‘MOSHE DAYAN’ KARIA NJAHI

Just after Giceeri had placed our meat on the greasy wooden table,a scraggy geezer wearing a “Segenge ni Ng’ombe” cap sneaked in.He was out of breath and obviously out of food.

Bwana Dayan,nawa mkono tukule,” My uncle hailed him.Dayan cunningly scanned the room with his one eye and promptly sat next to the steaming mountain of meat.

I was to later learn that Dayan was short form for Moshe Dayan-the late Isreali Prime Minister who always donned an eye patch.While the real Moshe Dayan may have lost his eye in some battle, this Dayan had lost his one eye in a forgotten bar room brawl during his swashbuckling days.His real name is Karianjahi though.

“Nindarega!” Dayan started.

“These bones are too big to be those of a chicken!” Dayan added as he dug into a juicy morsel.He then swallowed hungrily, his only two loose teeth dancing dangerously in his mouth.I feared he might swallow them as well, rendering him toothless.

In the kitchen,Giceeri loudly cleared her throat.

Silence.

“Do you know there was a time this witch cooked us a lizard and told us it was fish?” Dayan asked no one in particular, deftly wiping his oily lips with the back of his hand.

Giceeri banged two sufurias loudly.More silence.

Aai! This meat has a naughty smell,” Dayan declared between two loud burps.

“What smell?” Uncle asked him,coldly.

The smell of her witchcraft.Giceeri sits on the meat with her panty and kamithi of before cooking it for us”. Moshe Dayan disclosed triumphantly, his furrowed face glistening with delight.

Uncle spat angrily on the ground then stopped eating altogether.Then he reached for the back of his ear, removed a stub of a half smoked “kiraiku” and lit it.It’s pungent plumes slowly pervaded the room, like an incense to the god of decadence.

Giceeri could no longer bear Dayan’s insolence.She presently emerged from the kitchen, adjusting a washed out shuka around her ample hips with her greasy hands.

“Weee! Ritho Rimwe,what did I hear you say, eeh?”

She barked at Moshe Dayan, pointing at him with a shaking kitchen knife.Dayan stopped licking his soiled fingers, stared downwards at his cracked plastic shoes then mumbled something inaudible.

“Tero me, you Kimenyi,what brought you here,war or free food?” Giceeri bellowed at Moshe Dayan,her hands now held akimbo.

Then with one mighty heave, she hurled him outside into the encroaching darkness,where he fell head first into an open sewer.I cringed at what could have happened to his sole two teeth.

Mùchenji ùcio..blarry fool!” My uncle cursed as he took a generous swig of his Balozi ale.

As we walked home, we found Moshe Dayan at Kibango, the place where four roads met, forming a cross.He was barefoot now, his shoes having been pinched by some village raggamuffins.In his hands he was holding his two broken teeth, while singing with a cracking voice like a lost minstrel, slurring on the syllables:

‘aya ni mabatao akwa…..”

“aya ni mabatao akwa….”

“ingìyia………ingìyia……”

(These are my needs, oh Lord)

(These are my needs, oh Lord

(Meet them, oh Lord)

For some minutes uncle regarded his old friend with indifference.Then, he swung his bakora and walked on, breaking into a song:

“Niwe werìire...”( You are the one who messed up yourself)

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