Lamentations of a Villager About ‘Nairobi Folks’


I am a villager and a farmer. I live in a village called Kamathuri in Kirinyaga. At the moment, there is not so much going on in the farm.

In my farm, currently, I am growing tomatoes, French beans, spinach and carrots. Last Friday I sold my last maguna ngite (avocadoes) harvest. The previous week, two vendors from Marikiti came to my farm and bought the last available pawpaw of the season.

I also keep layers and broilers, which I have been waiting to cash on this month of December with its attendant festivities. I have 2 cows: Wambui and Wanjiru. Wambui is expectant and I am keeping an eye on her as she is due anytime. Wanjiru calved 2 months ago and its milk galore! This land is flowing with milk.

Locally, I am well known for my bull Amigo which services (Kunenganira mbegu) local cows diligently and with a proven track record. Amigo does not tease; he is a rare breed-dark brown with white markings on the belly and between his horns. He feeds well, but it takes a lot of effort to make his abomasum full. Do not under estimate his quiet because when called to task, he is a performer (kubinyia thangari biu!) When he finishes his task, he gives a loud moo, which earns him a treat-salted bran and napier-grass (Thara).

Today, I woke up earlier than usual because my friend Wakimenge is bringing his cow for the attention of Amigo. In addition, I have to make a trip to Kagio to pick my friend Ngotoko who is coming from Nairobi. The villagers of yester-years, who are now domiciled in Nairobi, have started to stream into the village for the December festivities. The last time Ngotoko visited his village was December last year

I don’t know why Ngotoko cannot board a Matatu from Kagio to his village. But nonetheless I will go pick him up with my old Daihatsu Charade. Our friendship goes back to high school days at Kianyaga boy. I used to admire his ability to grab the attention of all pretty girls, especially those from Ngiriambu and Kabare. He once swore to me that he could not stand Kiburia girls. One day I will ask him why.

As I wait for Wakimenge’s cow, I cannot help but foresee how the village will be littered with Nairobians, who think that the world starts and ends around them. With Ngotoko and co.’s arrival last year, the village was at a standstill; not out of choice but due to the attention-seeking traits of our visitors. They try not to sound or look like Kirinyaga natives (Ona Waiguru ni Kunyako). They speak English all the time and can even gossip about a villager, in his presence, thinking that the villager will not understand this English.

When they speak in mother-tongue (rarely do they), it sounds forced! It is not the pure Kirinyaga lingua. For example, I overheard Ngotoko tell a neighbor: “dehera muithikiri” (Bring the bicycle to me) I almost slapped him. This is a guy who eloquently, a few years ago, would say: “ndu ndebere mucikiri  ucu munduu.”

Of interest is how they hate walking bare-feet, and insist on wearing shoes to the farm, to protect their feet from Thangari (couch grass). The ladies hate peeling green bananas because they cannot, currently, stand “methina” (sap) on their hands.  Others cannot spend a night with their folks in the village house and would rather make the return trip late in the night or lodge at Shamrock. They do that oblivious of the fact that only a few years back, they were engaging in intimacies in coffee bushes, as the crickets chattered and as the moon shone bright!

What irks me most is the feeling of the Nairobi people of a sense of entitlement. It leads them to think that because of their proximity to landmark political buildings, they qualify to be political analysts.  They assume that we, the villagers don’t have access to social media! May be they think being in the village disconnects us from the ‘world.’ Last year Ngotoko asked me if I have ever heard of Denis Itumbi, Dikembe Disembe, and Wahome Thuku. He went on to name for me Cord bloggers, who he thought were tough on the president! After all, a villager is in the dark!

During Sunday Service Nairobi folks will always hog the attention, get the best seats (damn Pharisees) and enjoy a luncheon prepared by the church, in their honor. The service leader will towards the end of the service say “Andu a Nairobi mutikambe kuthie. Kwina Kanyamu mubaririrue (visitors from Nairobi, do not leave as of yet. There is a special meal for you). Local villagers are then beseeched to give these visitors peace of mind-not to disturb them as they feed!

Well, that sounds like Wakimenge’s whistle. He has announced the arrival of his cow. I can hear him say:”Wee Gicande, thenga theng” (Gicande, come this way) followed by a sharp prolonged whistle. Time for me to go get Amigo.