Author Archives: jmutono

About jmutono

A versatile Kenyan whose newest found passion is writing.

THE AFRICAN CHILD narrative

“tick tock”

The clock ticks by . If she does not hurry up she will be late . Again!…and she cannot afford to be late. She has already learned her lesson , not the easy way so to say. Continue reading

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AT SUNSET

Evening seems to have set in early today and the night is edging in rather fast. The sunrays form a magnificent pattern in the sky as the sun disappears into the horizon. It is undeniably a beautiful sunset view.

One may wonder if the sun if has deliberately chosen to crown the day in some sort of a circus displaying its beauty and splendor.

Considering some days seem to be longer than others, this is quite a short one or someone’s day has been quite a good one.

The day has been a busy and productive one, one of the major reasons it is short. Those who needed to borrow money at the table banking have done so.

The status quo for some things though still remain as it was earlier in the morning, for instance Mama Mboi is still limping. Funny enough she says she is okay! She limps slowly to the market stalls, buys some greens for the evening meal and proceeds to the shop to purchase a packet of unga and some cooking oil. She then hurries back to her home to make supper for her family.

By the time she arrives home the sun has set and darkness has set in so she lights her kerosene lamp which she carries to the kitchen. She has not been able to connect electricity to her homestead despite it being available. She always has had the desire to do so but whenever she gets money there always seem to be a need more pressing and urgent so she always postpones to ‘next time’

She hopes that soon she will be in a position to get connected. Some of her neighbors who have the financial capability are already connected. There has been whispers that the government was doing electricity connection to the citizens at the grassroots like her but so far that project has not said hallo to their village. They wonder and gossip at the village market of what criteria is being used to connect the electricity. They hope and wait though , they could be next in line.

In her mind though, mama Mboi knows she cannot depend on the government for everything. As soon as she is capable she will have the connection. She might wait and wait and wait and wait…and it turns out to be a wild goose chase. A bonus like that for their tea counterparts would be a pleasant surprise and would definitely go a long way in solving such hiccups of life as lack of electricity.

She prepares supper as she listens to her small radio on the table at the corner of the kitchen. The smaller the radio the more economical it is since it consumes fewer batteries. Funny how life teaches some of the most crucial economic lessons.

As she listens to the seven o’clock  news she can’t help listening keenly as one of the leaders in government speaks of ‘last mile connectivity’ of electricity and how many citizens at the grassroots have benefited and wonders where it has been happening. She then shrugs off her shoulders and assumes maybe it happens in the big towns where the population is high hence high number of voters to entice.

She soon forgets about that and concentrates on her food lest it burn. During the time she is preparing supper, Mboi and his siblings are busy doing their homework using the other lamp at the sitting room. The light is not illuminated enough for studying but what options do they have ? They seem used anyway. Only a visitor from a different environment would maybe notice and be concerned but to them that is quite normal.

By the time the food is ready the children are through with their homework and her husband has arrived from his endeavors so they all sit down and take their supper. They talk about this and that as they munch their food. Their parents usually tell them it is not good manners to talk while eating but there seems to be no other better time to talk so they do it anyway.  

As they eat a pot of tea boils in the kitchen , they will take it after eating , call it desert if you wish , in any case to them starter, main course and desert are maybe names of a town in a far away land like Timbuktu (I wonder what it is with Timbuktu), a name of a movie or something. They really could be anything.

One would think because they are a coffee producing community, that is their preferred beverage but alas! Some do not have an idea how it tastes! Others will even be so shocked when you give them a coffee packet and tell them that is the finished product of the red berries they pluck in their farms. When they deliver their produce at the factory, that is where it all ends.

After supper they all say a prayer and go to sleep. As usual they will be up very early the next day. Mama Mboi had earlier spoken with her husband who will be spraying her coffee trees since flowers are now in full bloom. She intends to follow the spray schedule properly just as they had been taught at the farmers meeting. Better results means better returns and better livelihood for them #goals#

It is time to sleep .Tomorrow is another day. She still wonders if will be as short as the present day.

Homestretch part 1

When going to the ‘place to be county’ , traveling via the Machakos country bus is hectic, but quite economical especially during those ‘hard economic times’.

If you board a Nissan or better still are lucky enough to roll in your private machine, believe me you cannot understand, to you this is a tale of the hare and the hyena! Continue reading

thecoffeewoman

As the cock crows early in the morning, even without looking at her ‘mulika mwizi’ phone ,mama mboi knows it is five in the morning, time for her day to start. She prepares Mboi and his siblings and sets them off to school. In their patched uniform that sort of looks like all the colours of the rainbow have come in unison to sing the national anthem, Continue reading