Some questions make visitors rather uneasy

As parents, Mama Jimmy and I want our children to be well-behaved people, and among our key areas of interest is the treatment of guests.

To our credit, the children have grown to be quite presentable and well-mannered, and they conduct themselves fairly well in the presence of visitors.

There is only one problem, though — Tiffany has been asking too many questions!

“I just wish your daughter would know when to shut up,” Mama Jimmy says. “She is too inquisitive for comfort. At this rate, she will easily drive our guests away and give our household a bad name.”

Indeed, the girl has a way of making our visitors feel like they are in a police station.

On Friday afternoon, as I lay on the couch perusing the sports pages on my favourite newspaper, we had a guest who introduced herself as Susan.

She appeared to be in her mid-twenties, and she said she is the younger sister to the wife of Baba Dan, my neighbour.

Baba Dan and his family had gone to the city earlier, so Susan hoped to wait for them in my hacienda. “No problem at all. Karibu sana,” Mama Jimmy welcomed her, and she sat directly opposite me. I started reading my newspaper while Mama Jimmy dived back into her paperwork, leaving our guest in the company of Tiffany. The two forged a quick friendship and before long, Tiffany was shooting one question after another.

“Auntie Susan, kati yako na Mama Dan ni nani mzee?” she asked, just as Miss Mboch served the guest a steaming cup of coffee.

“Mama Dan is my elder sister,” Susan said guardedly.

“Do you have any children?”


“Wewe uko na miaka ngapi?” the little one pressed. Susan smiled warmly, but I could see the question had caused her plenty of discomposure and discomfiture. The look on her face seemed to scream “Sitaki maswali ya clinic!”

“I am the last born in Mama Dan’s family,” she offered, finally. Tiffany then focused on Susan’s body.

“Heh! Auntie Susan wewe ni mkubwa sana! Kwani unakulanga nini?” she asked, while covering her mouth with her palm.

This time, Tiffany’s question was met with an answer that was one part truth and two parts baloney — the kind of answers you get from politicians when they are cornered. Mama Jimmy took over from that point and five minutes later, the two women were happily chatting like former schoolmates.

They discussed complex matters such as the best detergents, the best-dressed celebrities in town and the best shades of mascara.

Tiffany was locked out of this esoteric talk, and she suddenly looked like a mkokoteni boy listening to a couple of cardiologists as they discussed arteries, aortas, veins and such like.

“Come, let us go out for a walk,” I called her up, and we stepped out of the compound. We were just in time to catch another of our neighbours, Danny, as he drove in.

Danny is a smooth-talking bachelor who truly loves pretty young women, and the young women seem to love him in equal measure.

On this particular evening, even Tiffany noticed the new woman in Danny’s car, and she quickly grabbed the opportunity.

“Uncle Danny, kwani leo umekuja na auntie mwingine?” she asked in her usual innocence. Now, this was a dangerous question at this moment, and I could see Danny was in tremendous agony. In the end, he came up with a carefully-worded answer — the type of an answer you would normally give to the birds. He then shoved a lollipop in Tiffany’s palm in an apparent attempt to bribe her into silence, unaware that my little angel is above petty corruption.

“Kwa nini auntie Sarah hakukuja leo?” she pressed. This time, Tiff received a meandering answer that took her from Uhuru Park all the way to Mombasa, through Moyale, past Kisumu via Mogadishu with the final destination being Times Towers.

Danny then excused himself and briskly fled the scene with his new catch, just as Baba Dan’s family drove into the compound.

Later that evening, Mama Jimmy and I sat Tiffany down for a long talk and warned her against this habit of police-like interrogations.

Related Topics

parenting guests