Half Baked

dancing women

These women are dedicated and relentless workers. So they will sing at this gathering and the next, not to amuse but because that is what they do, they welcome politicians in public gatherings. They are not pretentious and aloof like the ones been welcomed, No, they are prescient on the things the government could do to change their lives. They are not circumspect with words, theirs an honest motive antithetical to the Mr Politician. So they sing…

Welocamu guku mucii wa wendo eeee welocomu… welo…

(Welcome Mr Politician to this home of love, welcome)

And Mr Politician will smile sheepishly with a broad face framed with high cheekbones and a strong jawline sitting squarely on a thick, short neck appearing as one with massive sloping shoulders, giving an impression of a man made of concrete block impeccably dressed in a sparkly dark business suit. He will walk with his guards next to him showing off his abilities and singleness of purpose hard earned by convincing these voters. He will breathe the air of superiority his strength evident in his physical bulk. The smile never wipes away as the women dance, No, in fact he might even join them at one instance, perhaps to remind them of what he once was but no longer is.

Gomaga gihoera atogoria atu gioragia muthenya ugakinya re…

(I sleep praying for our leaders asking when the day will come…) The song will go on…

This week on Monday I got a chance to attend an ICT launch at a public park in Nyeri town where we were launching a free WI-FI on a public park. Our country is growing and this is good for business because it means that all of you will click on my website each time seated at the park next to a guy selling ice cream on a cold day and another painting toe nails on a muddy day, but you will click on dennispetersblog anyway. Maybe to pass time, or you are a loyal reader or for free public fast internet either of your reasons. You will then go ahead and clutch your coat tightly around you and bury your hands deep in your pockets as the late afternoon sun drops quickly below the horizon bringing a sudden chill with the central province wind, it’s the cold season.

So after Mr Politician is welcomed, he begins to give a speech and if you are like me, you will constantly curl your wrist and peek at your watch and wonder when it is going to culminate. And it will make you wonder about these politicians. Like a waterfall speaks, each splash that ricochets off a rock looks same as the one before, yet each is an individual separate word, related to but not the same word that came before and then a silence of silent grumbling as the river moves away from this waterfall, soft eerie humming, perhaps each telling a tale of the experience of the waterfall or just bragging who made the most noise. Now, am not criticizing our politicians, mine is just a simple appeal of entirely forthcoming scrupulousness as one displayed by the dancing women. A single reason for not been half-baked!

See, these women are mothers therefore not ingenious of what is going on. Their unprided enthusiasm is enchanted with prospect that a visit to their home land by a big leader with a lot of connections all through the edges of the government could do something to ease their lives. Perhaps domineering insecurity situations, poorly-carpeted roads or wrecked streetlights just to mention a few. Factors that they have been making their sons come home late or not come home at all. They will not hide it in their song, in fact they will incorporate it to the tone…

Na tutireda chiana citu chiage guka mucii… welocamu…

(and we don’t want our children to fail to come home… welcome…).

A desperate plea to Mr Politician that before he goes back to his neoclassic stone mansion seated on an eight-acre park-like estate and his sprawling empire of businesses and land he could listen to this sad yet happy song of the unfulfilled dreams. Do these dancing women get paid, I do not know because I never asked all am certain is there are not half-baked!

I happen to catch Mr Sam Kairu before the day came to chilly terminus and he was excited about the new WI-FI strategy put in place in the park just like everyone, not because he was going to be using the internet, barely, but because he had memories, told or experienced of the town in the early 70s to late 80s. A time that would be defined as stone-age. Next to this park is a vintage ancient concrete hall. Sam is fond of a good informative story so he explains that it was a social hall and there was a single television at the front, a tiny one where everyone from Nyeri town came to watch presidential speeches. Mzee Jomo Kenyatta was president then carrying that thing that looked like a cow tail and those funny hats. The crowds would be inspired by their new African president through the small television and it would be beautiful and they would walk back home with grateful hearts aware of this new chance they had fought for. A fully baked leader with charisma and the listening of a mother. Baffling.

Back to the dancing wholly baked women in orange uniform cardigans who sit all through the gathering until termination. Mine is gratitude for your intent and zeal, maybe these politicians come back because you make them feel at home before they fly off to the city or Timbuktu not to be seen again for months. You who make them feel mortified for a welcome they sometimes do not merit. You that draw a thick line between half-baked and baked intentions.

Photography and the Writer:

Dennis Peters

Dennis Peters

Dennis Peters.

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