Just after Giceeri had placed our meat on the table, a scraggy fella with an ancient cap sneaked in. He was out of breath and obviously out of food.
“Dayan,nawa mkono tukule,” My uncle hailed him.
I was to later learn that Dayan was short form for Moshe Dayan-the Israeli 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 barroom brawl during his swashbuckling days.
‘These bones are too big to be those of a chicken!‘ Dayan vowed as he dug into a juicy morsel. He swallowed hungrily, his only two loose teeth dancing dangerously. I feared he might swallow them as well.
In the kitchen, Giceeri loudly cleared her throat.
‘Do you know there was a time this witch cooked us a lizard and told us its fish? ‘Dayan asked no one in particular, wiping his oily lips with the back of his hand.
Giceeri banged two sufurias loudly.
“Aai! This meat has a funny smell,” Dayan declared between loud burps.
“What’s the smell?” Uncle asked him, coldly.
“Its the smell of her witchcraft. She sits on the meat before cooking it.”
Moshe Dayan disclosed, his face glistening with delight. Uncle spat angrily on the ground, then stopped eating altogether.Moshe Dayan’s tricked had worked-he now all the meat to himself.
But Giceeri could no longer bear it. She emerged from the kitchen, adjusting a shuka around her ample hips with her greasy hands.
“Weee! Ritho Rimwe, what did I hear you say, eh?”
She shrieked at Moshe Dayan. Dayan stopped licking his fingers, looked at his cracked plastic shoes then mumbled something inaudible.
“Tero me, what brought you here, war or free food?” Giceeri bellowed. Then with one mighty heave, she hurled Dayan out into the encroaching darkness, where he fell headfirst into an open sewer.
“Mùchenji ùcio!” My uncle cursed as he took a swig of his Balozi ale.
As we walked home, we found Moshe Dayan holding his two broken teeth, singing like a lost minstrel, slurring on the syllables:
“‘aya ni mabatao akwa…..”
“aya ni mabatao akwa….”
(These are my needs, oh Lord)
(These are my needs, oh Lord
(Meet them, oh Lord)
Uncle regarded his friend for a while with indifference. Then he swung his bakora and walked on, breaking into a song:
“Niwe werìire...” (You are the one, who messed up yourself up)