Kinangop, the Kenyan Canaan, is where I was born. It lies strategically between a valley and a mountain making it the most scenic place ever, my sister believes so. The locals call it Kinangobu, pronounced as Kinagofu. To my Luo friends, if b comes in a kikuyu phrase, it is pronounced as f and an n is silent. Kinangop is a place to be anytime of the year, the other week my president was here seeking solace since someone had gone overseas to expose some shit I didn’t understand too. We advised him well.
I remember talking to this yellow yellow from Daystar who had not been beyond ABC Place, KU and Panari Centre.
“Gosh. You come from Kinangop. Si that place is cold,” she is shocked to meet someone from mini Europe,” Is that is why you have grown a beard?”
“Yeah, it’s so cold that ice cream grows on trees. It snows all through the year so much that people do not go to work; they stay at home and make babies. The snow is so thick and intense that skating is taught in schools. As a matter of fact, we skate to bed, to work, to our girlfriends’ home and ice hockey was my childhood game. The world skating champion was my play mate whom we were cut together, on ice. In Kinangop when you die, you are placed on a sledge and pulled to the ice morgue by wolves. If you watch game of thrones, part of season six will be shot in Kinangop.”
“Awww Aki wewe CHRIS,” she calls me by first name, and in uppercase that’s how I know am getting laid.
P.S I have used that line a thousand times on different girls and it has always worked. In fact it gets better with age, like wine.
Every man deserves an upcountry, but for me, i have more than my fair share. Kinangop is still vintage, and virgin. The White Settlers settled here first, and all they could do was to farm cattle and engage in partying and promiscuous sex. This is the charm the place gives to visitors. As I stand at my favourite spot in our family garden pulling deep, filling my lungs with the crisp fresh air and feeling real good about nothing, I think of my afternoon. My friend from Egerton called me and promised to buy a round that evening. He will probably try to show me that he gains much from online article writing by treating me to our K1 which is Movers Butchery or Slopes Villa. I can tell the context of the place from here. We shall go upstairs, because downstairs is occupied by the most luxurious and expensive restaurant. Perhaps someone would see us take the set of stairs and our story would be told.
“See them, just because they went to college they cannot drink with people,” they point fingers at us. People are the locals, with gumboots or safari boots. They drink Keg from the cup with straws and get real drunk and end up talking of the many cattle their father owned before selling them to buy a second wife. They keep you entertained with stories as long as you are sponsoring, nothing is for free in Kinangop. So we enter the bar, an ever stoned bouncer shows us empty seats beside this young couple sitting next to each other. Someone tell them that during a date people seat opposite and look into each other’s eyes. We later understand that the chick insisted that she has to watch TV, Kihiki Understanding is a hit you cannot miss.
We sit and wait. The patrons are busy talking and draining away white caps, the only beer sold here and King fisher for ladies. The men behind us are primary school teachers I can tell from how they talk of Knut and the new Zonal Education inspector. They shift to talk of their investments in Muki Sacco. I lose interest when my friend orders for tusker lite, I pout. The waitress doesn’t know that stuff, we settle for white cap. Soon as darkness looms, the bar room is full and my cousin joins us. Two girls probably in their late twenties scamper to the dance floor, one has a Jah scarf, a maroon cap, a knee high jeans skirt with a small slit that exposes the hem of a black petticoat. Who wears a petticoat in this new millennium? I bet she has those come and see mothers’ union. The other one wearsquitea similar attire but soups it up with yellow and black stripped leg warmers. Both of them have white reeboks , similar attitude and perhaps two kingfishers high. They dance, shaking every shakable part on their bodies and my Egerton Friend is amused, he stands and approaches them in an Eddie Kenzo fashion. He is almost at the bum when these two nduthi guys fall from the skies like guardian angels and get in the way between. They shake and their reflector jackets sway to the beat. My friend does not give up, he pushes one aside and hold the girl by the waist.
“Wewe, toa utoto hapa,” she screams in deep kikuik and saunters away, he follows. He can dance but no one except me notices. The dethroned Nduthiman is mad, he is going to explode and I run to my friends rescue. My mother tongue is great and I manage to calm him down. All patrons are looking and my cousin, trying to prove more a man pushes me apart and slaps the nduthi guy. The onset of battle and we find ourselves downstairs, several dents on my friend and cousin. I am untouched since I could talk beautiful kikuyu. It’s eleven, too late to catch the last bus Tulaga home. The nduthi guys will be our solace and they overcharge us, we accept and ride home in shame.Our story was written and will be told for a long time.
Another amazing fact about kinangop is our dislike for fries. Fries are not our thing, we loathe them. We know better than to deep fry potatoes. Mother is against it and once we did it as children, we were shown the ancient phantom, Kanyoni wa Ng’ethe. Seeing this Kanyoni wa Ng’ethe is the worst punishment a child can get. It means endless torture, war and going to bed hungry. It could become worse if you were to sleep in the sheep’s pen or with the chicken. In Kinangop, if you fall sick you are next to dead if you neither talk or eat. Your children share out your riches and wait for your death.
Kinangop being what it is, happens to be the food basket for Nairobi so the next time you see a lorry, Tulaga or pick up from Kinangop salute. We ain’t just a neighbor to the city.