By Denis Wabuyi
The sun is back and seems to be hotter this time. Women and children now spend a lot of time at the well. At such moments we enjoy the fights, quarrels and most of all gossip. It is also during this time that kamakumba/kamaloko are rife. There is one family which is known for that and normally when they show up, women hide their frail babies while the elder children are rushed back home lest they are flickered with kamakumba.
We have resumed taking the cattle to Manafa since water is scarce and we can’t spare any for animals. Even bathing from home has become lucrative reserved for the elderly women and the village traditional healer. The rest of us; young and old go for a swim in Manafa. The young men hide in bushes to watch girls as they swim. When they discovered they chased us all the way to our side. We know they also enjoy being seen, especially those with sharp tutus. We shall go back tomorrow.
One of the best sports in Manafa is the bull fights. When we set one bull against the other. Mwalye’s bull today was pitted against Wanda’s bull and this renewed the bad blood which still rages since the death of Wamono. After Wanda’s triumphing Mwalye’s bull Shisa who follows the twins didn’t take it lightly, he accused his cousin brother of casting a spell upon their bull by spitting on the ground and rubbing the saliva with his left foot. In the altercation that followed, the two boys went bear knuckles, fist to fist and we cheered until we felt Shisa being over powered. With difficulty we separated them but words kept flying. Wamono accused his cousin brother’s family of being murderers. This went on till evening when we led the animals back home.
It seems in the morning, Wamimbi told his father, Wanda about the fight in the bush and whatever Shisa had said of his family, “You are going to tell me when i killed your child or you will also kill me. Who doesn’t know that you have all along been associating with witchdoctors and giving up your children for riches?” It was Wanda at Mwalye’s house. What had begun as a fight between the bulls escalated into a full scale physical confrontation. Words were exchanged, secrets revealed and we heard what we had never known before. Wanda stole Mwalye’s wife, Mwalye was not a true son of Mzee Wamimbi, he was a product of a kadodi drummer. If it was not for the RC and the neighbours, we were going to see blood. Matters were reffered to RC and case was set for Saturday. We are now afraid of associating with either family lest we are taken to be allies of one against the other.
The only problem with swimming in Manafa is that you reach home looking like a monkey. Girls carry their “Reys” Jelly while some boys smear their legs with soap. For us the skinny boys, we are not that lucky but we are men anyway.
It is sad we were turned away from the case of Wanda and Mwalye yet we are witnesses. We the young were ordered not to appear anywhere closer apart from Shisa and Wamimbi the ones who started the battle. We thought we shall get information from Shisa who is talkative and free with us but immediately after he was taken indoors and we didn’t see him that day!
We went to church knowing that after church we shall go to Manafa with the cows, swim, peep at the naked girls and eat people’s sugarcane and yes we did exactly that. Shisa was stopped from joining us! What transpired in the meeting?
Till then, we shall keep you posted