Friday, April 11, 2008

Name calling

My uncle,he always forgot our names.He’d never admit that but I know that’s the reason he never calls any of us by name.

When we were young,me and my three cousins had names specially designed.I was machang’i,because of my hair that stood out from my head like branches.My cousin was kabuyu,because he was shaped like a jerry can, and the youngest was mbuku,because she liked to hide behind the house and you’d find her crouching like a rabbit.

Personally I didn’t like the nickname,I’d have preferred if he’d called me by name.The title kabuyu always caused fights if anyone but mama used it,and mbuku,it stuck.Nothing would stop mama from using the names, infact the more we resisted the more he used them and the more it caused laughter from the neighbours. There were of course,other temporary ones as the need arose.

As I grew older and learnt to hold down my hair,and grew tall,I became muraihu{the tall one}which was used inter-changeably with the other one,giraffe.Kabuyu became kibuyu{a big jerrycan} and mbuku became ka J{ka Jobless}This,we don’t explain to anyone coz mama coined it from J’S habit of hiding so that she wouldn’t be assigned any duties.Now we simply call her J and tell everyone it means junior co she was the small one though now she has bigger hips than me and isn’t afraid of work.

We finally grew up and left the nest.Mama is now raising his own kids,two boys,10 years apart.The older one is titled Kihii,just kihii{meaning just,a boy}the younger one they call ndungu{fat}.Mama is comical,it’s nice to know that not even the dropping prices for farm produce can suppress his humour.


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  2. This literature reminds me of old goods days at my rustic bringing up...