'We make it rain'

In my village, there is what we call the “sun of rain”. Harold looks up as the sun gets hotter towards midday and then screams, “It will rain!”

So as the sun scorched the earth for months on end, I kept hoping this self-declared rainmaker would look up and announce the opening of the skies. He never did. And it never rained.

Traditional rainmakers are supposed to when push comes to shove, climb hills and poke low floating clouds to release some water. Sue’s government is not helping matters either.

The minister for rains was, clearly, unqualified and during vetting, I took offence to his claim that taps in the heavens were rusty because the outgoing government had not serviced them and some money would be allocated for that purpose. He ate that money.

But Harold, the village’s most disrespected priest, has also not made any effort to pray for rain. When I asked him why he just sat as the villagers suffered, he told me he was punishing people for not voting for him.

What Harold forgot is that many people tithe in farm produce and without rains, occupants of the brown house would starve to death.

It was with gratitude, therefore, when last week, after an uncharacteristically hot sun, Harold glanced at me.

“Rain!” he shouted and sped away, his cassock swirling wildly around his waist. Paul and I put all the plastic tanks in position, planted cups directly under every spot the roof leaks and brought the cat out of the house so it could finally take a bath and smell nice. That evening, it rained a few more and dogs.

The following day, Harold, who had fallen at least thrice while staggering back home in the night, was competing with Sue to take credit for the rain.

“In my reign, it rains,” said Sue, feeling poetic and thankful I donated that line that could have been twisted to help Harold’s agenda.

Switching on the TV at Harold’s Assemblies of Holy Associated (HAHA) this past Sunday hushed all the noise in the village. 

Images of desolate pastoralists standing alongside their dying - and in some instances dead - livestock were devastating. 

While my village enjoys the warmth of being sandwiched between Mt Kenya and the Aberdares, it also receives showers every so often. Except that for the past several months the situation has changed, one of the reasons Sue will be attending Cop27 in Egypt, albeit via YouTube.

Farms have had little to produce but barns still boast some grain. No one has been forced to sell cheap sheep, and goats got only fatter even with the dryness. 

For the first time since their bitter breakup, Sue and Harold are coming together to collect food aid for those in need.