I picture him writing this post. He has a Boshori covering acres of his fore head, a puffy navy blue jacket, a red Manchester united scarf on his thin neck and black gloves. He is seated behind a desk with his laptop and a kerosene lantern lamp as the source of light. The flame tongues of fire dance to the music blaring from a Sonitec radio hung from a nail drilled on the wall. He types furiously on the keyboard, perhaps way too furious for his shadow to keep up. He hits the space bar and yawns, a big yawn for he is sleepy, frozen but happy. He looks up to his stars in the skies and thanks them. We schooled in the same school, the first private school in the village. Though he was a grade behind me we endured the discrimination together.
“Look at those, children of teachers and policemen who cannot school in the same school as us,” people would curse but that did not deter us from being boys.
Buddy, growing up was good till they put up fences.
Back when I was young, no day was as exciting as those Sundays when no school activity bothered you. After a long, painful week where your backs were a frequent patient to your Mathematics teacher, Sunday provided the healing potion to your soul. Your mind was relaxed, free and willing to take boyhood adventures.
The fun normally started on Saturday late afternoon. We would go to church for a Sunday school service. The main highlight was perfecting makinya which were blended movements of body parts. They were to be performed the next day to our parents. Being involved in the whole practice setup was deemed a worthy celebrity status in the village. We would also brag about the tidy khaki shorts we would wear. We would often be too loud- mouthed which aroused the attention of the teacher who cautioned us or else someone would be ejected from the dancing troupe. The caution was enough to silence you.
The next activity was playing soccer. The ball was normally made of polythene paper and kept in shape by a pattern of nylon strings. The owner of the treasured ball was treated like a prince. He was held in high esteem and regard. Boys were always fearful of him. If he said you did not look like a good footballer, you either bribed him with some maandazi you only had to sit along the touchline and either cheer or bore yourself off begging for a chance to impress.
If you were lucky to be selected to play, you never escaped his easily provoked wrath. If you were in the rival team, and you had a rough game, he would red card you. Only members of his team were allowed to play roughly. Still they never escaped his buffalo-wrath if they had an awful, poor technique on the ball. They worked for him. Once they got the ball, they had to pass the ball to him. His goalkeeper had to have quick reflexes for him to continue enjoying the game. Put simply, you never argued with the lad. The game usually ended at dusk.
Sunday morning: You had a hot bath in an aluminum basin and quickly changed into your Sunday best clothes. Some hot tea and the previous night’s ugali energized you for the long day ahead. Daddy gave you a one-shilling coin as church offering. You had to be early to catch the juicy story given by the Sunday school teacher. She took you through a 30-minutes recitation of a Bible verse. This activity was succeeded by the song presentation which was always spoiled by a few boys who would only produce a wide grin at the parents to the anger of our teacher. They would definitely be reprimanded to blend with the rest of us.
To kill boredom, we would move from church to church in the village till afternoon. The day was never fun filled without a visit to the bush to pick wild berries. I swear nothing was as juicier as them.
The late afternoon ushered in a visit to shosho’s place. She treated us like kings and queens. Her sweet food formed a hill on our plates. Did I mention her awesomely brewed tea or once in a while, a hot bowl of millet porridge? I can guarantee you would die to visit her place.
After the meal, we’d play all sorts of games from hide-and-seek, running after one another, locally known as mūchatī, killing-a-rat and cha-mama-cha-baba. We changed them depending on how boredom kicked in.
Bigger boys normally played rougher games like throwing all sort of objects at each other or fighting. This could be the effect of watching Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee films. What they only had to do was make sure no adult saw them. I swear they never liked the heavy spank they got.
Dusk again and you prepared for the following week’s routine by finishing the homework issued by the Mathematics teacher. He was literally a pain in the ass. WHAT A WEEKEND!!!!
Maasai Mara University.