It is that time of the year again when all roads lead to the village for Christmas festivities. City dwellers will be trooping to the villages in their hundreds, ready to paint the place red. For many, it will be time to be with extended family once again. But for others, it is time to go back to the village and flaunt what they have. How else will villagers know you are doing well in the city? In the city, they can’t show off because unique hairstyles, haircuts, clothes, latest fashion, big cars and whatnot abound. Nobody notices them. So they take the showing off to the village, where they will get maximum attention and adoration. Timing of their arrival is normally deliberate. Arriving at night? Hell no! How will locals see them arrive in style with the luggage and shopping?
Sacco loans and hired cars
Some will drive flashy cars to the little known dusty places they were born. Mark you, the cars do not have to be owned, many will be hired or borrowed. The flashy cars will have tales to tell come January; from the way they were carelessly driven and honked unnecessarily to get the attention of villagers. It does not end there, these city chaps will be talking and pointing at everything with the keys to their borrowed or hired vehicles, just in case you forgot they came home driving a big car! They will forget that they grew up pointing at things with their forefingers and use the car keys to say: “Tuchinje hii mbuzi” or “shika ile kuku” (let’s slaughter this goat or get that chicken).
Playing Mr Money Bags at the local
Beer at the small local bars will get finished and replenished as the ‘Nairobi guy’ buys ‘helicopter rounds’ with the these-people-gotta-know-who-I-am attitude in a bid to subtly tell the villagers that they did not go to the big city to sleep, but to chase paper! Never mind some take loans to go to the village to show off. Worse, or is it better (for the villager), if one or two city dwellers meet at the local, the buying power of each one of them will be multiplied by ten in a subtle competition to show who has the fattest wallet! As the men do their thing at the locals, their women won’t be left behind, the city wives will be flaunting to village women how their children who go to a big school in the city speak good English.
Showing off smart city kids
Each time a crowd forms, innocent children enjoying the vast village playgrounds will be recalled from exciting games to recite English poems, Bible verses as well as sing Christmas carols to villagers who barely understand the Queen’s language! The grandmothers, their literacy level notwithstanding, must know how their daughters-in-law are doing a good job at teaching pre-kindergarten children that A is for Apple to Z is for Zebra!
The exorbitant school fees they pay to have their tots speak English effortlessly must be repeated again and again. After flaunting their children’s eloquence and educated ways, these women will turn to whine about how they don’t like the village weather, how the cockerel crows noisily, how this and how that irritates them. All this without a care how everyone else feels about their otherwise loose mouths! The same women will be heard complaining that the water from the stream down the village is not safe for drinking, leaving you wondering why they did not bring a Roto tank, full of clean drinking water with them from the beautiful city.
The same water they grew up drinking is now not safe for drinking. Additionally, it is also unsafe for bathing and will need some drops of a strong disinfectant to make it safe, least they and their city children and husband catch some bad skin rash or infection.
Pretenders and mealtime drama
Price tags on items they bought for villagers must remain visible, just to show how deep in their pockets they dug to show how much they love them. Come mealtimes, you will hear a city mother give tales of how ugali chokes her city children to near death, how beans make their breastfeeding babies constipate, among other baseless vibes.
“Pikia kina Shantel spaghetti na Sossi, hawapendi ugali juu inawanyonganga karibu wanakufa,” (Cook spaghetti and Sossi for Shantel and her siblings because they do not like ugali, it chokes them to near-death), a city wife will be heard commanding her husband’s younger sister. Yet they did not bring the spaghetti and the Sossi with them and those things are not available in the village kiosk!
Some will squirm and cringe when certain foods, which they grew up eating, are served. Others will say aloud that certain foods are beneath them or they are too cool to eat such. Think local brews like busaa, chang’aa and dishes like porridge or kienyeji veggies like managu, which we all were weaned on. These scoundrels will rub their contempt in by hovering around with bottled water, with some, who grew up sleeping in bedbug-infested beds, expressing their squeamish allergy to such insects.
Slay queens giving villagers headaches
Forget the city husband and his wife, the rubber meets the road when city slay queen comes into the picture. She will land in the village with her huge sunglasses, leaving some villagers wondering how such a beautiful woman works as a welder. Meanwhile, she will walk around with her selfie stick, which many will think is a walking stick gift she brought her elderly grandmother, taking pics and hashtagging them on social media with #Shagstings and #Shagsmanenos! Her makeup will be intact and her heels six-inch, she does not care the village is muddy because it rained all night! Wait until she gets stuck in the mud and ask villagers to help her uproot her heels from the ground! Despite smoking shisha in the city daily, she will whine about the smoky kitchen!
This particular species of city people cannot understand why there are no Uber services in the village, why the village salon does not do manicures and pedicures, among other cures. They will unashamedly ask for Moet, Pink champagne or ice-cold beer at the local, leaving bartenders perplexed. Her mood will get messed up when she walks in her heels, to the village hotel on Tuesday the 26th and find that the damn place has no Terrific Tuesday offers. She will pass by the salon and ask if they have some gel polish because the village weather has affected her fragile nails.
By mid-day, poor girl child will be on Twitter, tweeting about how the village is a mountain of $#!t, careful not to forget to end the tweets with #IssaMess! Then there are the summer bunnies from majuu (abroad). These who come back acting like they are now too refined for the village life. They are now scared of using a pit latrine or bathing at the river, the same things they grew up doing.
Summer bunny menace
This Christmas, a summer bunny will land in a dusty village in Kitui County, and instead of joining the villagers to pray for rains, they will start asking silly questions like: “Hey guy, what did we use to call our mother?”, pretending to have forgotten all the Kikamba in just under three years in the States. If they are lucky enough to get a kind person that they used to call mother, (mwaitu), you will hear them complete with their Arizona accent going, “Yeah, yeah broooh, maituu maituu!”
Each time such types speak, they will punctuate their sentences with: “Back in America or in Nairobi”, to remind those who missed the memo on where they live. In church, they overrun the choir and impose city songs and singing styles on locals. Woe unto you if you think, all the above-mentioned madness starts when the city dweller and the summer bunny land at the village. For some who sent their children there before them, endless calls have been made. A call goes through every five minutes, asking their relatives if their children have eaten, bathed, been knocked down by a he-goat or whether they have swallowed miti ya jembe (digging hoe handles)!