BABA YAO

‘BABA YAO’My Jaa-nuary has generally been drama free.We men rarely get into drama when broke.Until yesterday.I was lazing in the sitting room, scratching my scaly knees when First Lady cooed:’Wee, nduthie woe mwariguo cukuru.’You, go and pick your daughter from school.Broke men are very obedient.I headed to the school and found the kids sitted outside their classroom, waiting to be picked.The young Kenyan who calls me dad rushed to me and we headed to the gate.’Wewe mzee, unaenda wapi na huyo mtoto?’The ‘soldier’ who is more familiar with mama watoto asked gruffly.I explained that I was the girl’s dad but he refused to buy the idea.He surveyed me, surveyed the young belle,shook his head then blurted out:’Hakuna kitu kama hio!’What he meant is that the child bore no resemblance to me and thus I was likely a child abductor at work.I dont blame him.By some mysterious happenstance,my children have refused to inherit my mango shaped head.I dared him to ask the child who I was.’Mami huyu ni nani?’ He asked my daughter.’Baba yao.’ My daughter answered without batting an eyelid.’Baba yako ama baba yao?’ Soldier asked her again, perplexed.’Baba yao.’ She repeated, confidently.’Mzee, huyu mtoto sio wako.’ Soldier issued his verdict with finality.My elder girl, the one I have named after my mom, has always jokingly called me ‘Baba Yao’.Her kid sister picked that moniker from her.It took the intervention of the school head, who knows me from way back, for the minor to be released to me.

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