I was to write about fatherhood today. I will, some other time. Not that I am anywhere near being one, just perspective from discussions I had in the past week.
That aside, yesterday for lack of better things to do with my Sunday afternoon, I gave in and went to a clan gathering. Turnout was fairly good, I say this because I knew less than four of the attendees. The long afternoon was made even longer with everyone introducing themselves, in award winning design. Like this cousin of mine, the eldest of cousins I gathered was once nominated for an Ambassadorial assignment to some country in Europe. It turns out there was drama around the appointment and as such he was deployed as a third or so secretary at Ministry of Foreign affairs. The fellow went on giving a political rant on a whole range of issues; CDF, Women fund and exchange programs, something I suppose he gathered in his assignment at MFA. Interesting is he calls himself Amb. So and So… I don’t know how these things work but I imagine for you to earn that title you must have been the President’s representative in some foreign land. Sigh, my good cousin didn’t even make it to the airport. Needless to say, his Ambassador Title got him a seat at the high table…
Of course there were all sorts of introductions from said gathering. I was choking every time twenty two year olds were standing up to declare their qualifications and how they are working with Barclays bank, Cooperative bank and every other blue chip that could possibly be sourced. The very same kids who’ve been sending mail asking for help finding internship. You’d think they were sent by Adan Mohammed and Bob Collymore to come represent their companies at the clan gathering. Sigh… not that I hate. I in characteristic manner also told them I have been doing development finance for about five years and was considering going back to the village to do onion farming. Of course I was looked at like I had gone kuku for considering going back to the farm. That’s how I know I am truly growing old(er). Seeing kids I was sending success cards sometime ago standing in front of the podium and shouting in OJ (Sakata Host) like manner declaring their intention to be the next CEO, even when they’re just doing teller work at a bank branch in Gikomba. Sigh, Hope…even Obama knew it is a good thing before the elections. It is a good thing. They’re focused.
Anyway, sitting through the meeting and looking at all these hopeful kids, and seemingly achieved older folk, my mind travelled miles to Western Kenya. Grandparents. They must be really proud of themselves. The three in graves and the one remaining. I never got to meet Grandpa Zachary, my old man’s dad. The one from whom Dad pimped Zachary to Zack… I gather he was a colonial chief. I don’t know much about him, neither does Dad. I was quite close to Grandma Meg, dad’s mum. I grew up in my early childhood knowing she was my mum since mum was preoccupied with career then. It was Grandma Meg who pinched my footballer thighs when I tripped, she taught me herding… yes, I know quite a bit about cows; from milking, grazing and even spraying them for tick and disease control. Most of the passion I have in being a near future ranch owner comes from lessons from Kukhu Meg, as we called her. She used to call me her husband, and wanted me to get children before she passed on. She used to give me some herbs which she never said much about whenever I asked. She just mumbled something about girls being happy someday… Sigh; I don’t know how many I have made happy 🙂 … have I? Rest in Peace Gramps Zack, Nathan and Grandma Meg.
Yesterday after the meeting, I was dropping off an uncle at Easy Coach bus stop when we spoke of my remaining grandma, Rachael. Such a sweet lady, she always makes me hold a chicken under my arms every when I visit. She says it’s the proper way. Whenever I hesitate carrying live chicken back to the city, Rachael gets them skinned and smoked for me. She has never bothered me much about children as such, she says they are all over her but she insists I have a special place in her heart and wants to meet the girl I will grow old with. When people grow old they truly become like kids. Rachael is paralyzed one side of the body; she goes to great strength shaking hands when you meet her.
The last time I visited, I took some shopping, she was least interested in the kitchen things I had bought, and she said I should get a girl, marry her and buy her kitchen equipment when she can still enjoy it. She got hold of this huge blanket and sheets I had brought her. We went to her bedroom, we made the bed together and she called me across for a Hug, the most memorable hug I have ever received from a family member. We then lay on the bed facing the ceiling as she told me stories from my childhood, about my mum and her sisters… she lives close to my mum, I know they are darlings. She later dozed off saying Nathan (Gramps) should have been there to enjoy the blankets. I have missed granny Rachael, will see her soon.
Playlist: Family Re-union ~ Jill Scott