Wednesday, March 16, 2016

The path not taken

Had I an ounce of grey matter that worked, I would have joined the Provincial Administration as a chief. Not a sub-chief; those people love chicken a little too much. But a chief. I would get a nifty uniform, a pith helmet, a snappy swagger stick, a Land Rover and an armed Administration Police cohort to maintain the public peace. And I would have been good at it.

Obviously I wouldn't go into the business of robbing my location dry of its goats, chicken and calves, and I would definitely stay as far away from wives and daughters of the residents. I'd bring down the mighty arm of the State on bicycle thieves and those random idiots that harvest other people's cassavas or yams.

But best of all, I 'd shine during public holidays like Jamhuri Day or Mashujaa Day because I'd get the chance to read a specially couriered Presidential Speech in front of the local worthies like headmasters and councillors. I'd spend the previous month spiffying up the primary school's playing field and making sure that the flag receives a shampoo wash at the local dobi. My dress uniform would be specially laundered at the district headquarters and it would stay protected in the laundry's jwala until the big day. Muriuki the shoe-shine guy would be on standby just to make sure I can see his reflection in my boots.

All the sub-chiefs would be on their best behaviour: on that day they would stay away from wives, daughters, chicken and goats that don't belong to them. And they would corral the tois from the three primary schools and one secondary school into the playing field. They would make sure that the seven dukas were closed up tight and the shopkeepers turned out in their Sunday best to receive words of wisdom from the rais. Mama Safari would have to shut down chang'aa operations for the day too, even though the teachers and M-Pesa agents who throng her kibanda would cry foul and curse the president and his anti-chang'aa witch-hunt.

I'd practice my official finger-wagging in front of the mirror because, kama kawaida, I'd get the chance to sema kitu kidogo after the president's speech is done. I'd frown mightily at the increasing cases of missing cows and I would warn residents strongly about aiding and abetting strangers in their anti-national activities. I would praise the small primary school near the market for the one B- it got during the Mock KCPE and urge them Onwards and Upwards reminding the five teachers and fifty candidates that, The sky is the limit. I would wind things up by reminding my sub-chiefs to be extra vigilant and thank the councillors for ensuring that the drainage was cleared before the long rains.

Sigh. I would have an excellent chief.

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