My uncle M’Mithiaru (Don’t try to pronounce it lest you sprain your tongue) has finally arrived from “City” as folks around this rural area of the map call our beautiful Nairobi. He had decided to finally visit his daughter who works in the big town. He was welcomed with the usual crowd of young kids that have heard that Nairobi has really sweet sweets. My uncle did not disappoint he had at least two packs of “Patco” as he dished out the white round bourbons like an aspiring MP dishing money next year.

After the welcoming squadron was done with harassing Uncle M’Mithiaru, I went to see him. At least to get to know his view about the big town.

“Hiyo Nairobi mimi sirundi!” That came after the “Knock knock” from me. Brandishing his widely spaced teeth that had acquired a distinctive brown tinge, he sneered as he said the words. M’Mithiaru laid his black leather bag on his bamboo bed and sat on his stool next to his ever burning fireplace. He then went on to narrate why he won’t be thinking of going back to Nairobi ever in his life.

“Hizo mbarambara uuui!” he raised his old walking stick landing it squarely on the innocent ash beneath his feet. The complaint was that Nairobi had very wide roads. Usually, M’ Mithiaru has headaches trying to cross our dusty “highways.” Woe unto you if you have to be the one helping him across. I will tell you of one of my unlucky days with him. “Tuvuke uncle” grabbing his 56 year old hand I would tug him hard “We kijana wacha hiso haraka. Hebu angaria tena”. I would then be forced to reconfirm that the empty road was truly empty. “Hakuna gari tuvuke” “Uko chua? Hii miguu yangu haina ngubu sa gukimbia. Uko chua kabicha?” he would ask. “Si ndio” I would go back to my tugging. Getting to the middle of the road he would hear an imaginary honking car and he would run back, not forward, with his “miguu yenye haina ngubu sa gukimbia”. Need I say I managed to convince him to cross after an awfully long time? So I can only imagine how almost impossible it was for M’Mithiaru to cross the Thika Super Highway. Giving him every reason on God’s earth to hate the China product.

He shook his head like the Njuri Ncheke elder he aspired to be; a sign of a mix of anger and sadness. I prepared my ears for what threatened to come from his big-lipped mouth. “Nimekwambia sire shinda niripitia na makwajo” I was lost there. “ Huko hata musee kama mimi hawesi tema mate haki ya Mungu!” he meant “Kanjo” the City Council guys. I understood that he was arrested for spitting on our beautiful Nairobi streets. I can’t blame him, old men in this village liked the idea of taking snuff through their nose and the receipt would be the spitting from the mouth. He described the scene like an episode of Powerpuff Girls attacking Mojo Jojo. “Niritema mata hata kabra hayanjafika chini, aba! Niripata watu njuu yangu murume!” Luckily, we are in Kenya and the bribe does most of the magic. That’s how he escaped the “makwajo” that he now hated as much as any virgin goat.

“Haki ya Ngai Nairobi sirundi. Inya Murungu atibeendete!” Now this was interesting. Why would God not love Nairobians? “Mbura huko inanyesha ja maumago ja ng’ombe!” TRANSLATION: “In Nairobi rain falls like a cow peeing.” You don’t understand? Neither do I. Let’s listen to M’Mithiaru. He says that in Nairobi rain falls without warning and drenches the earth in seconds. He hates this part most since he’s a renowned farmer. “Ndio maana hata hiso nyumba sao hasikuangi kubwa! Na mfua kama hio?! Hawawesi!!” The walking stick was now attacking the air particles above his bald head. For my part,  I’m dying of laughter!

“Unajua mbona sitarundi Nairobi kabisa?”

“Niambie uncle.”

“Huko watu ni wengi! Hata sibu wao sijui anaita kasi aje! Kira mahari ni watu! Ah!” He then went on to tell me how he had hated the idea of walking on Nairobi streets. “Kira mutu ni kama anakaa huko! Ni kama kondoo simefunguriwa Njumapiri! Akh! Hiyo Nairobi ndakwira sirundi!! Haki ya Ngai!!”

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