My problems after agreeing to stand for Wa Njeris wedding started even before the actual wedding date.
A day before the wedding, he called me up and told me that I had to have my looks spruced up at a certain unisex barber shop in Thika town.
I protested, saying that I have a personal barber called Karis who shaves me but sometimes nicks me because he shaves while watching football. Wa Njeri insisted that I couldn’t stand for his wedding after being shaved by a backstreet barber so I had to go to Thika.
The things they do in those kinyozis should be declared soft porn.First they unborn your shirt and knead your neck till you start talking in Gujarati.Second, they tickle your entire chest till all the county headquarters of your body get tingly.
Finally, they tickle your scalp with a metallic thingie.This makes the Governor of your bodily capital city-which is where all things start and end for men-salute the young lassie doing the massage.The salute might last a whole day but I digress.
Anyway, after the tingling neck and chest massage accompanied by a shave, the girls speaking that nasalized Swahili characteristic of Nairobi girls told me to spread my fingers out. They filed them with their dainty fingers and then went on to apply some substance on them.
‘Hey, no lipstick on my fingernails.’ I protested.
What would my daughters say if I went home with my fingernails splashed with bright red colour like a drag queen?
‘Inaitwa clear nail vanish mzee.’ Missy Nasal explained in that nasal Swahili again. A Harrier Aunty type of a lady who looked like the owner of the place explained to me the procedure is called manicure and was part of the services for the entire bridal party.
The manicure didn’t cure the man in me but just added to my troubles. When I was done, I was slapped with a bill of Ksh 2,400 for the whole service. Weddings are con jobs-that’s a whole crate of my favourite poison that could make me and my friends sing goats for a whole Saturday evening.Anyway,I paid up and went home with an empty pocket and a tingly chest and confused bodily county headquarters.
Come wedding day,I sat throughout the ceremony regretting about the Ksh 2,400 that I paid in exchange for a tingly massage and a shave. I thought about all the fun I would be having with my boys club if I was at home.
As we left the church, a young girl with cherubic cheeks smoother than Murang’a avocadoes started showering the bride and the groom with grains of rice.Haki weddings are so wasteful-do they know how much a kilo of pure aromatic Mwea pishori costs? Anway, I let that vanity pass.
More drama awaited us at the reception. When we arrived there, a dreadlocked young chap calling himself MC something took the mic and danced us almost to death.
He started with Mugithi where we all held our shoulders and did the train dance. The he switched to rhumba and we had to shake our bums-including imaginary ones for us men who are flat like long distance truck drivers. Kidogo kidogo he switched to isukuti and we shook our shoulders like we were in a Bukusu circumcision dance.
That wasnt enough;next we did chini kwa chini for a whole half an hour.A session which men enjoyed for some reasons that I dont know.Its at this point that it dawned on me the entire bridal party was wearing matching inner garments which I had mentioned earlier.
You cant sing the tribal music of all the 42 tribes of Kenya and be normal again. By the time we took to the high table, my body ached with a hundred aches in a hundred places.
Food was brought and I noted that the rice was of poor quality than that which had been scattered into the air by the chubby girl earlier.What a waste.After that we sat on the dias,drinking litre after litre of sucrose.
Luckily,my cousin Shekow Josephine along came and hopefully my salvation.
‘Have you brought me something stiffer- a man cannot live on soda alone.’ I asked her.
Too bad she had not time for that.
The gifts session came.Wa Njeri had ferried his entire village into the wedding in his mono- eyed pickup.All the aunties gifted him with a multicoloured kiondo.His village cousins gave him washing basins.There were no uncles because uncles do not attend weddings because they know how boring they can get.
When I couldnt stand the boredom anymore, I went to the dias to present my gift to the newlyweds. I congratulated my friend for bagging himself such acute girl. She sure looked resplendent in white and that silver tiara.But why do wives dress to kill during weddings then cook for their husbands the same afterwards? Food for thought.
Anyway, I noted that my friend Wa Njeri looked so happy.Unlike most weddings where grooms looked gloomy-like they had just chewed cayenne pepper.
‘Mundu,you look so happy today,’ I whispered to Wa Njeri’s ears as I handed him my bahasha.
‘I have to.’ Wa Njeri quipped.
‘Convincing her to marry me is one my biggest accomplishments.’
And so it is for most men.