Son Poems - Poems For Son
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The Temptor And The Tempted - Poem by alexander opicho
THE TEMPTOR AND THE TEMPTED
ALEXANDER K OPICHO
1. Chenje – Old man, father of Namugugu
2. Namugugu – Son of Chenje
3. Nanyuli – daughter of Lusaaka
4. Lusaaka – Old man, father of Nanyuli
5. Kulecho – wife of Lusaaka
6. Kuloba – wife of Chenje
7. Paulina – Old woman, neighbour to Chenje.
8. Child I, II and III – Nanyuli’s children
9. Policeman I, II and III
11. Wangwe – a widowed village pastor
This play was acted two times, on 25th and 26th December 2004 at Bokoli Roman Catholic Church, in Bokoli sub- location of Bungoma County in the western province of Kenya. The persons who acted and their respective roles are as below;
Wenani Kilong –stage director
Alexander k Opicho – Namugugu
Judith Sipapali Mutivoko- Nanyuli
Saul Sampaza Mazika Khayongo- Wangwe
Paul Lenin Maondo- Lusaaka
Peter Wajilontelela- Chenje
Agnes Injila - Kulecho
Beverline Kilobi- Paulina
Milka Molola Kitayi- Kuloba
Then mourners, children and police men changed roles often. This play was successfully stage performed and stunned the community audience to the helm.
Language use in this play is not based on Standard English grammar, but is flexed to mirror social behaviour and actual life as well as assumptions of the people of Bokoli village in Bungoma district now Bungoma County in Western province of Kenya.
This scene is set in Bokoli village of Western Kenya. In Chenje’s peasant hut, the mood is sombre. Chenje is busy thrashing lice from his old long trouser Kuloba, sitting on a short stool looking on.
Chenje: (thrashing a louse) these things are stubborn! The lice. You kill all of them today, and then tomorrow they are all-over. I hate them.
Kuloba: (sending out a cloud of smoke through her tobacco laden pipe) . Nowadays I am tired. I have left them to do to me whatever they want (coughs) I killed them they were all over in my skirt.
Chenje: (looking straight at Kuloba) Do you know that they are significant?
Kuloba: What do they signify?
Kuloba: Now, who will die in this home? I have only one son. Let them stop their menace.
Chenje: I remember in 1968, two months that preceded my father’s death, they were all over. The lice were in every of my piece of clothes. Even the hat, handkerchief. I tell you what not!
Kuloba: (nodding) , Yaa! I remember it very well my mzee, I had been married for about two years by then.
Chenje: Was it two years?
Kuloba: (assuringly) yes, (spots a cockroach on the floor goes at it and crushes it with her finger, then coughs with heavy sound) we had stayed together in a marriage for two years. That was when people had began back-biting me that I was barren. We did not have a child. We even also had the jiggers. I can still remember.
Chenje: Exactly (crashes a louse with his finger) we also had jiggers on our feet.
Kuloba: The jiggers are very troublesome. Even more than the lice and weevils.
Chenje: But, the lice and jiggers, whenever they infest one’s home, they usually signify impending death of a family member.
Kuloba: Let them fail in Christ’s name. Because no one is ripe for death in this home. I have lost my five children. I only have one child. My son Namugugu – death let it fail. My son has to grow and have a family also like children of other people in this village. Let whoever that is practicing evil machinations against my family, my only child fail.
Chenje: (putting on the long-trouser from which he had been crushing lice) let others remain; I will kill them another time.
Kuloba: You will never finish them (giggles)
Chenje: You have reminded me, where is Namugugu today? I have not seen him.
Kuloba: He was here some while ago.
Chenje: (spitting out through an open window) He has become of an age. He is supposed to get married so that he can bear grand children for me. Had I the grand children they could even assist me to kill lice from my clothes. (Enters Namugugu) Come in boy, I want to talk to you.
Kuloba: (jokingly) you better give someone food, or anything to fill the stomach before you engages him in a talk.
Namugugu: (looks, at both Chenje and Kuloba, searchingly then goes for a chair next to him)
Mama! I am very hungry if you talk of feeding me, I really get thrilled (sits at a fold-chair, it breaks sending him down in a sprawl) .
Kuloba: (exclaims) wooo! Sorry my son. This chair wants to kill (helps him up)
Namugugu: (waving his bleeding hand as he gets up) it has injured my hand. Too bad!
Chenje: (looking on) Sorry! Dress your finger with a piece of old clothes, to stop that blood oozing out.
Namugugu: (writhing in pain) No it was not a deep cut. It will soon stop bleeding even without a piece of rag.
Kuloba: (to Namugugu) let it be so. (Stands) let me go to my sweet potato field. There are some vivies, I have not harvested, I can get there some roots for our lunch (exits)
Chenje: (to Namugugu) my son even if you have injured your finger, but that will not prevent me from telling you what I am supposed to.
Namugugu: (with attention) yes.
Chenje: (pointing) sit to this other chair, it is safer than that one of yours.
Namugugu: (changing the chair) Thank you.
Chenje: You are now a big person. You are no longer an infant. I want you to come up with your own home. Look for a girl to marry. Don’t wait to grow more than here. The two years you have been in Nairobi, were really wasted. You could have been married, may you would now be having my two grand sons as per today.
Namugugu: Father I don’t refuse. But how can I marry and start up a family in a situation of extreme poverty? Do you want me to start a family with even nothing to eat?
Chenje: My son, you will be safer when you are a married beggar than a wife- less rich-man. No one is more exposed as a man without a wife.
Namugugu: (looking down) father it is true but not realistic.
Namugugu: All women tend to flock after a rich man.
Chenje: (laughs) my son, may be you don’t know. Let me tell you. One time you will remember, maybe I will be already dead by then. Look here, all riches flock after married men, all powers of darkness flock after married men and even all poverty flock after married. So, it is just a matter of living your life.
Around Chenje’s hut, Kuloba and Namugugu are inside the hut; Chenje is out under the eaves. He is dropping at them.
Namugugu: Mama! Papa wants to drive wind of sadness permanently into my sail of life. He is always pressurizing me to get married at such a time when I totally have nothing. No food, no house no everything. Mama let me actually ask you; is it possible to get married in such a situation?
Kuloba: (Looking out if there is any one, but did not spot the eaves-dropping Chenje) .
Forget. Marriage is not a Whiff of aroma. My son, try marriage in poverty and you will see.
Namugugu: (Emotionally) Now, if Papa knows that I will not have a happy married life, in such a situation, where I don’t have anything to support myself; then why is he singing for my marriage?
Kuloba: (gesticulating) He wants to mess you up the way he messed me up. He married me into his poverty. I have wasted away a whole of my life in his poverty. I regret. You! (Pointing) my son, never make a mistake of neither repeating nor replicating poverty of this home into your future through blind marriage.
Namugugu: (Approvingly) yes Mama, I get you.
Kuloba: (Assertively) moreover, you are the only offspring of my womb (touching her stomach) I have never eaten anything from you. You have never bought me anything even a headscarf alone. Now, if you start with a wife will I ever benefit anything from you?
Namugugu: (looking agog) indeed Mama.
Kuloba: (commandingly) don’t marry! Women are very many. You can marry at any age, any time or even any place. But it is very good to remember child-price paid by your mother in bringing you up. As a man my son, you have to put it before all other things in your life.
Namugugu: (in an affirmative feat) yes Mama.
Kuloba: It is not easy to bring up a child up to an age when in poverty. As a mother you really suffer. I’ve suffered indeed to bring you up. Your father has never been able to put food on the table. It has been my burden through out. So my son, pleased before you go for women remember that!
Namugugu: Yes Mama, I will.
Chenje: (to Kuloba) you old wizard headed woman! Why do you want to put my home to a full stop?
Kuloba: (shy) why? You mean you were not away? (Goes out behaving shyly)
Chenje: (in anger to Namugugu) you must become a man! Why do you give your ears to such toxic conversations? Your mother is wrong. Whatever she has told you today is pure lies. It is her laziness that made her poor. She is very wrong to festoon me in any blame…. I want you to think excellently as a man now. Avoid her tricky influence and get married. I have told you finally and I will never repeat telling you again.
Namugugu: (in a feat of shyness) But Papa, you are just exploding for no good reason, Mama has told me nothing bad……………………
Chenje: (Awfully) shut up! You old ox. Remove your ears from poisonous mouths of old women!
(Enters Nanyuli with an old green paper bag in her hand. Its contents were bulging) .
Nanyuli: (knocking) Hodii! Hodii!
Chenje: (calmly) come in my daughter! Come in.
Nanyuli: (entering) thank you.
Chenje: (to Namugugu) give the chair to our visitor.
Namugugu: (shyly, paving Nanyuli to sit) Karibu, have a sit please.
Nanyuli: (swinging girlishly) I will not sit me I am in a hurry.
Chenje: (to Nanyuli) just sit for a little moment my daughter. Kindly sit.
Nanyuli: (sitting, putting a paper-bag on her laps) where is the grandmother who is usually in this house?
Nanyuli: Kuloba, the old grandmother.
Namugugu: She has just briefly gone out.
Chenje: (to Nanyuli) she has gone to the potato field and Cassava field to look for some roots for our lunch.
Nanyuli: Hmm. She will get.
Chenje: Yes, it is also our prayer. Because we’re very hungry.
Nanyuli: I am sure she will get.
Chenje: (to Nanyuli) excuse me my daughter; tell me who your father is?
Nanyuli: (shyly) you mean you don’t know me? And me I know you.
Chenje: Yes I don’t know you. Also my eyes have grown old, unless you remind
me, I may not easily know you.
Nanyuli: I am Lusaaka’s daughter
Chenje: Eh! Which Lusaka? The one with a brown wife? I don’t know… her name is Kulecho?
Chenje: That brown old-mother is your mother?
Nanyuli: Yes, she is my mother. I am her first – born.
Chenje: Ooh! This is good (goes forward to greet her) shake my fore-limb my
Nanyuli: (shaking Chenje’s hand) Thank you.
Chenje: I don’t know if your father has ever told you. I was circumcised the same year with your grand-gather. In fact we were cut by the same knife. I mean we shared the same circumciser.
Nanyuli: No, he has not yet. You know he is always at school. He never stays at home.
Chenje: That is true. I know him, he teaches at our mission primary school at Bokoli market.
Chenje: What is your name my daughter?
Nanyuli: My name is Loisy Nanyuli Lusaaka.
Chenje: Very good. They are pretty names. Loisy is a Catholic baptismal name, Nanyuli is our Bukusu tribal name meaning wife of an iron-smith and Lusaaka is your father’s name.
Nanyuli: (laughs) But I am not a Catholic. We used to go to Catholic Church upto last year December. But we are now born again, saved children of God. Fellowshipping with the Church of Holy Mountain of Jesus christ. It is at Bokoli market.
Chenje: Good, my daughter, in fact when I will happen to meet with your father, or even your mother the brown lady, I will comment them for having brought you up under the arm of God.
Nanyuli: Thank you; or even you can as well come to our home one day.
Chenje: (laughs) actually, I will come.
Nanyuli: Now, I want to go
Chenje: But you have not stayed for long. Let us talk a little more my daughter.
Nanyuli: No, I will not. I had just brought some tea leaves for Kuloba the old grandmother.
Chenje: Ooh! Who gave you the tea leaves?
Nanyuli: I do hawk tea leaves door to door. I met her last time and she requested me to bring her some. So I want to give them to you (pointing at Namugugu) so that you can give them to her when she comes.
Namugugu: No problem. I will.
Nanyuli: (takes out a tumbler from the paper bag, fills the tumbler twice, pours the tea leaves into an old piece of newspaper, folds and gives it to Namugugu) you will give them to grandmother, Kuloba.
Namugugu: (taking) thank you.
Chenje: My daughter, how much is a tumbler full of tea leaves, I mean when it is full?
Nanyuli: Ten shillings of Kenya
Chenje: My daughter, your price is good. Not like others.
Nanyuli: Thank you.
Namugugu: (To Nanyuli) What about money, she gave you already?
Nanyuli: No, but tell her that any day I may come for it.
Namugugu: Ok, I will not forget to tell her
Nanyuli: I am thankful. Let me go, we shall meet another day.
Chenje: Yes my daughter, pass my regards to your father.
Nanyuli: Yes I will (goes out)
Chenje: (Biting his finger) I wish I was a boy. Such a good woman would never slip through my fingers.
Chenje: But father she is already a tea leaves vendor!
Nanyuli and Kulecho in a common room Nanyuli and Kulecho are standing at the table, Nanyuli is often suspecting a blow from Kulecho, counting coins from sale of tea leaves; Lusaaka is sited at couch taking a coffee from a ceramic red kettle.
Kulecho: (to Nanyuli) these monies are not balancing with your stock. It is like you have sold more tea leaves but you have less money. This is only seventy five shillings. When it is supposed to be one hundred and fifty. Because you sold fifteen tumblers you are only left with five tumblers.
Nanyuli: (Fidgeting) this is the whole money I have, everything I collected from sales is here.
Kulecho: (heatedly) be serious, you stupid woman! How can you sell everything and am not seeing any money?
Nanyuli: Mama, this is the whole money I have, I have not taken your money anywhere.
Kulecho: You have not taken the money anywhere! Then where is it? Do you know that I am going to slap you!
Nanyuli: (shaking) forgive me Mama
Kulecho: Then speak the truth before you are forgiven. Where is the money you collected from tea leaves sales?
Nanyuli: (in a feat of shyness) some I bought a short trouser for my child.
Kulecho: (very violent) after whose permission? You old cow, after whose permission (slaps Nanyuli with her whole mighty) Talk out!
Nanyuli: (Sobbingly) forgive me mother, I thought you would understand. That is why I bought a trouser for my son with your money!
Lusaaka: (shouting a cup of coffee in his hand, standing charged) teach her a lesson, slap her again!
Kulecho (slaps, Nanyuli continuously, some times fisting her cheeks, as Nanyuli wails) Give me my money! Give me my money! Give me my money! Give me my money! You lousy, irresponsible Con-woman (clicks)
Lusaaka: Are you tired, kick the ass out of that woman (inveighs a slap towards Nanyuli) I can slap you!
Nanyuli: (kneeling, bowedly, carrying up her hands) forgive me father, I will never repeat that mistake again (sobs)
Lusaaka: An in-corrigible, slut!
Kulecho: (to Nanyuli) You! Useless heap of human flesh. I very much regret to have sired a sell-out of your type. It is very painful for you to be a first offspring of my womb.
I curse my womb because of you. You have ever betrayed me. I took you to school you were never thankful, instead you became pregnant. You were fertilized in the bush by peasant boys.
You have given birth to three childlings, from three different fathers! You do it in my home. What a shame! Your father is a teacher, how have you made him a laughing stock among his colleagues, teachers? I have become sympathetic to you by putting you into business. I have given you tea leaves to sell. A very noble occupation for a wretch like you. You only go out sell tea leaves and put the money in your wolfish stomach. Nanyuli! Why do you always act like this?
Nanyuli: (sobbing) Forgive me mother. Some tea leaves I sold on credit. I will come with the money today?
Kulecho: You sold on credit?
Kulecho: To whom?
Nanyuli: Some to Kuloba the old woman
Kulecho: (tapping her hips) Nanyuli! My first born! My daughter! Why should you at your age make such a blind move of selling on credit to beggars of that fashion?
Nanyuli: I did not know, please, forgive me.
Kulecho: Get up; go sell the remaining tea leaves. Make sure that you come back in the evening with my money.
Nanyuli: (stands up, still sobbing, takens the tea leaves paper bag and tumbler then walks out) thank you Mama, I will do.
In Chenje’s hut, Chenje and Namugugu, they are killing the rats; each has a stick to hit rats. House items are higgledy – higgledy all over, making the house to look untidy.
Namugugu: (Running after a big rat around the room, aiming to hit it, but misses at each trial) . It is here! It is here! Papa, it is huge.
Chenje! (Aiming to hit the rat) Kill it! That small demon has shredded my trouser! Hit it!
All: (chasing, the rats, around the house as an attempt to kill one rat ends up un-covering another) they are many.
Namugugu: these devils, let’s beat them all to death.they are so bad. They have eaten our flour even. They don’t have respect.
Chenje: (sweating, panting, and looking for a sign of a further rat) today we must kill all of them. They have done me havoc.
Nanyuli: (knocking at the door)
Hodii! Hodii! Hodii!
Chenje: (Rushing at the door to look) oh! Come in my daughter. Welcome. Come in and sit down.
Nanyuli: (Entering) Thank you.
Chenje: (Showing her where to sit) Rest here my daughter. Don’t mind, our house is in disorder, we have been killing the rats since morning.
Namugugu: (coming forward to greet Nanyuli) How are you?
Nanyuli: Am very fine maybe you yourself?
Namugugu; we are all fine God has given energy today we are killing the rats.
Chenje: (Also greeting) how is your mother, father and your brothers at home?
Nanyuli: They are all fine
Chenje: That is good
Nanyuli: Why are you killing the rats like this?
Chenje: My daughter, look! (Brings out a lacerated trouser and shirt) They have all made me clothe-less. They have wreaked havoc in this house. You can’t keep flour! Not only had I to mention; cooked vegetables.
Nanyuli: You don’t have a cat?
Chenje: No my daughter, the cat we had over-matured and became a fox, it preyed on all of my chicken. Including chicken of my neighbours. We decided to put it in a sack, with a mill-stone around its neck and dumped it in the whirlpool of river Kuywa.
All; (laugh loudly) that cat! Eh! Was very bad.
Chenje: I even failed whether to keep the cat again or not
Nanyuli: You can buy rat-Kill poison or a rat trap. They also help in killing the rats.
Chenje: Yes, I will buy my daughter. The problem is money. Nowadays, it is very hard to get money. And when you get some, you still do nothing, a lot of money but it will only buy for you very few items.
Namugugu: It has loosed ability to exchange with many items.
Chenje: So it is better to have real items than even having money.
Nanyuli: Now, how will you get real items without buying them by use of money?
Namugugu: By the way
Nanyuli: Now, I want to go….
(a huge rat dives into her skirt, jumps out of her skirt and scampers to drop into unlidded pot of water) woo! This rat, the raaaat! (Jumping up)
Chenje: Hit! Hit it!
Namugugu: Oh has dropped into water, our pot. One cannot drink water in this house.
Chenje: (to Nanyuli) I told you my daughter, the rats are devils, and they can send one to shame just like the real Lucifer.
Nanyuli (still shaking) let me go, where is Kuloba the grandmother? I just came to find out if she needs more tea leaves.
Namugugu: Ooh! Bad lack, she is not around. She went for funeral, our relative died.
Nanyuli: “Pole” I don’t know. Who died?
Chenje: A grandmother to the husband of her aunt. She was married to a clan of Bakituika.The mother to her husband comes from among the clan of Baenkele. She is to be buried today at Chwele village.
Nanyuli: Am sorry, I though she’s around.
Namugugu: (to Nanyuli) did you pick your money for tea leaves?
Nanyuli: No, I had come to pick the money today.
Namugugu: But unfortunately the grandmother is not around.
Nanyuli: No problem, I will come back another day when she is back.
Chenje: Yes my daughter, she will come back after two days. You know she must stay there for three days.
Nanyuli: Yes, let her stay to comfort and commissariate with them. It is good to empathise with people in their moment of bereavement.
Chenje: It is good you know and as well you understand.
Nanyuli: Now, grandfather, let me go, I will see you again.
Chenje: Thank you my daughter, (to Namugugu) escort my daughter out of the compound, lest she be eaten by a rat.
Nanyuli: It is true; (to Namugugu) please see me off.
Namugugu: (laughs) Ok, I will
(Exits Nanyuli and Namugugu) .
Kulecho, Child I, II and III, in the common room of Kulecho, Lusaaka her husband at the table taking coffee. Kulecho is taking millet Porridge, she drinks as child I, Child II and Child iii looks on appetitively.
Kulecho: (to child I) you merciless hyena, when will you learn how to look at people. How do you look at my cup of porridge, as if you have never eaten ever since your were born?
Child II: (crying) I want my Papa. Tell Mama to take me to my Papa. Papa will pick for me an avocado from the tree. I will eat. I want papa…
Kulecho: (to child II) Shut up your mandibles. You are making noise to me (Sips porridge) do you also have a father? I wonder.
Child I: (to Kulecho) please grandmother, please Kukhu* please lend me your porridge, let me just have a sip at your cup, please!
Kulecho: (snooking) Ng’oo! Unless you discipline your rapacious stomach. You will die begging. There is no porridge to be wasted on a beast like you.
Child I: Please old-grandmother let me sip. My Papa will come today, he will bring you a nice present, please, kukhu let me sip.
Kulecho: (laughs mockingly) . Your papa will do what? Come? That ugly peasant, if he comes here it is because he has timed my food, he will never bring me a present the way good men do to their mothers-in-law.
Child III: (Crawling towards Lusaaka) Kofii, Kofii, I want Kofii, kuka lend me Kofii I want Kofii.
Kulecho: (slaps at a naked buttock of child III) where are you going. Sit in one place and calm: stop crawling from place to place like a pregnant rat. Stupid pumpkin!
Child II: (to Kulecho) stop whacking our child. You are a big person and you are also whacking the buttocks of our baby. I will report you to my Mama.
*a Bukusu word for grandmother
Kulecho: Remember to tell her to rove around with her foundlings or else I will still whack you!
Child II: But she roves around on selling your assignment, selling your tea leaves the wares of your trade.
Kulecho: (slaps child II) be disciplined. You potential thug! I cook for you always and you have such a dirt heart against me?
Child II: (sopping) don’t hit us like this, just take us to our Papa. Tell Mama to take me to Papa.
Lusaaka: (laughs) these kids have strong appetite for everything. Very voracious kid.
Nanyuli and Namugugu walking at a slow pace on a foot-path, cutting a cross the bush. Shrubs and twigs form a canopy over the foot path.
Nanyuli: How far do you want to escort me?
Namugugu: Until you cross the river to the other end.
Nanyuli: That is very far for you, you will get tired.
Namugugu: No, I will not.
Nanyuli: Do you know that it’s bad to over escort a visitor, she may never have a chance to re-visit you again.
Namugugu: But I want you to visit us again.
Nanyuli: (jokingly) I will not come.
Nanyuli: Your father’s rats will eat me.
Namugugu: I will chase them away, they will not eat you. Just come again.
Nanyuli: So what will your father put on? The rats have eaten his shirt and a pair of long trouser.
Namugugu: He is lucky; he has another pair of long trouser, and a shirt.
Nanyuli: The better.
Namugugu: (featfully) how old are you?
Nanyuli: (laughs and looks at Namugugu, stops walking to respond) why? Do I look very young?
Namugugu: You are neither old nor young
Namugugu: Beautiful and intelligent
Nanyuli: So what?
Namugugu: So I want you to come back that I can sent you somewhere.
Namugugu: Let me assist you to carry the tea-leaves paper bag as we talk.
Nanyuli: (gives away the paper bag) so tell me, where do you want to send me?
Namugugu: Ok, me………………. I am not married.
Nanyuli: Let me cut you short before you continue, I just want your mother to pay me my money, I don’t want to know whether you are married or not.
Namugugu: Please, if I have offended you. I kindly ask for your mercy.
Nanyuli: No, you have not offended me whatsoever, continue.
Namugugu: Let us stop walking so that I can tell you what I want (they all stop walking)
Nanyuli: Now tell me, but don’t waste anytime.
Namugugu: You are beautiful, intelligent and very clean hearted, so I want you to come and stay with me.
Nanyuli: As what?
Namugugu: I will be your husband and you will be my wife.
Nanyuli: Eh! This is news.
Nanyuli: Do you know that I am a virgin?
Namugugu: You mean you are a virgin?
Nanyuli: Yes, I am, and I don’t imagine a worthless man like you breaking my virginity. You. Such a lout to deflower me? I don’t think.
Namugugu: Virginity is nothing in one’s life, what matters is type of life you live after loosing your virginity.
Nanyuli: You are a liar, virginity is very important to a girl.
Namugugu: I thought a good husband is better than virginity.
Nanyuli: Ok, you are right. It is a dream of every girl, every woman even a prostitute to get a good husband. But my question is, are you a good husband?
Namugugu: I don’t know, but try me.
Nanyuli: there was a rumour in this village you were in Nairobi. Now, what were you doing in Nairobi?
Namugugu: Looking for a job
Nanyuli: You did not get one?
Namugugu: Yes, I did not.
Nanyuli: Even to be a night guard?
Namugugu: Yes, even a house boy.
Nanyuli: Have you been tested for aids, HIV?
Namugugu: Because I have never seen a naked woman since my birth.
Nanyuli: Even in Nairobi?
Namugugu: Yes, you can’t see nakedness of a woman in Nairobi unless you have money.
Nanyuli: Ok, what is your Christian name?
Nanyuli: Victor Namugugu Chenje?
Namugugu: (laughs) yes my dear.
Nanyuli: Victor, convince me, you have never played sex since you were born?
Namugugu: No, I have never
Nanyuli: Which means you don’t have any disease?
Namugugu: Diseases are many I may not have Aids or HIV but I have another.
Namugugu: I am not a doctor.
Nanyuli: But, you have never played sex?
Nanyuli: Then I have accepted, you will break my virginity as I break yours. (Takes tea-leaves paper bag)
In Chenje’s house, Kuloba, the old woman sweeping the floor, Chenje listening to one battery small sized transistor radio.
Kuloba: Move this way, I want to sweep over there.
Chenje: (Carrying a radio and fold chair along) you could have waited until tomorrow, why do you like sweeping the house in the evening.
Kuloba: Because by the evening the house is always dirty. And you see we cannot sleep on the litre.
Chenje: You will never become rich. If you keep on sweeping the house in the evening like this, you will never own any cow nor will you have a cob of corn in your barn.
Kuloba: Why? …. Because of sweeping my house (laughs) I am now old and I know that people accumulate riches through hard work and parsimony of saving not by having the floor of one’s house to be littred overnight.
Chenje: No, one has also to observe taboos. You cannot offend ancestors and expect any prosperity
Kuloba: (standing up) listen, why is it that the people of Nandi community enjoy shedding innocent blood of other tribes, when at the same time each individual Nandi man has more heads of cattle and gallons of milk than a Bukusu man can?
Chenje: There are different spirits for different tribes, may be the first parents and ancestors of the Nandi people were also reasonless warriors, shedding blood of innocent foreigners.
Kuloba: Let me alone, I want to cook for you an ox-tail today, but I don’t know where my son, Namugugu is?
Chenje: Namugugu escorted our visitor. Since then he has not come back.
Kuloba: Who was it?
Chenje: Lusaaka’s daughter, a girl who hawks tea-leaves from one door to another in paper bag and a tumbler.
Kuloba: He escorted that one (muses by thinking to herself) let my son not make a mistake of marrying that girl.
Kuloba: Why should he marry her?
Chenje: She is strong and beautiful
Kuloba: That alone is not enough, that girl has a very black hearted mother. I cannot help imagining Kulecho to be a mother-in-law to my son.
Chenje: What you mean?
Kuloba: I mean that Kulecho is the mother to that girl who came here in my absence. And by all measures Kulecho is an evil woman. She is a she- devil; she has never given cooked food, even a boiled maize cob to any other person other than her husband Lusaaka.
Chenje: I never knew she was a mean selfish lady like that.
Behind Lusaaka’s house. Under the eaves, it is a sunny morning. Nanyuli with her children; child I, Child II, and child III.
Nanyuli: (whispering to child II) don’t shout; eat this bread without making any noise.
Child I: Mama, we were not given anything to eat, Kukhu ate alone as we watched. Let us also eat now (bits bread) .
Child II: (Swallows) Kukhu keeps on slapping us. She often tells us that there is no Papa for us. She also slapped our child hard on its buttocks our child was naked.
Nanyuli: Eat without talking. You will talk after eating (takes out bread from her bust, breaks a junk for child I and child II) . Eat a whole of it quickly before you are found.
Child I: Thank you Mama. You are good. But out grandmother is bad.
Child II; (sings with joy) Bread, bread, you are nice bread, you are my friend
Nanyuli: Now eat, don’t talk, you will talk later.
Child III: (twadling) pa! Pa! Pa! Pa.
Child II: Mama, our child wants Papa. Will you take us to papa?
Nanyuli: Have you finished your bread? Make sure you finish your bread. Don’t tell Kukhu, that you ate bread.
Child II: I will never tell her.
Child I: Even me, I will never.
Child III: Pa! Pa! Pa! Pa! Pa.
Kulecho: (calling off-stage) Nanyuliiii! It’s time to go selling tea-leaves.
In pastor Wangwe’s house, at the sitting room, an old Bible on the table, the door is closed and the window is half closed making the room to be poorly lit. Wangwe is alone.
Wangwe: (in sololiguy prayer) : Oh God I thank you for your love. You have redeemed me from the uncleanness of this evil society. God I thank you again. Almighty your name is blessed because you have blessed me with knowledge of your word, while your word is life God. God I pray that you redeem this community of the Babukusu people from the evil cult of circumcision and eating boiled beans and maize – whenever they are at a funeral place. O God I pray that these people of Bokoli village, these Babukusu people stop worshipping their ancestors by sacrificing the bulls on the graveyards. God instead they should begin bringing all they have to the Church as an offering God. I also pray that they stop practice of witch-craft. Because God, they like bewitching their sons and daughters who have white collar jobs and good people like us pastors who are your servants O God! And also the nouveau riches, God. God you have sent your son Jesus Christ to be my companion since my wife Maria died two years ago O God. Blessed be your name. But God I now pray that you deliver me from the curse of wife-lessness, loneliness and childlessness, by giving me another wife God. Give me any lady, whether a virgin or even a widow God I will appreciate. God I also pray for a business lady like Nanyuli who is young and beautiful, please God make her love me by even coming today to sell tea-leaves to this house. O God I want to pray that ………………
Nanyuli: (off stage knocking) Hodii! Hodiii, Hodii pastor is you in! Hodii
Wangwe: (still praying) O God let me say Amen to let your flock come into the house of your servant God (Open his eyes, goes to the door) come in, come in please.
Nanyuli: (enters) Pastor your ears have a problem, I have knocked your door until the skin began peeling off my knuckles, you were not responding why?
Wangwe: I was talking to God my sister; you know prayer is our weapon against spiritual foes.
Nanyuli: I don’t knew you were in prayer, I could have not disturbed.
Wangwe: Don’t mind, just feel at home.
Nanyuli: (fidgeting paper-bag in her hands) today I felt like paying you a visit. Just to come and bring you the greetings.
Wangwe: O my sister God bless you a lot for that kindness.
Nanyuli: I also wanted to find out if you need some tea leaves.
Wangwe: Yes I need. Is a tumbler still going at ten shillings of Kenya?
Nanyuli: Yes, prices have not changed
Wangwe: You will give me two of them. You know with me I have a lot of visitors who take tea.
Nanyuli: (taking out a tumbler to measure tea-leaves for Wangwe) Pastor where can I put it for you.
Wangwe: (bringing a tin container) Just pour it here please.
Nanyuli: (pouring tea-leaves in a container that have been brought by Wangwe) let me add you more pastor, I know you have a lot of visitors.
Wangwe: God bless you a lot (goes to keep a tin container and comes back with coins) have this today (hands out) I will clear the balance next week my sister.
Nanyuli: No problem, I know you are a preacher you cannot let me down.
Wangwe: Yes, with us the servants of God, we cannot harm the flocks given to us by God in any way whatsoever.
Nanyuli: It is true
Wangwe: The only problem my sister is that I am very lonely. Since my wife died two years ago am very lonely. God has not yet given me a companion.
Nanyuli: You will get I am so sure you will get because you are a pastor. A lot of girls dream of being a pastor’s wife even for a single day.
Wangwe: Amen. Let me believe that what you are speaking is the revelation from God.
Nanyuli: I am telling you, it is not difficult to get a wife. Nowadays girls have no otherwise you can marry even two of them in a single day.
Wangwe: But I just need only one, because I am a servant of God. I am focused on righteousness.
Nanyuli: Let me ask you pastor,
Wangwe: Yes, go ahead and ask.
Nanyuli: Which type of a lady do you want now? Must she be a virgin with sharp rigid pointed breasts, a divorce or one who gave birth to a baby just from her mother’s house?
Wangwe: I just want any because she will be an image of God.
Nanyuli: Educated or not?
Wangwe: Any, just like Prophet Hosea, who betrothed a heavy–weight prostitute.
Nanyuli: Black beauty or brownish in the face?
Wangwe: Brown and beautiful just like exactly the way you are.
Nanyuli: (laughs) But Pastor me I am not beautiful.
Wangwe: Forget, I know you cannot see yourself; you are brown and beautiful like an Ethiopian Queen the wife of King Solomon, just like the historical Cleopatra.
Nanyuli: Pastor I don’t believe you. A lot of men have misused me. If I was beautiful then I could have retained one.
Wangwe: Let me tell you sister, those men are evil. They don’t know the truth, which is Jesus Christ. And always evil men are fond of abusing beauty. They mishandle beauty so that they can disapprove God by arguing that beauty fore-shadows tragedy or it is a harbinger of bad luck. But I as an anointed servant of God. I know that beauty is the glory of God. I assure you, as beautiful as you are, if you can accept to love me I will respond with a thousandfold love.
Nanyuli: Pastor you are funny.
Wangwe: Am not. I am myself and representing God.
Nanyuli: Why is it that men claim that beautiful women are fateful not intelligent and give birth to children who grow up into people of no consequences?
Wangwe: Those men have not read the Bible (waving the Bible) so whatever they claim is not Godly truth.
Nanyuli: Pastor a you serious you can love me a thousand-fold?
Wangwe: Yes sister, I can love you beyond all possibilities of the devil.
Nanyuli: Then, I am happy, Ok, Pastor if you can love me, I want you to lend me something. Will you?
Wangwe: I am very willing to, just say what it is.
Nanyuli: But you will not get annoyed. Will you?
Wangwe: I will not.(Coughs to clear his voice) , with us servants of God, We are always above emotions of getting annoyed.
Nanyuli: Do you know that I have three children. In fact three sons?
Wangwe: Yes I know one time we shared it with your mother.
Nanyuli: Now, the father to one of my sons is joining me here today, there is something I want to discuss with him from this house of yours. In fact we shall discuss in your full presence. So I want you to accept him here. He could not come to our home because my mother is too hostile to him. Please will you kindly agree with that?
Wangwe: There is no problem with that, let him just come. Because he is just a man like me and he is also the image of God the same way I do.
Nanyuli: Then am very thankful if you can be as kind as that extend.
Namugugu: (off-stage) knocking) Hodii! Hodii, Pastor is you in?
Nanyuli: (to Pastor) Please he is the one, let me bring him in (goes at the door) come in. Today it is the pastress who is around not the pastor.
Namugugu: (enters) How beautiful you pastress! (Takes Nanyuli in his arms, as Nanyuli takes him in hers. Pastor Wangwe jealously looks on) .
Nanyuli: (still in arm) you are elegantly warm my dear.
Wangwe: You really love one another, you people.
Nanyuli; we are only trying to love one another pastor
Wangwe: (to Namugugu) let me now shake your hand (shakes) how are you doing today?
Namugugu: Very fine pastor, how about you?
Wangwe: Am always blessed; am in the realm of God’s love
Namugugu: It’s good
Wangwe: How come I don’t know you?
Nanyuli: But Pastor with (point to Namugugu) him he knows you very well. He knows both your length and width.
Wangwe: (showing surprise) don’t tell me!
Nanyuli: He does, anyway let him introduce ……or no, let me introduce to you my visitor pastor.
Wangwe: It is all right you can go a head.
Nanyuli: He is Victor, he is Kuloba’s son, but I don’t know his father’s name. (Then to Namugugu) This is pastor Wangwe, he works for God, if Jesus can come now he will fly to heaven with him and I mean it.
Namugugu and Wangwe: (laugh)
Wangwe: Because I am an anointed servant of God, I request that I introduce myself to the visitor in a holy way.
Nanyuli: Yes you can, but Pastor! Please, please and please don’t ask him any personal question.
Wangwe and Namugugu (all laugh)
Nanyuli: Will you pastor forget and then ask him personal questions?
Wangwe: I will not I swear.
Nanyuli: Then that is good.
Wangwe: (coughs) Ok, brother, my full names are Pastor Wangwe Chwichwisia. My baptismal name is Habakkuk. So I am Pastor Habakkuk Wangwe Chwichwisia. I don’t have a tribe or a clan. But I was called by Jesus Christ into salvation; I used to be of the clan of Bakobelo. We have our stronghold in Uganda. In fact we own a whole district. But when I got saved by love of Jesus Christ, God sent me to Kenya. So I came to my cousins. These people of the Babukusu. You know my clan of Bakobelo belongs to a tribe of Bamasaba in Embale district of Uganda. And the Babukusu and the Bamasaba are one and the same. That is why there is a mountain called Mount Bukusu in Masaba-Gishu district of Uganda. The Babukusu are good people. They welcomed me to Kenya. They also love the gospel of Jesus Christ. That’s why I have stayed in Kenya as a servant of God for the past five years. This is my house and my home, God blessed me with an acre of land here. So I welcome you with an entirety of my heart.
Namugugu: Thank you pastor.
Paulina: (Knocking sound offstage) Pastor! Pastor! Hodii!
Nanyuli: (expressing awe) O my God, that woman has found me here! I am now finished. She is as poisonous as a black female snake.
Paulina: (offstage) Hodii! Who has kept you in door today pastor? Hodii!
Wangwe: (goes at the door to usher Paulina in) Come in old lady, you are welcomed.
Paulina: (walking in) O! You have visitors? I wanted you to pray for me. I really have a backache. I will just come back. I cannot disrupt your visitors. Let me go (exits)
Nanyuli: (to herself) this is an oversight of my life. I will live to remember. I wish I knew I could not have stayed such long only Paulina to get me here. Paulina is a very bad old woman. She can do anything to please her impish heart regardless of the agony she makes others go through.
Two days later. It is late morning in Chenje’s house, Paulina is sited, Chenje and Kuloba standing, attentively listening to Paulina.
Paulina: As old as we are and the long we have stayed together as neighbours, I don’t want to speak to both of you with a tongue in my cheek. I want to be as straight in my speech as a parrot so that I can save the future of this home from a looming disaster.
Kuloba: Paulina you were baptized once by Padre Antonio Luigi of our
In our katulika parish of Chebukaka, you were married once and as
a daughter of your father; please compose yourself and Just say out
Whatever the devil it may be.
Paulina: What has gone wrong with your only son? You call him Namugugu what is wrong with him?
Paulina: Don’t ask me why. Because what will happen to him is what I am afraid
of and I pray in the name of baptismal card; let my eyes not live
long to see it happening.
Kuloba: Paulina, you are seventy-five years, and I am seventy years. We are all old ladies now. My son Namugugu has been sick for the past ten years. He is often sick with latent fits of epilepsy. That is why he was never accepted by any employer in Nairobi. So if you have seen him falling in a bore-hole somewhere or swimming in a pond, please just be brief and tell me.
Paulina: Even myself, I had never known that your son is an epileptic. Neither is he swimming in a pond fluvial with water. But he is swimming in a more dangerous pond.
Chenje: Paulina, tell us, what is wrong with our son. If you delay more than this Kuloba will break into loudest wails that you will not help to quench.
Kuloba: Tell me what it is. Whatever the horror.
Paulina: I saw your son sitting one inch a part from Nanyuli the tea-leaves
Kuloba; the tea-leaves vendor!
Paulina; yes, that daughter of Kulecho the wife to Lusaaka
Kuloba: Nanyuli! Where?
Paulina: Yes! Nanyuli, Kulecho’s daughter. I saw them.
Kuloba: Let them sit even a half an inch a part, but she will never get married to my only son Victor. She will never, she will never!
Chenje: Where did you see them?
Paulina: In Pastor Wangwe’s house. May be he might have already wedded
Chenje: That is not dangerous the way you had resisted to pre-empt. Young people can socialize and play together in any way. We can do nothing a part from praying for them.
Kuloba: (to Chenje) praying for who and for what?
Chenje: Please, don’t go fast like that. Give it chance to be tested against
reason. Winds of rumour always carry you away like a paper in a gale
Kuloba: You can say all wisdom out of your old head. But I cannot use my mouth to pray for Kulecho’s daughter to be married to my son. I condemn all that! Nanyuli cannot be my daughter in-law.
Paulina: (to Chenje) Old man listen, she is right, no man on earth can manage being Kulecho’s son-in-law.
Chenje: Why? … She is also a woman in marriage.
Paulina: Kulechoi is a very obstreperous woman. She can deal with a son-in-law the way a ravenous old hyena deals with a tail of ewe. To be brief; she is a woman eat man type of a person
Chenje: Paulina, you will not convince me. She rather be a woman eat man species other than being a woman – eat – nothing.
In Lusaaka’s house, Lusaaka and Kulecho at the table taking tea.
Lusaaka: The government has agreed to our Union for salary increase.
Kulecho: I don’t believe, no government of Kenya will ever increase teachers’ salary.
Lusaaka: We thank God this time round, it will increase.
Kulecho: How much money will you be added on your salary.
Lusaaka: Around one thousand.
Kulecho: How I wish you get it.
Lusaaka: We shall.
Kulecho: If you get it. That money are saying, shall you accompany me so that
We pay my parents a visit together?
Paulina: Am lucky I have got you taking tea. It means I have not been gossiping you.
Kulecho: (to Paulina) Welcome. Karibu saana. Have a chair.
Paulina: Thank you.
Lusaaka: (shaking Paulina’s hand) how is you?
Paulina: Am very fine, but my heart is disturbed.
Paulina: Every time I see something bad happening to people I know I do feel
bad. Especially something filthy and bad happening to a teacher like
Kulecho: What has happened to you daughter of Namanda?
Paulina: It is something very bad that I don’t have any energy in my Mandibles to speak it out.
Kulecho: Now, daughter of Namanda what shall we do to help, just persevere and talk it out, however bad it may be.
Paulina: The thing is very dirty, even I am afraid of it passing out through my
Lusaaka: We have an adage from our foremen of Babukusu which says that; deny someone food but not a word of mouth. So dear daughter of our land just Persevere and talk it out.
Paulina: Is you daughter Nanyuli gone bananas? Or is she serving a spell of an
evil curse? is this girl bewitched? Kulecho you have to go out there
and walk. Just go and walk with wise people because of this daughter
of yours. Your daughter Nanyuli.
Paulina: (to Kulecho) I am asking you old girl, is Nanyuli a mad woman
Kulecho: I don’t know unless you tell me what has happened.
Paulina: With all shame and problems Nanyuli has made you to undergo, she has never learned a lesson?
Kulecho: Young people can never learn lessons. They can only do if flogged on buttocks.
Paulina: I was flabbergasted some hours ago but am now very annoyed to have seen whatever I saw.
Kulecho: You saw Nanyuli doing what?
Paulina: (stressing) I found her in arms of Chenje’s epileptic son.
Kulecho: In arms of Chenje’s son?
Paulina: Yes, even she may already be carrying a pregnancy of that epileptic beggar.
Kulecho: But now, where are my tea-leaves I gave her to sell?
Paulina: I don’t know, may be she gave it out freely to be loved.
Kulecho: One day I will kill that sheep-headed slut.
Lusaaka: (to Paulina) where did you see her?
Paulina: In Pastor Wangwe’s house.
Kulecho: Which Wangwe?
Paulina: Pastor Wangwe Chwichwisia the Ugandan widower.
Lusaaka: Let her come I will talk to her.
Kulecho: (violently) you will not, I will just chop off her sharp pointed breasts that make her confused.
Paulina: There is no problem for a girl of her age to look for a husband. But where I am offended, she is courting a wrong character. That son of Chenje is not healthy. He is a world class epileptic; Chenje himself is a beggar ever crushing lice with his fingers. Kuloba is as dirty as a female swine. Such people should not be allowed to mess with a teacher’s daughter just in a reasonless lull of marrying her.
Kulecho: Nanyuli is an eyesore. She defaulted school; she has given birth to three sons with three different peasant boys as the fathers. I started tea-leaves selling business for, I have never seen any proceed; now she is already playing bush sex with an epileptic like Chenje’s son. She is really doing badly.
Lusaaka: (To Kulecho) wait for her to come then talk to her as a parent.
Kulecho: Am not free to declare myself her parent. Let her just bring my tea-leaves and the money she has sold and carry a way her sons to the farthest end of the earth.
Paulina: Am very annoyed (exits)
On stones around a Waterfall point, Namugugu and Nanyuli are sited, enjoying a breeze of the sunny rainless evening, in a feat of compassion ogling one another.
Nanyuli: I have fallen in love with you. I don’t help to imagine without you
Namugugu: Maybe you are cheating but myself I want to assure you that the bottom of my heart belongs to you Loisy.
Nanyuli: Am serious, even if our love goes through babbling river of challenges I will swim against all turmoil to remain your love.
Namugugu: I know our love is founded on a back-drop of restless waterfall, but I am sure God is for us.
Nanyuli: (Holding Namugugu) Are you happy to be with me?
Namugugu: Very much happy.
Nanyuli: Imagine you will break my virginity tonight, How do you feel.
Namugugu: I feel electrified. Let us even go home now.
Nanyuli: Let us wait until darkness falls, I feel shy to walk into your home in broad daylight. Your mother will look at me in wonderment.
Namugugu: Let us just go now. You don’t have to fear my mother’s eyes.
Nanyuli: You just hold me in your arms till darkness falls then we shall go.
Namugugu: But remember that I am your husband from now (takes her in his arms) and forever, please don’t run away and leave me lonely.
Nanyuli: Look here Victor, it is only death to separate you from me, and I will stick to you my husband just like a tick in a cow’s udder.
Namugugu: It is sweet to hear that.
Nanyuli: Will you love me along with my problems?
Nanyuli: What are your problems?
Namugugu: What are your problems?
Nanyuli: Victor let’s not talk of our problems, instead let us talk of love.
Namugugu: Indeed my dear. Believe me you are the queen of my heart. Your warm beauty urges me to kill all men in the world.
Nanyuli: You better forgive men and kill all women in the world.
Namugugu: Why all women?
Nanyuli: Because love in the arms of a beautiful girl is weakly protected from harms of vicious women.
Namugugu: No, I believe beauty, like power in the arms of the owner is weakly protected from evil barbs of men.
Nanyuli: But will you love me dear
Namugugu: Yes I will do.
Nanyuli: Will you harm me to-night.
Namugugu: No, I will pamper you
Nanyuli: Eh! How and you will break my virginity?
Namugugu: I will do it slowly as you will allow. But I will make sure that you are enjoying to your maximum.
Nanyuli: Please make sure am satisfied.
Namugugu: I will
Nanyuli: Take me to your house now. Let us forget about waiting for darkness to fall.
At Chief’s Camp. Situated at Bokoli village market. Policemen playing chess. Policeman I playing against Policeman II. Policeman III, standing, looking at them, burning cigarette in his hand.
Policeman I: Wait, this is a King. It can jump and conquer yours
Policeman II: No way, you will defeat me; you better defeat your grandmother but not me.
Policeman III: I am broke I just pray that some fool comes to report a crime now so that I can crease my elbows.
Policeman II: You took a bribe yesterday. You mean you are already broke?
Policeman III: Yes I am, can money be enough with our type of life in Kenya?
Policeman II: Stop blaming Kenya when you take your money to buy Chang’aa the illicit brew.
Policeman III: It is true I took a lot of Chang’aa yesterday.
Policeman I: Look, there is a man with a woman coming; they may be coming to report a crime.
Policeman III: Good let them come; they may buy me supper today.
(Enters Lusaaka and Kulecho)
Lusaaka: Good evening all of you officers.
Policeman II: We are fine and you?
Lusaaka: We are also fine.
Policeman I: You cannot be fine and come here unless you are cheating us.
Policeman III: Who is this? Is she your wife? She looks brutish like a cattler rustler.
Lusaaka: She is my wife.
Policeman II: But also a cattle rustler
Lusaaka: No, she is not.
Policeman I: Then a chicken-stealer
Lusaaka: No a good Christian.
Policeman II: Why did she accept to be your wife if she is a good Christian?
Policeman: Tell us, what is your problem?
Lusaaka: A person I know has stolen my daughter.
Policeman III: Where did you keep your daughter before she was stolen?
Lusaaka: No, but a beggar I know stole my daughter.
Policeman II: How old is your daughter
Lusaaka: Twenty five years old.
Policeman III: She eloped away
Lusaaka: Yes, to an epileptic beggar.
Policeman III: Old man stop being stupid and talk sense. How did you
know that someone is an epileptic and you are not a doctor?
Policeman II: Even epileptics have a right to marry and make children.
Lusaaka: He ran away with my daughter and tea-leaves.
Policeman I: Old man is you crazy? Where were the tea-leaves?
Kulecho: Officers listen, tea-leaves were mine, it is my own business, I only gave her to go and sell. But instead she became a sell- out to elope with that man.
Policeman III: So your daughter was selling tea-leaves or hawking tea-leaves?
Kulecho: She is supposed to walk from house to house asking for people to buy the tea-leaves.
Policeman I: So?
Kulecho: She has eloped away with my tea-leaves and money. So officers help me get back, my tea-leaves and my money too.
Policeman II: How much were you paying her as wages?
Kulecho: She never brought home any money.
Policeman II: Please try to get my question, how much were you paying her?
Kulecho: How can I pay her when I am her mother?
Policeman I: But you are the mother, can you get back your money directly without coming here, Ok?
Kulecho: She is married to a bad person.
Policeman II: How?
Kulecho: That ma, I am taught he is a beggar, epileptic and has been staying in Nairobi for the past two years.
Policeman II: Those are not crimes. They are life situations. They can befall anyone even a police officer. Like I can be a leper, elephantiasis or epileptic no one is an exception.
Policeman III: (showing the newspaper) Read here old man, it is written in this paper that; speaker of parliament of USA, Newt Gingrich is an epileptic. …….tell us now your problem.
Lusaaka: My wife wants her tea-leaves and money to be recovered.
Policeman III: It is her daughter, may be she has inherited from her mother who can tell.
Policeman II: Old woman you are not a good Christian as your husband has said. You are supposed to thank God when your daughter gets married. Why are you reporting her to the Police?
Kulecho: She has abandoned her children to me.
Policeman II: How old are the children?
Kulechoi: The first boy is eight years, the second boy is four years and the last one is still suckling, is one year.
Policeman III: How much money do you have now, so that we can help you to write a statement?
Kulecho: I have five hundred shillings Kenya money.
Lusaaka: I also have five hundred shillings Kenya money.
Policeman III: Bring it here (Lusaka and Kulecho both give policeman III, the bank notes) .
Kulechoi: Help me officer to arrest these people.
Policeman II: Now listen, the only crime established is that your daughter has committed a crime of child neglect. We are going to arrest her only for that.
Policeman I: The boy who married her is whose son?
Kulecho: He is son of Chenje, his mother is called Kuloba.
Policeman II: What about the boy?
Lusaaka: He is called Namugugu
Policeman II: Chenje, I know him, I also know his home.
Kulecho: He has a ruffian thatched house with full of rats and
All: (laugh in a loud gurgle)
Policeman III: You can now go back home when we arrest him we shall inform you or even come here tomorrow to find out if they wll be already arrested or not.
Kulecho: I will appreciate if you arrest him plus the woman as early as tomorrow.
Policeman I: By the way, how is your daughter called?
Kulecho: Loisy Nanyuli, she is brown, having spaced teeth. Her bust hold
sharp pointed breasts. Officer I tell you, you may think she is a girl, when the truth is that she has three sons with three different fathers.
Policeman III: Anyway, we shall arrest them by tomorrow
In Chenje’s house, Kuloba is peace at the fire-yard cooking, smoke fuming a whole room, Namugugu and Nanyuli talking undertone, Chenje looking on.
Kuloba: I am now happy that my son has gotten a wife. I now have a company.
Chenje: It is good. If one gets a wife he of course gets a good thing.
Kuloba: (to Nanyuli) come here, move near and get some warmth from the fire.
Nanyuli: (moving) thank you Mama.
Kuloba: (to Nanyuli) to you enjoy eating ugali and pumpkin leaves that is stewed with cow’s milk?
Nanyuli: (featfully) yes I do Mama.
Chenje: No it’s a taboo let her not feed on any milk nor on any other animal product until we pay her parents pride price.
Kuloba: Those values have gone a way in a whimper, let my son’s wife eat anything that comes her way in this home.
Namugugu: Mama! You can even slaughter a hen for her.
Chenje: No! No! let me tell you, my daughter in-law is still in a honeymoon. We have not officially met and talked with her parents to solemnize her marriage, she cannot feed on a hen not only to mention eggs?
Nanyuli: (laughs) Even I myself am allergic to meat. I strictly use greens. The only meat I can eat but even very little of it is smoked tilapia fish.
Kuloba: Oh! You mean it?
Nanyuli: Yes am a vegetarian. Just like other sisters of mine. We don’t eat cow’s meat.
Chenje: Where did you inherit that spirit from?
Chenje: Because I grew up with your grandfather he could eat meat like a pregnant vulture. He was a ravenous meat eater.
(Enters Policemen each having, a sten gun)
Policeman I: All of you down! Don’t try to run!
Policeman III: (slapping Namugugu) your eyes are as big as those of a bull-
Policeman II: (inveighing a slap towards Nanyuli) who told you to get married without coming along with your three sons?
Kuloba: (screaming) don’t beat my son like that again!
Policeman I: (to Kuloba) you noisy harridan I will arrest you for obstructing
the police officers on duty.
Chenje: (to policemen) my sons is kindly tell me where we have a
Policeman III: That is a good question old man. But I will answer you through actions (handcuffs Namugugu and Nanyuli together) these two are lawbreakers.
Chenje: My son, what law have they broken?
Policeman I: (To Chenje) Mzee shut up your mouth or I will teach you how to be an old man. Preserve your questions, you will ask them to the trial magistrate.
Kuloba: (wailing) don’t take my son to prison, He is already epileptic he will die from there. Oh! Forgive him.
Policeman II: (To Kuloba) Old woman, being an epileptic is not a leeway to break the law (laughs)
Chenje: (to policemen) Please my sons tell me what their fault is (pointing to handcuffed Nanyuli and Namugugu)
Policeman II: (To Chenje) Mzee, this son of yours is a very stupid epileptic. He is imposing his testicles to each and every person. He has eloped a way with this concubine. She has run away from her children. Three sons. One of them, the youngest one is still at a breast feeding stage. A suckler.
Policeman I: (to Chenje) therefore they are jointly arrested for having broken the law. They have committed a crime known as child neglect. They will come back after three years in prison. Either they will be sentence at Kodhiak or Kakamega Maximum labour prison.
Namugugu: (to policeman I) please forgive me sir; I was only tempted, I never intended to do all these.
Policeman III: Keep quite you useless, miscreant. Never talk to law-enforcers about temptation. Tempted ones are more sinful than the tempters. Stand up we go! The useless temptor and the tempted, walk! You wobbling temptress!
Kuloba: Officers! Let me give you a cockerel so that you can leave my only son.
Policeman III: Old-woman we did not come here to pick bribes in kind of
Policeman II: We can take your cockerel but there is no key to unlock the handcuffs. It is at the police station.
Policeman I: Off we go! (Pushing out Nanyuli and Namugugu, policeman II,
Pushing them out)
Policeman III: (to Kuloba, stressing) bring that cockerel to the police at Bokoli village market police station. Make sure you come incognito (exits)
Kuloba: (wailing to herself) my only son. What has happened again? Since I was born I have seen always people getting married without being arrested. Since the earth was created a honeymoon has never been in prison. What a bad lack, what a curse hangs in the clouds of your head. You try to get my son, only to go up in handcuffs. But if it was another person from this village, nothing bad could have happened. What is the source of this entire evil machination?
Its early morning, at Bokoli village market, inside a police cell, Nanyuli and Namugugu shouting between themselves. Each in a separate cell. Their respective cells are separated by a wall.
Namugugu: (shouting over the wall) Loisy why did you not tell me that you have children and a suckling baby?
Nanyuli: (shouting over the wall) why did you not tell me that you are an
Namugugu: Epilepsy is misfortune I am not ashamed of it.
Nanyuli: Bearing children is a blessing from God I am not ashamed of it.
Namugugu: You have to be ashamed for cheating your way into a marriage.
Nanyuli: You have to be self dignified as a married epileptic?
At the police station, under the shade of pines-trees. Kuloba, Kulechoi, Chenje, Lusaaka, Policeman I, II, III, Child I, II, III, Namugugu and Nanyuli are brought out from the cells. They are still on handcuffs.
Policeman I: (To Nanyuli) look at how your children are as small as rats.
Kulecho: (to policeman J) Officer, don’t just talk. Be flogging that woman.
Policeman II: Let her take the children we want to take her to court.
Child II: (to Nanyuli) Mama, I am hungry; Kukhu never gave as any food since you went.
Kulecho: (To child II) ask your mother to show you your father.
Policeman I: (To Kulechoi) you said each of these child has its own distinct father?
Kulecho: Yes, the girl is no joke.
Policeman III: (to Namugugu) we are just waiting for your father to come, and then
we take you to court
Namugugu; (shy and not confident) thank you afante I will appreciate.
Lusaaka; (to Namugugu) but my son, are you ready or are you willing to take this
daughter of mine to be your wife?
Namugugu; Yes Papa am very ready to stay with Loisy as my wife
Lusaaka: will you take the children
Kulecho; why not! if you cut the tree you must also cut the branches.
Policeman I: (to Kulecho) listen madam (then to Namugugu) will you take your wife
and along with her children?
Kulecho : (to Nanyuli) give me my money and my tea leaves!
Nanyuli ; this afante (pointing to policeman III) took the money and the tea-
leaves. Plus the tumbler.
Policeman III: (to Nanyuli) don’t point that useless finger at me! Will you go and stay
with your husband? Are you ready?
Paulina; Bad news honourable police officers!
Policeman I: announce it
Paulina ; Chenje is dead, either the rats killed him or if not starvation. But his wife
Kuloba is claiming that you the policemen killed him through the rudely
shocking manner in which you arrested his son; Beatings! Insults
Handcuffing! Jabbing! I mean! Officers! I mean that old woman Kuloba,
even she is my age-mate, but she has totally smeared you officers the real
mud of the year!
Namugugu: My father dead! ?
Policeman I: don’t ask us that question, we don’t work in the mortuary. You take your
wife and your children to your house. And we don’t want to hear any
nonsense from you. (to policeman three) remove the handcuffs from
their hands. Let him go home with his family. He is now married before
the government. Yes, the government of Kenya. Let him go home with
his wife and her three children quickly.
Kulecho; (to policemen) let them give me my money, please officers, help me to
recover my tealeaves, I want my money and my tea leaves!
Poems About Son
- 1. The Temptor And The Tempted , alexander opicho
New Son Poems
- Jesus In The Quran, zaheer uddin
- Pricelessly Impregnable Humanity, Nikhil Parekh
- Essays On Literature, alexander opicho
- What Can I Do His My Son, salma. torrez
- Everest, Mark Heathcote
- Will Always Love You My Son, fred sweetguy
- The Temptor And The Tempted, alexander opicho
- The Disavowal, Muzaffar al-Nawwab
- Like Father Like Son, MOHAMMAD SKATI
- A Pair Of Eyes, Heather Burns
- carpe diem