13 AMINI: Yesterday…

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Have you ever dreaded the wake of day? Not deadlines, not debt, not dreams but thoughts that have tormented you through a better part of a less starry night? Have you ever wanted to plead with the moon to linger a little longer, move a little closer until it eclipsed the sun? Not for a moment but for an entire of what could have been a brighter day? Have you ever wished that your bed would hold you captive demanding you kept it warm? And with every attempt to escape it strangled with the knotted agreement of its purple cotton sheets?

Well that was my yesterday…

Not even once have my relatives ever summoned me to answer to errant behaviour. Yes I still get a reprimand but never too often. They are more enthused with their daughters meeting sons of their friends and friends to their sons friends. Men whispered to be exemplary in deed and polite in speech. Men whose fathers toiled hard to earn the lands that now dignify its labourers. Men whose mothers mix a really mean ugali. “Spaghetti,” they gloat, “has never satisfied an African man’s belly.

But here I was summoned by the Amini Council of Elders to answer to the misdemeanor of meddling in the affairs of Mama Clevens. My relatives would be so ever ashamed if they got wind of the said meeting. I imagine they would pull one of my adult ears to expel the foolish child that never left. “Manze hapo ulikosea…” Peter, the shopkeeper, rebuked as he handed me the half kilo of brown sugar. Mama Clevens – a retired midwife – was well respected and like Kayamba, gave herself to the affairs of the community. He didn’t even give me a chance to state my case but Mama Frosa did. “Don’t worry too much…“She encouraged, “I’ll see how to support you.

With breakfast done, I took to the ceiling attacking the cobwebs now threatening my canvas. Things were seemingly getting dark for me at Amini and I contemplated changing the hues in the painting and instead colour it bad. For a few minutes I set my dusting feather aside, and sank into my 3-legged-one seater sofa supported by a stack of forgotten books, to think through my defense. The company insists on preparing for tough meetings. The goal – restore the client’s faith. Win more business!

How could I convince the plaintiff  I was right when the entire jury thought I was wrong? How could I make her advocates break sweat in their attempt to prove me wrong? How could I motion the already prejudiced magistrate to dismiss the case? Nothing, absolutely nothing, came to mind that could work to my advantage. I had been rude, rightfully so but it was just me against the world.


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