Of goats, balls and canes.

My ‎father wasIMG_20150926_210423 a technician. A technician is a person who thinks they can do anything handy and get away with it; from fixing broken sinks, peeling red coat of paint off walls and replacing it with well, no coat of paint. Re- assembling electric appliances dismantled by the neighbours’ roguish sons; they always insisted their vagabonds were only children who wouldn’t hurt a fly.
He performed such other tasks that deprive specialised work men of employment. I reckon plumbers, carpenters, mechanics and electricians found my dad despicable. Such was my father, a jack of all trades…

He  always had soccer balls with him, he was a teacher at a technical institute, that schooled old adolescents from poor backgrounds. Such boys had nothing to do with idle engagements like going after balls. I thus owned all the balls.  Ba,( for that’s how a good son refers to their dad without attracting canes.) owned lots of metal tools and a cane. The spanners, pair of pliers, hand saws, hammers and nails aroused interest in me, for the son of a monkey is certainly a monkey. I tried to imitate everything about mzee; I mastered his gait and voice intonation and the art of driving nails into neighbourhood trees. As my way of announcing the presence of the son of the technician.

Mzee owned a singular cane; it wasn’t by any wild chance a chattel of prestige because Ba has never at any one time been a chief, in the past life, or future. To the best of my knowledge he wasn’t blind nor was he lame, yet he owned a cane. He guarded the cane as jealously as a thief hides his loot.

We owned no cattle. Just a few rabbits, about sixty. Rabbits are sexmaniacs. How else do you explain their rapid reproduction and expansion pedigree? My  grandma said when she did once did come over for Christmas  that the rabbits conjured memories  of a friend of hers who lived across the Nile; she bore 19 kids; all singular births. All sired by one man!

That night I had a dream, I was across the Nile, and about 18 children were around me, calling my name, I cried till day break. I had two siblings who were giving me enough headache. 18 would surely send me six feet under.
I’m not suggesting that the across the Nile people are always in bed. Contrary to that, they’re hard-working people. Which is only natural for their soils aren’t not as fertile as the humans who till them.

Back to the cane, the cane wasn’t a good friend of mine, we made contact rarely. About once  every six days. Never did we engage in private, dad was always at the other end of the cane, wielding it, and I at the other end, swearing to do my homework and not steal, carry and take coins that weren’t expressly mine. The cane wasn’t loyal. It had mastered the art of hiding. I always swore to bring an end to its existence and end my misery. I surely did find the cane, neatly hidden while on a coin treasure hunt in my dad’s bedroom. I hurled the stick into the bushes.

My mother was a jolly good mother, she owned few earthly possessions, distinct of her possessions was a wooden mingling stick and a Bible. She read her Bible in times when the weather was fair or rough. And wielded her wooden spoon with ease, like a good mother, she often made tasty dishes.
My behind knew the mingling better than the dishes. My ears knew that Proverbs verse about sparing the rod. She endeavoured to nurture an upright son in the ways of the wooden spoon and the bible.

The next time Ma, intended to inflict pain upon my demons, there was no cane to wield, poor cane was chained to the bushes. Ma always said that she wasn’t beating me.
‘It breaks my heart to cane you Boy! I however must gorge the demons of mischief out of your body.’
She would proceed to put my sister’s sandles to their other purpose; gorging demons and banishing spirits of dishonesty.
‘The tongues of my kinsmen utter no lies, these spirits of deception must be from your father’s lineage. They must go.’

I would receive a generous amount of sandal strokes. At the bidding of my sister’s footwear. I loathed their feet.

Today, I loathe my big sisters no more. They’ve both grown into beautiful women. When I meet them, I don’t see humans. My prophetic eyes see a herd of goats grazing, all mine. My virtual eyes envision me posting instant photos of my herd on  instagram, my herd. The first step is opening an IG account, the second step is  finding an in-law generous enough to say.
‘Bwana muko, there are a few goats here, every time I see them, I feel I’m defrauding you of  your personal legend, come pick them.’

I always, in the  depth of their eyes see White and Black and Brown Freshian cows with massive adders and small calves whisking their tails at fat blue flies, grazing in green meadows, resting beneath the shade of mango trees; besides a river bed.

The courts of our lands  ruled that; to demand for the return of bride wealth is akin to commercialising the marriage institution. It is illegal. I’ll get myself a gun and shoot any rustlers. First, I need to find these single men.