Day of the African Aunt.

One night, Bonche Exchildsolja son of our linage, made me smile in the “night of the devils”, (Kemoub Chesowiloi). His writings provoked the incurable disease in me. That of writing.

African Union (AU) needs to do us people of Africa a favor. Where is The International Day for the African Aunt? Because there is something about aunts in Africa and especially our Savanna that cannot be easily put in ink and paper but can only be experienced.

The African Aunt otherwise known as “Senge” in Savannah dialect is a whole different species playing a metaphysical role in every African family set up.

Make no mistake! however, the name aunt in Savanna is not what the white man’s English taught you. Aunts are not people who wash your dishes. No! Aunts in Savanna terms are not your mother’s sisters! No! All your mother’s sisters in Africa are your mother. Period. “Senge” is your father’s sister. From whichever mother.

Senge are dramatic. They faint on your circumcision day as they scorn you not to be a coward! And they will remind you that they have travelled all the way to come and warn against anybody putting the name of the family in shame. Because she will claim countless times that she carried your father on her back for ages and that her back still aches!  Then she will faint again.

And then collapse again during your wedding. They solve land disputes by turning up in a family meeting with a sweater tied round her waist and start scolding your father if he can’t man up to pay school fees or do a decent fence around your farm. Senge is just something else.

During your engagement for the case of Savanna girls, she is everywhere. In the kitchen asking for more soup for the in-laws, in the main house negotiating dowry and assessing your husband from head to toe to see if he has ever tasted alcohol and the next minute she is asking whether cows have been taken to the river. She is the one who will instruct your younger brother on when and how to serve the ceremonial sour milk to the in-laws. It can only happen when an agreement has been reached.

Senge leads the song and is in the front line swinging to the tune.

Senge: –                 “Mongun Inye moitanyuu…!”

                                (Come out my calf)

Other Women; – “Nyotaach toekuuk”

                               (Come and receive your guests)

Senge: –              ” Kakole Kwandangung mong’uun!”

                              (Your father has said come out!!)

Other women: – “Nyotaach toeekuuk”

                              (Come and receive your guests)

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