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The village dating service that was the disco should die

My Man

I went to a villager dance once, back in the day. Teenaged and straight out of high school, I thought the sun rose out of my armpit.

So there I was, chubby faced in my 'A' level school blazer feeling all clever and sexy. In my stupid mind, I dreamt that village beauties would come swooning at my feet the moment I pulled a few fake Michael Jackson moves.

I was in for a rude shock. By three in the morning, not a single beauty — in white stockings, mark you — had as much as cast a look in my direction.

Instead, the man of the moment was the 'DJ' whose red plastic record player shrilly blasted Dholuo hits with the aid of speakers inverted over a massive clay pot.

While he had been designated the cutest girl to, among other roles, demurely wipe sweat off his face with a yellow hankie the size of a table cloth, every other available beauty was still dying for his attention.

And when they weren't swooning over him, the girls were sniffing for the attention of the bouncer; a muscular, scar-faced ruffian in gumboots with a scythe menacingly implanted in his belt the way cops pack pistols.

I spent the day wondering why I had been unable to secure a date, in spite of my 'class'. Then it hit me: In the eyes of the village girl, I didn't have an iota of class.

I was too baby-faced, my palms too soft, my arms without a string of muscle, my speech bereft of seductive poetry and, of course, I couldn't dance.

These girls were not searching for some skinny guy who danced like a drunken ghost! They wanted a man, a proper man, who knew how to gyrate a waist powerfully and I wasn't it. Two girls got married that night.

When the DJ folded his record player and peddled into the chilly dawn that morning, the damsel who had lovingly sat by his side the whole night rode with him on the carrier of his bike.

They lived happily ever after, even though three other star-struck maidens followed her in rapid succession as co-wives.

The armed, gum-booted, scar-faced rascal got married the following morning, too. I should know – the bugger is my uncle!

When I was home in August, it seemed incredulous that the sweet, responsible auntie who was introducing me to her two daughters-in-law was the same gyrating number I had seen decades earlier at a village dance.

These are not isolated occurrences. Many men aged 50 and above will, with a twinkle in the eye, confess that they met their wives, now grannies, at a village dance.

And they remain married, unlike our sophisticated, yearlong dates and lavish weddings that hit a cropper even before the priest has removed his vestments.

Unfortunately, that particular dance marked the last of a most rewarding village dating service. Someone (who else but the bossy chief, who probably met his wife at a dance) woke up one day and banned them saying they were corrupting youth.

My skinny foot! Meanwhile, discos remained legal, with kids making out on the grounds, smoking prohibited substances in the toilets, puking all over and fighting with knives and broken bottles.

Don't ask me if anyone still grabs a life-long mate at these discos, though. Last time I made myself available, no drunken beauty looked in my direction. To add insult to injury, the bouncer looked me over and contemptuously ignored to search me for hidden weapons. Humph!

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