We never asked for them, but they brought them anyway, they became both a blessing and a curse. We can say that our leaders are trying hard, to give our rural area an urban touch. We have a dirt road which rumor has it that it’s being tarmacked. The workforce is mainly human and we have lost hope of having it fully completed before the rains come in their torrents. Worse still is the worry of its lifespan, will it even withstand the rains itself? Anyway, let’s leave that to the future to determine.
So one day, they decided that we need street lights. The nocturnally inclined beings were happy about the whole thing and decided this is the night that they were going to get together and make merry, in honor of the newly installed lights along our dirt road.
And so they drunk, glass after glass of the dark drink was served. And they drunk! Samahani waiter ongeza glass, wacha nilewe, nilewe tu, was blaring in the air. They drunk past midnight until they couldn’t drink anymore. They couldn’t spend the night at the bars because some feared their wives, despite being smashed they could still hear their wives’ shrill voices, screaming at them and feel their bodies being battered with cooking sticks and pots.
One by one they decided to leave, they remembered that they were getting drunk in celebration of the street lights. So, why take a motorbike and waste a whooping three hundred that could be useful the next day? ‘I’ll walk home” they decide.
They stagger heading home, each enjoying the well illuminated road, Alas! What a blessing has been brought unto us? What manner of love is this? They bask in its glory as they walk home singing loudly “uhoro wa gukena, ni ukite guku gwitu”, [ loosely translated – Glad tidings have come to our place] hold it right there, so we have an aunt, she’s notoriously hardworking. She wakes up very early in the morning and decides it’s time to sing, she loves singing. Whatever she is holding at that particular time becomes her drum.
On this day, she was going to fetch some water in a sufuria, she decide to turn it into a drum and beats it without mercy. I still have never understood how someone can wake up with such vigor and joy, I’m the grumpy type when I wake up. This morning she decides that she has to sing “uhoro wa gukena, ni ukite guku gwitu”, in Kikuyu for way too long, she decides to translate the song, weeeh! My friend! “sitory cia fulaha simekuja huku kwetu”, needless to say, our morning was made right then! No one woke up grumpy, we just looked at each other and burst with laughter, you can’t possibly blame us.
Back to our drunken friends, so they sing as they walk along enjoying every difficult step they took. Once in a while they would be heard shouting “uyu niwe muduriu!” then embark on their singing. Our street lights then come to an abrupt end, unfortunately, they did not light up the whole place.
Before they adjust to the darkness some magical things begin to happen. They are gagged, and carried deep in the dark, into some nearby bushes. Before they realize what is happening, kaboooom! Everything is gone! From their phones, money, shoes. They walk home bare footed. The thieves then leave our friends to recover and go back to the road just where the darkness begins and wait for the next one to arrive.
The following day, no one went to celebrate. They had nothing left to feed their families with, they were left at the mercies of their scolding wives. They walked around with their faces down and wished to God that all those lights would somehow, miraculously blow up, but woe unto them, we are still enjoying the lights, on motorbikes!