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My reflections: Leftover tales from my village

Readers Lounge - By Tonny Ogwa | January 21st 2020 at 10:00:00 GMT +0300
"I did not summon you under my tree today to tell you about my village. You all have your own villages to talk about."

It had been a season of festivities and celebrations with people celebrating graduations and parties. Animals were slaughtered in droves in the parties.

Well, our humble hamlet wasn’t left behind this time round. We too had our own equal share of this grandeur. And it was grand. If it wasn’t, I would have told you so.

My village is not known for anything. Kamreri pacho has never been mentioned in any news bulletin or any of the local dailies. You see, even you, the brightest among your kinsmen, and the only hides and skins degree holder from your clan, has no idea what I’m blabbering continuously about. This doesn’t mean Kamreri has never had her own share of greatness. No, omera.

Yet Kamreri sits at the heart of South Nyanza. Legend has it that Mreri, our ancestor, was the most beloved of Ramogi’s grandchildren. Of course y’all know Ramogi is the father of all Jorieko (intellects) south of the Sahara and north of Limpopo. And I’m a direct descendant of Ramogi. But you already know this so there’s no wisdom in reminding you.

I did not summon you under my tree today to tell you about my village. You all have your own villages to talk about. Neither did I call you here to tell you about my ancestors. Y’all know how shrewd they were (yours truly is their blood, ahem).

Still, the bottom of this story does not begin before the name of one or two of our most outstanding ancestors is invoked. So I hail the spirits of Nyochieng Kogiri, the valiant worrier who lived and died in the nineteen pat opuk (1900s). He wrestled rhinos, elephants and lions to secure us land.

And when the white man came to steal from us, he told him in verbatim to go hug a cactus tree then ride atop a porcupine back to wherever hole he crawled from.

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Today, we excrete in large open fields thanks to his efforts. And we are not very proud to say he would have made a good friend to the deputy president had he lived in this time. Of course, you’ll know Uliam’s appetite for land.

And then I’ll hail the wise spirits of Lang’o Arek. He was not wise. No. Wisdom was him. It is in his spirits that today we celebrate the birth of a doctor in this village that sits right in the middle of the thighs of these beautiful hills of the gods.

I would have also told you about Ajuoga Janawi, the great medicine man who placed his enemies in bottles of chang’a and threw them into the lake, but I will not. Besides, now is not the time or the place to talk about Janawi. Lest he resurrect and put you all inside the bottles of those sinful drinks you’re taking now. All you need to know is that no child was ever named after him.

But many children including yours truly here have been named after Jakom Lang’o Arek (don’t ask to see my ID). And so is our doctor who just graduated from the big university in the city. The University of Nairobi.

You will not find him in the hospital though, looking at the bare buttocks of a woman old enough to be his mother. That would be an abomination! The ancestors would be so angry their ire would strike him with blindness.

All we know is he graduated with a doctorate in some degree no one in the village can pronounce - hunting and gathering or something. We don’t know. We are all only too happy to call him laktar, the owner of all knowledge and wisdom under the sun and the seas. He is the knowledge itself. If he wasn’t, I would have told you so.

Now if you’ll excuse me, Daktari is about to address the nation from the chief’s camp. I must attend lest I miss all the wisdom. And we’ll know you won’t find it (wisdom) in your governor’s office.


My Reflections Kamreri

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