One of our biggest fears back in the day when teenage hormones coursed madly in our veins was facing the supreme court of elders after allegedly impregnating someone’s daughter.
So feared were those wazees that some young men of my age disappeared from home altogether after putting some girls in the family way.Up to date.Samidoh talks about this in one of his songs where one Gathiaka walked all the way to Lodwar so as to “jump pregnancy”.
The “men of the dew”, as they were called, would arrive when the grass in village lanes was covered with dew.The word dew in there also alluded to another risque “dew” that I dont want to go into for now.
To make sure that the errant young man had no chance of escape, they would be accompanied by a few KANU youth wingers- tough fellas who had wrung a neck or two or opened a few skulls in their bloody career.The area Chief would be in the mix too, with his mean askaris in tow.
After knocking on the poor chap’s door only once, they would threaten to enter with it.The young man would come out, disoriented, haggard and scared to death.
“So you are the he-goat of this village, huh?”
The chief would bark at the thin young man now before the group.The elders would then force him to take plea.The prosecutor- the Chief- would then detail how on diverse dates, the young man had ‘known’ a certain girl, breaking her leg in the process.
“Turuu oro force???!!” The Chief would forcefully bark at the young man since he was the only one fluent in English.
The hapless young man would hesitate upon which the youth wingers would bombard him with threats.Which included castration, being rolled down a rocky cliff in a hive full of angry bees or being fed on a plateful of live wasps.Or all the above.
Out of fear, the young man would accept the pregnancy. The magistrate, a gnarled Methuselah of a man hanging on to a sooty walking stick gone smooth with age,would then read out the fine.
Which would be a hefty sum of money to go to the upcoming child’s upkeep, much of which would remain with the elders.
By some lucky happenstance, I was never the victim of the “men of the dew”. However, my cousin Kamaley once encountered them and lived to tell the tale-another story altogether.