The lost mzungu and other short stories- The tale of Catherine

Pg 2 n 3

I was born in a small village in a beautiful land called Kenya, a place called Miberethi in my native language Kikuyu. Loosely translated, the name means pipes and the name was occasioned by the presence of several water pipes in that area. I was the fourth child in a family of seven kids; a large family by all means. And if my eulogy is anything to go by, I was a good child by any standards. The person charged with the task of writing the eulogy might have been compelled by tradition to write that, but it does not matter since his intention ran similar to the truth in this case.

I started my primary education when I was a young girl, and worked hard in order to gain academic success and get a good foundation in life. My father was particularly supportive of our school efforts, always checking our work every night to ensure that we not only finish our homework but do it well. Such devotion was not common and portrayed a kind of care that was touching and inspirational. In fact, though I was not to know it for a long time; it would help shape me to become a good mother who will inspire my children to greater academic heights.

Life during my child hood was not about school only and my folks always strove to ensure that we learn to appreciate the value of hard work. Since our home is based on the highlands of central province, agriculture becomes a vital aspect of any homestead and ours was no exception. My mom had several cows and goats and we were expected to help out with feeding these animals. Needless to say, it was always a disappointment when we had to spend so much time after school gathering food for them when we should be busy playing with  the neighbor’s kids.

There were several games I liked back then, when life was full of innocence and simple pleasures. There was a game of catch very popular with boys and girls, and we would spend hours playing it whether at home or during school breaks. The game involved a small ball made of several leaves wrapped in a polythene bag and usually played by three people at a time. Two people would stand at both ends while a third would be in the middle, between the two players. The objective of the middle player would be to duck the ball aimed at them by the two players. The middle player would strike out if hit by the ball and be replaced by another player in a pre agreed manner.

Other games that shared my favor were ‘bladder’, hide and seek and playing house. Bladder is a common game in Kenya and is usually preferred by young girls, hide and seek on the other hand was a favorite across the gender divide. I was a master at bladder, more so because I was blessed with a tall height; an advantage usually frowned upon by my peers. Bladder was a game played by a large elastic bad stretched by two girls with the main player standing in the middle of the stretched bladder. The player would then jump up and vacate the bladder with her legs settling on different sides of the bladder and the height would be raised until the player cannot achieve that feat. Those were beautiful times indeed and those memories, though distant, are worth more than any worldly gold.

 

 

 

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2 responses to “The lost mzungu and other short stories- The tale of Catherine

  1. I was born in a small village in a beautiful land called Kenya, a place called Miberethi in my native language Kikuyu. Loosely translated, the name means pipes and the name was occasioned by the presence of several water pipes in that area. I was the fourth child in a family of seven kids; a large family by all means. And if my eulogy is anything to go by, I was a good child by any standards. The person charged with the task of writing the eulogy might have been compelled by tradition to write that, but it does not matter since his intention ran similar to the truth in this case.

    I started my primary education when I was a young girl, and worked hard in order to gain academic success and get a good foundation in life. My father was particularly supportive of our school efforts, always checking our work every night to ensure that we not only finish our homework but do it well. Such devotion was not common and portrayed a kind of care that was touching and inspirational. In fact, though I was not to know it for a long time; it would help shape me to become a good mother who will inspire my children to greater academic heights.

    Life during my childhood was not about school only and my folks always strove to ensure that we learnt to appreciate the value of hard work. Since our home is based on the highlands of central province, agriculture becomes a vital aspect of any homestead and ours was no exception. My mom had several cows and goats and we were expected to help out with feeding these animals. Needless to say, it was always a disappointment when we had to spend so much time after school gathering food for them when we should be busy playing with the neighbor’s kids.

    There were several games I liked back then, when life was full of innocence and simple pleasures. There was a game of catch very popular with boys and girls, and we would spend hours playing it whether at home or during school breaks. The game involved a small ball made of several leaves wrapped in a polythene bag and usually played by three people at a time. Two people would stand at both ends while a third would be in the middle, between the two players. The objective of the middle player would be to duck the ball aimed at them by the two players. The middle player would strike out if hit by the ball and be replaced by another player in a pre agreed manner.

    Other games that shared my favor were ‘bladder’, hide and seek and playing house. Bladder is a common game in Kenya and is usually preferred by young girls, hide and seek on the other hand was a favorite across the gender divide. I was a master at bladder, more so because I was blessed with a tall height; an advantage usually frowned upon by my peers. Bladder was a game played by a large elastic bad stretched by two girls with the main player standing in the middle of the stretched bladder. The player would then jump up and vacate the bladder with her legs settling on different sides of the bladder and the height would be raised until the player cannot achieve that feat. Those were beautiful times indeed and those memories, though distant, are worth more than any worldly gold.

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