Saturday, February 27, 2010

love song part 4

Kamau was working in the shamba with his parents. His siblings were all in school but since he had finished high school he was now working to earn his keep.

Kamau was singing as he raised the jembe up and down to till the land. He had a deep melodious voice, the type of voice that would make the gals swoon. He had a Barry white sort of voice and in high school he had been very popular at the music festivals. All the high school girls would run to hear him sing and imagine that he was singing to them.

Kamau was happy. He felt like things were finally going right for him. He was formulating plans in his head about the things he would buy when Mr. Mbae gave him a job.

“Kamau, Kamau” in the middle of his daydream he heard his name being called.

Kamau turned from where he was tilling to look up. He was at the bottom of the shamba near the river. He saw Kariuki running towards him. Kariuki was a childhood friend of his and he was wondering why kariuki was looking for him at this time when he should also be working.

Kariuki ran down to him. He looked frightened. Kamau’s first thought was that something had happened to Nyobaki. Kamau asked, 'what’s the matter. is there something wrong with Nyobaki.’

Kariuki took a deep breath then said “kamau there’s trouble. Mama Nyambura told Mr. Mbae that she saw you kissing Nyobaki now he is mad. He is going to get the police to come and arrest you. Nyobaki says that you should go hide for a while.”

“What?” Kamau said.

Kariuki continued, “Nyobaki has given me two hundred shillings to give you. She said you should go to Nairobi until things calm down.”

By this time Kamau’s parents had come to hear what the commotion was about. When Kamau’s mum heard that Mr. Mbae had gone for the police she started weeping. Everyone knew the police were not to be trusted and that they sold their services to the person who could pay the most money. Efficiency and effectiveness was based on how much you could part with from your pocket.

Kamau’s father took charge. “Kamau go pack your clothes. You can go live with your cousin in Mathare valley in Nairobi until things cool down. Mama Kamau go and wrap some sweet potatoes for Kamau.”

The family hurried to the house. Kariuki went back to tell Nyobaki that he had passed the message. Kamau did not have many clothes so he was packed in a few minutes. He hugged his mother then his father walked him to the matatu stage so that he could get a matatu to the center from where he would get a bus connection to Nairobi.
Kamau’s father told him, ‘my sons don’t worry. We will resolve this issue. I will send a letter when it is safe to come back. Be good and don’t get into trouble.”

A matatu came right then and Kamau entered to start his journey to Nairobi. Kamau looked out of the window looking at his dad whose figure got smaller and smaller. Kamau was in shock, things had happened so fast that he had not internalized anything. Kamau had no way of knowing it but it would be very many years before it would be safe to come home again.

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Mr. Mbae entered the police station and asked to speak to the policeman in charge. The police station in the area was not as big as the ones with the city and so there were no senior policemen stationed there. You had to go down to the center to get the big guns.

As he waited for the sergeant to come and see him Mr. Mbae was formulating his plan. He intended to have Kamau throw in jail and given a thorough beating for what he had done. He knew he had to spin the story so that Kamau looked really guilty. ‘I will make you pay for touching my daughter.’

When the sergeant came Mr. Mbae told him that Kamau had forcefully kissed his daughter and had been about to do far worse things when a neighbor came and saved his daughter. He wanted Kamau to be arrested.

The sergeant got a couple of policemen together and he briefed them. He them told mweshimiwa that they had no fuel for the police car. Mr. Mbae removed 1000 from his pocket and gave it to the sergeant.

Mr. Mbae led the way in his car to where Kamau’s parents lived. The policemen went to the door and knocked. Mama Kamau opened the door.

The sergeant said, ‘mama where is Kamau? We are here to arrest him. He has committed a grave offence.’

Kamau’s mother said he was not there and said he had gone to take for the cows grazing which is what her husband had told her to say.

By this time Kamau’s father was walking back to the house. When he reached the house he greeted the mweshimiwa and the police like there was nothing wrong. He asked with a smile, Mr. Mbae, what brings you here. It was been a long time since you visited our house. Mama Kamau please make for mweshimiwa and his escorts some tea,

Mr. Mbae said, ‘I am not here for the tea. Your son assaulted my daughter Nyobaki. The police are here to arrest him.”

Baba Kamau looked shocked and then he said, “Mr. Mbae are you sure. My son would never hurt your daughter. They are childhood friends and he would never ever hurt a woman.”

Mr. Mbae by this time was spitting mad that he had not caught Kamau. He had wanted to be the first to take out his whip and beat the boy until he learnt about respect. He was not here to be told about Kamau’s good qualities. He said, “Your son assaulted my daughter. He was about to rape her when one of my workers came in and saved her. Since your son is not here we are going with you to the police station. When your son comes he will come find us at the police station. I am not stupid. You are hiding that boy. You are hiding that rapist.”

With that the police took baba Kamau to the land rover and drove off with him to the police station. Mama Kamau was left in the house not knowing what to do.

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Back at Mr. Mbae’s house Nyobaki was so scared she could not think. She decided to go talk to her mother hoping that she would talk sense into her dad. Her mother was in the kitchen boiling some maize. She told her mum the whole story as it had happened and told her mum to talk to her dad. “It wasn’t Kamau’s fault. It was mine. I am the one who put him into problems. Mum please talk to dad, please.”

Nyobaki’s mum promised to talk to her dad. Then she said, “We don’t want your dad to be angrier when he comes. Pack your things so that when he comes you can go to Nairobi. In the light of what has happened I think its best you go away for a while.” Seeing that Nyobaki was upset she said, ‘Nyobaki you are no longer a child and you have to stop acting like you are. This situation will not be easy to resolve and you refusing to go will make things worse. Or is there something else that you’re not telling me.” She said this looking at nyobaki’s belly.

Nyobaki said, “Mum we didn’t do anything apart from kiss.” After saying that she burst into tears and ran to her room.

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Kamau reached the city quite late. The roads were bad and it had taken a couple of hours to reach Nairobi. Because he didn’t know how to get to Mathare valley at night he had only gone there during the day he slept at the bus station. It seemed there were a lot of other stranded people who had to sleep there.
At that time there were no mobile phones so he could not call his cousin and his cousin lived in a slum with no telephone in his house. He was very careful with his money because he had heard people in Nairobi were bad. They could steal your shoes even as you watched.

In the morning Kamau woke up to the sound of bus conductors calling for customers to different destinations. Kamau stretched trying to make sense of where he was. He saw a man selling some mandazi’s and went to get some. He was very hungry. When he came back to where he had been sitting he found his bag was gone! When he had gone to get some food someone had stolen his bag.

to be continued ..........................

Raylitpoems 2010

love song part 3

Kamau went home to tell his family the good news. His family was very happy for him and started making plans to have a family celebration.

That night when he went to bed he started thinking about Nyokabi. He could not believe Nyobaki had kissed him. It was strange. Kamau had started having feelings for her when he became a teenager but he had never told her. One because he was shy and two because her dad had become an mp when they were in standard eight and the social divide between them had grown.

As he lay in bed he thought about going to university and how becoming an architect would make it possible to afford the lifestyle that Nyobaki had gotten used to. He fell asleep dreaming about him and Nyobaki getting married and having 3 children.

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Nyobaki wept as she lay in her bed. She could not believe that her dad could be so cruel and inconsiderate. She had all this plans in her head about going to university and convincing Kamau that they belonged together. During high school when the other girls had many boyfriends she had remained alone thinking only of Kamau.

She was not na├»ve. She knew that since her father became an mp and got rich they had a lot of money and that there were now class differences between her and Kamau. But that didn’t matter. What matters is how I feel about him.

Nyobaki fell asleep trying to think of a way to make sure that her dad did not send her to UK.

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The next morning was a very gloomy looking morning. The clouds were grey and dark and it looked like it would rain during the day.

Nyobaki woke up late because she had been tossing and turning because she couldn’t sleep well. She woke up tired. She went downstairs to have breakfast. Looking outside the main window she saw mama Nyambura standing outside.

Nyobaki frowned wondering what the old lady was doing there. Mama Nyambura was the village gossip and trouble maker. She seemed to like spreading trouble and gossiping about people. Nyobaki did not like her at all. “I guess the old witch wants to see my dad to ask him for money or something.”

She shrugged her sense of unease and went to the dinning room to eat breakfast. She sat nursing her tea and bread as she tried to think of what she could do to change her father’s mind.

She was just finishing her tea when she heard her dad bellowing “Nyobaki, Nyobaki!”

Nyobaki ran to her father’s office. “Yes, dad here I am”

Mr Mbae looked spitting mad. “Nyobaki is what I hear true. Where were you yesterday? What were you doing with Kamau?

Nyobaki was taken aback. “Dad I was just taking to Kamau in the shamba. We were discussing his results.”

Oh ok. So it’s not true what mama Nyambura is telling me. That you let that boy kiss you. That you let that filthy boy touch you.”

Nyobaki was left speechless for a minute. Looking at mama Nyambura she looked very satisfied. Her mischief was done and now she had gossip for the whole village. The MP’s daughter with the neighbour’s son. She wondered how much chumvi she could add to the story.

“Nyobaki answer me. Tell me you did not let that boy touch you. I am going to have that boy thrown in jail. How dare he touch you?”

Nyobaki tried to protest. “Dad it wasn’t like that. It was me ………”

That seemed to inflame her father further. “Oh it was you. Is that the girl you have become? Throwing yourself at any man. Is that what they teach you in school? What the hell were you thinking? I blame your mother. She is not watching over you. This boy will see who he is dealing with.”

Mr Mbae turned to mama Nyambura. “Please go. I will deal with this matter. I will give you some money later. Don’t tell anyone what happened. If I hear this story will know it is you who has spread the story and you will be sorry!”

Mama Nyambura left.

Mr Mbae told Nyobaki. “After all I have done for you, you still think like a villager. I am very disappointed in you. You will never see that boy again. Go back your things. I am taking you to Nairobi today. I will change the flight. You will leave for the UK today.”

Nyobaki was crying at this point. “Dad don’t…….’

“I don’t want to hear anything from you. Go get packed now. Let me deal with that villager. He will know who is playing with. I am going to have him arrested right now. No one touches my daughter. No one.’’ After saying that Mr Mbae stormed out.

Nyobaki was left in the office crying. Oh what a mess, she thought. She knew her dad was not joking when he said he would have Kamau arrested. What can I do?

She ran outside and went to the shamba behind the house. Kariuki a childhood friend of hers worked in the shamba for them. He had never finished high school and had gone to work for the Mbae family to feed his family.

“Kariuki, kariuki” she called. Kariuki came running.

“What is it Nyobaki?” he said.

Kariuki please do me a favour, run to Kamau’s house. Kamau should be in the shamba. Tell him he needs to go away. My father has gone to get the police to arrest him because he kissed me and mama Nyambura told dad. Here I have 200 shillings. Tell him to go hide in Nairobi because my father will hurt him.

to be continued.

raylitpoems 2010

Friday, February 19, 2010

checkmate

In this game of chess I have been a pawn. I never used to mind it, maybe because I didn’t know that’s what I was.

I used to think I was a knight or castle clearing the way for the queen to go about her business of conquering the enemies and making the enemy king give up his throne. I thought I had honor in protecting my king from his enemies.

I always thought I was important, an important piece of the puzzle. Until I learnt that am just a pawn, strategic job to keep the castle safe but in the end expendable.

Then I had a revelation. Why should I be the one who is not valued, just a soldier in the chain of command, having no real power and dying for a cause that’s not my own.

I had a mind revolution. Its time to get the power. Am not content to be a pawn for the rest of my life. I don’t want to be a commander in the army, a knight of the realm because my power would be at the mercy of the royals. A favor that can be given or taken away.

My vision is to be Queen of the land, master of all I survey. My fellow pawns hear me, are you with me? Will you follow me to storm the castle and bring down its walls? We shall be masters of our destinies. Captain of our fates.

Pawns arise for it is dawn, time to claim that which belongs to us.

raylitpoems 2010

Friday, February 12, 2010

love song - part 2

Mr Mbae started acquiring new friends in the city, influential politicians and businessmen. He now had no time for small time farmers like Kamau's father. They stopped visiting each other and their families slowly drifted apart.

Kamau and Nyokabi remained friends though. They were the same age and had gone to primary school together. Nyokabi had been taken to a british ciriculum school and so she had finished earlier then kamau and already had her results.

Nyobaki had told Kamau that if he passed very well her dad would give him a job and pay his fees at university. Kamau and Nyobaki cheerfully discussed their dreams. Kamau wanted to do architecture and design and build houses. Nyobaki wanted to be a lawyer. After around 2 hours they left the shamba chatting happily unaware that they were being watched.

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Nyobaki went home a happy gal. She had wanted to kiss Kamau for ages but had never had the courage. She put her fingers to her lips as she thought about the sweet kiss, her very first. She had never felt the way she felt about anyone else. She had always had a crush on Kamau. he was a great guy but abit shy. kamau also had a great body like one of those stars you saw in the movies.

Kamau was around 6 feet tall and had broad strong shoulders from working on the farm. he was actually nicely muscular. the most arresting thing was his eyes. he had black eyes with a ring of brown in them. he was dark, very dark but he had a handsome face. the thing that people liked about Kamau the most was the fact that he had a gud heart. he was always good to people.

Nyobaki went to their house and went to look for her father who had come home the night before. he was sitting in the sitting room watching tv.

Nyokabi said, "Dad, Kamau got an A. You had promised that if he did well you would give him a job and pay for his university."

Mr mbae looked at Nyobaki and said, "Nyobaki i thought you were taught better manners then that. first greet me then you can tell me what it is you want. Kamau got an A. well thats good. He can come work in my office until he's to start university then he will get money to pay his fees."

"dad i thought you said you will pay for him university?' nyobaki said.

"young lady do i look like a charity. I have to look for money to pay for your degree in the UK. i dont have money to waste on Kamau. he is not my son. if his parents had been hard working like me they would be able to afford to send him to university."

"Dad,i told you i dont want to study abroad. i want to go to university in Kenya. i want to study here.'cried nyobaki.

"I have already paid the fees for the first term. you will leave in two weeks with the daughter of Njenga, the mp of Nyeri. you are going to be a great lawyer when you come back. That subject is closed!"

With those words Nyokabi's heart sunk.

love song - part 2

Mr Mbae started acquiring new friends in the city, influential politicians and businessmen. He now had no time for small time farmers like Kamau's father. They stopped visiting each other and their families slowly drifted apart.

Kamau and Nyokabi remained friends though. They were the same age and had gone to primary school together. Nyokabi had been taken to a british ciriculum school and so she had finished earlier then kamau and already had her results.

Nyobaki had told Kamau that if he passed very well her dad would give him a job and pay his fees at university. Kamau and Nyobaki cheerfully discussed their dreams. Kamau wanted to do architecture and design and build houses. Nyobaki wanted to be a lawyer. After around 2 hours they left the shamba chatting happily unaware that they were being watched.

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Nyobaki went home a happy gal. She had wanted to kiss Kamau for ages but had never had the courage. She put her fingers to her lips as she thought about the sweet kiss, her very first. She had never felt the way she felt about anyone else. She had always had a crush on Kamau. he was a great guy but abit shy. kamau also had a great body like one of those stars you saw in the movies.

Kamau was around 6 feet tall and had broad strong shoulders from working on the farm. he was actually nicely muscular. the most arresting thing was his eyes. he had black eyes with a ring of brown in them. he was dark, very dark but he had a handsome face. the thing that people liked about Kamau the most was the fact that he had a gud heart. he was always good to people.

Nyobaki went to their house and went to look for her father who had come home the night before. he was sitting in the sitting room watching tv.

Nyokabi said, "Dad, Kamau got an A. You had promised that if he did well you would give him a job and pay for his university."

Mr mbae looked at Nyobaki and said, "Nyobaki i thought you were taught better manners then that. first greet me then you can tell me what it is you want. Kamau got an A. well thats good. He can come work in my office until he's to start university then he will get money to pay his fees."

"dad i thought you said you will pay for him university?' nyobaki said.

"young lady do i look like a charity. I have to look for money to pay for your degree in the UK. i dont have money to waste on Kamau. he is not my son. if his parents had been hard working like me they would be able to afford to send him to university."

"Dad,i told you i dont want to study abroad. i want to go to university in Kenya. i want to study here.'cried nyobaki.

"I have already paid the fees for the first term. you will leave in two weeks with the daughter of Njenga, the mp of Nyeri. you are going to be a great lawyer when you come back. That subject is closed!"

With those words Nyokabi's heart sunk.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

love song - part 1

Kamau stood at the edge of the shamba waiting for Nyokabi. He was so excited and he could hardly contain himself. He whistled as in his mind he formulated his life ahead.

When Nyokabi came into view he stopped whistling and watched her walking towards him. He thought to himself that he had never seen a more beautiful woman in his life. Nyokabi had a round beautiful face, with bewitching black eyes, with full lips and spackling white teeth with a gap in the front teeth. She had long black hair and a beautiful figure. When Nyobaki saw him, she smiled. Her smile was as blinding as the sun as when she smiled her dimples came out and her eyes twinkled.

When Nyobaki reached him she asked "well." "I Got an A." said Kamau. Nyobaki squealed and jumped to hug him. Kamau held her for a moment or two then reluctantly released her. Nyobaki pulled him to her and kissed him. Kamau was surprised he had not expected this. The kiss was sweet, Nyobaki tasted like nectar and Kamau could have kissed her the whole day. Then Nyokabi stepped away from him. She said, "I always wanted to try that. I loved it."

Kamau didn't know what to say. He had been in love with Nyobaki for years but he knew that they had class differences that were too wide to breech and so he had dared not dream about her least he got a broken heart.

Kamau and Nyokabi had grown up together in the same village in the rural area. Their parents had farms on adjacent properties. Nyokabi's father also did business and had increased his wealth. This had not really changed the strong relationship between the families. It was when Nyobaki's dad was made into an mp that things changed.

Nyobaki and her sisters were removed from the local primary school and taken to private schools. Nyobaki's dad Mr. Mbae started letting the power get to his head. He stopped associating with the people in the village and started spending all his time in Nairobi. Mr Mbae then moved his family away from the village to Nairobi. the gals would only come to the village doing the holidays when they had closed school to spend time with their mother who had moved back saying that the city was too crowded and crazy for her.