeans rugs and sew them on the inside of the behind. After it was finished the short weighed 3 Kgs I suppose. She handed it to me and said ” Hiyo ikiisha, umelaaniwa”(If that wears out, you are a cursed one”). The short was heavy in my hands and when i put it on at first I could barely move. After getting this new gear I went to play. It was the scenery of laughter when I arrived at the slopes. Well at least my mother was inventive and theirs wasn’t. They had already poured water on the slope and Shikutwa was the first. We had cut a 5kg can into two. This made sitting allowance on it and slid smoothly down the slope. Acceleration was when you poured water on the steep slope to make it slippery. He sat on the can and we pushed him, minutes later he plunged into the river below amid roars of laughter and shouts. When he came back up, his short was torn into two and it looked more of a skirt than a short. I was glad the attention had shifted to him. When it was my turn, everyone was looking, waiting and holding their breath. I sat on the can and was pushed. I slid down the little hill and minutes later plunged into the river. There were roars. When I came up, my short was as good as it had been made. The following day everyone had a short like mine. Larry Madowo would have called it the Trend.

 Everyone has someone and my secret love was Joyce. I loved Joyce but I had never told her. Though there were things I used to do specifically for her. Till now I don’t know if she ever noticed any of them. I would disappear from home, so that I could not fetch water or graze the cows. But I would go to Joyce home and I would carry her bucket to and from the river. I would even help her brother graze their cattle. Things men would do for love. Anything I was doing for Joyce wasn’t a bother to me in fact i felt good. Before their cows started giving milk they “wrote” milk from our place. Literally, waliandika maziwa kwetu. Every evening Joyce would come to pick the milk and I made sure that I was the one who served her, then I would walk her to the gate, sometimes to their home, claiming to my mother that, Joyce was afraid of dogs and she needed my escort.

Whenever, I served Joyce with milk, I would add some into her jug, to please her. I dint know my mother realized the maziwa remained  kidogo (less) after Joyce came around. She just waited. One day Joyce came as usual took the milk, I walked her to the gate and came back. After sometime, while I was in the kitchen I heard my mother call. Variations in her tone when she called or spoke, would spell her mood. And this call meant the fall of Jericho walls. I ran to see what it was. Joyce was standing in our living room her milk jag on the table. As my mother explained, I had given Joyce bad milk. It dawned on me I picked milk from a container of the previous day. At this point everyone was in the living room. After checking the milk she found I had given Joyce 4 cups instead of 2.
“Hiii ndio kazi unafanya, mkifuatana hapa kama kuku, eeh” my mother fumed. “Mimi sitaki mapenzi kwa maziwa yangu, ukitaka utafute ng’ombe upeleke huko” she said causing laughter to those in the living room.

Only I and Joyce were not laughing. I was so embarrassed and Joyce left crying. She never spoke to me again for a whole month and she never came to collect milk. Her brother did.

Image: Staff of Hope



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