X – Files from the village


By Denis Wabuyi


We had always wondered where the name Manafwa came from but today Wandwasi broke the silence. In the evening after he had been well served with “imandure” local whisky from Nasiyata, he told us that it was actually a white man who coined that name from the word, “Mayi naffa”.

Apparently, there was a chief who was moving the mzungu along the banks of the river when the chief slipped into the river and before he could drown he called out to his mother.

“Mayi naffa” literally meaning mother I am finished (read dead). The mzungu rallied the villagers calling out Manafwa instead Of “Mayi naffa”. Since then, they called it Manafa. But Wandwasi’s word when he is drunk is taken with a pinch of salt. We shall ask Mzee Wetonyi.


Wandwasi is not known to be having a long hand but he will help himself to someone’s food if he is hungry. But this time he went too far invading Mwalye’s shirara (granary) where they had stored millet that any family sets aside for the next season planting.

It is only in the years of “kumurira”, that this grain is encroached on. So when they found Wandwasi fidgeting with millet bread in his makeshift shelter, in anger Mwalye picked the food and threw it to the dogs.

Surprisingly even the dogs just sniffed it but couldn’t eat the food. Apparently the hastily prepared millet was too bitter that even the dogs could not eat it. Surprisingly, Wandwasi was eating. “Kale imbwa nandayi”. Wandwasi was given 7 strokes as punishment and left because of his mental illness.


I remember telling you about the baptism which was supposed to take place last week but didn’t because there was no couple willing to wed. The reverend Father cannot baptize children unless there is a couple to be wed. It was postponed to this coming Sunday. Mataki has committed himself to wedding his wife come that day but he has not informed the wife yet.


The day was relatively cool till 3pm when Mwalye turned against his wife and started beating her. Such an elderly couple, it is not expected of them. It shames their generation. When asked why he was beating mayi Musibikha Mwalye said because she had intentionally put more kumushelekhe into the sauce so that she can enjoy the food alone. “Niye alikhukuulisa kumumilo, iffe kumushelekhe kwalulumile”. We laughed and went different. Marriage differences are solved with jokes.


Mataki has insisted on wedding his wife by surprise. He has not organized anything. We all know that it is not out of love but he is being cunning to avoid wedding expenses. After all a church wedding doesn’t mean much here. What matters is dowry.


Saturday is a day full of kadodi and circumcision.


Mataki wanted to surprise his wife but the wife got wind of the program and she refused to go to church. Mataki was humiliated by his wife not appearing at church for the planned surprise.

We don’t know what really transpired after that but the woman packed and that very evening went back to her parents house. E. home. This is serious!

Till then we shall keep you posted.

The writer is an accountant and researcher.

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