Abominable New Normal

I must confess that this COVID 19 season has made me do things that would ordinarily cost me a seat at the council of Elders when my time comes. I have seen my uncle (Brother to my mother) and quickly changed my route. I know you will advise me to stay home. I do.

But once in a while a Savannah man must step out of his dominion to buy meat for the family. It’s manly to buy meat. It makes you look very responsible. But you don’t have to. Even the abdominal components (matumbo)is meat. The abomasum, for those who did Agriculture of those days and know the parts of a ruminant, the intestines and the kidneys. And it is at this point that we would wish to interrupt this broadcast and clarify that lungs are not part of matumbo. Let’s try to find the name shortly. So the other day, I decided I wanted to teach my sons how to kill the head of a goat. Killing the head of a goat is simply roasting it, dividing it into two and hanging it precariously above the fireplace for as long as you want. It remains preserved. But we are that generation that my grandfather called mean. So we buy hooves and heads. Ordinarily and by my grandfather’s standards, a real man like me who has a full quiver of arrows and worth his salt must kill a goat for his kin. We buy. A little compromise on cultural limits will do us no ill. So much of meat and what have you. Let’s go back to my uncle and Covid 19. I saw my uncle heading towards my direction from the abattoir. I dived under some shrub until he passed. He would never understand why I can’t shake his hand. And suspecting my uncle to have a virus would still be unacceptable. Actually an abomination.

Again, how do I greet my uncle using my elbow. How do I greet my uncle like a reggae fanatic? Unaeza gota mamae, sorry uncle yako?! Abomination. This pandemic is bad. Savannah people won’t say but this pandemic should be gone like yesterday. We want to greet each other mechanically the soonest we can. For now, we will stay at home. To avoid our uncles. And allow Corona to die fast. So that “Supai Maama” translated “greetings uncle” can stay with its initial meaning and never lose weight. Well wishes from Savannah. Nairobi people, see you soon. We love you. There’s little we can do because even visiting day was not in the cessation of movement speech. For now, let’s sanitize, observe social distance and stay at home.

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