That's my favourite greeting to my friend Mambo. He probably doesn't like it but he is such a well bred human being he would never say it to avoid embarrassing me.
Me on the other hand I am always telling people 'don't call me Mūthoni, don't call me Cess.'
It's amazing I still have friends at all.
I met Mambo one morning on the way to a Sign Language convention. He was extremely quiet. Later I learned it was because we were in the company of deaf people and he preferred to sign.
I agree with him on that.
And I refuse to speak Kikuyu in mixed company.
Don't make me.
I will think bad things about you.
Much later, Maureen with a K introduced me to Mambo, properly.
She said he was a brilliant graphic designer.
As a Content Consultant, I work with a web designer, graphic designer, a photographer and someone for video editing once in a while.
Mambo became a life saver for graphics.
He is not only fast but communicative. He would call to alert me incase of a delay because of slow internet or power cuts.
I really appreciated that.
Your team can mean whether you will get a Cheque this month or not.
Mambo's job turned out to be 100% each time. I could tell my client, this will be ready tomorrow morning and it would be.
But it's not just work wise.
It's about the kind of person Mambo is.
Part of it is that he is from a generation that exists on fearlessness.
Ok ok I am thrilled about growing up watching Tahamaki but you must admit we people from the 80s can get a bit boring.
A lot boring actually and so stuck on proving we are good enough we kinda lose ourselves somehow.
Mambo's generation is a confident, frank generation that does what is right if they are so inspired, and they do it the right away. They are not trying to impress or prove anything, they know they are good at whatever.
So I quite appreciate the friendships I have with these who say it as it is. No games, no tricks it's just what are we doing today? Okay let's.
No guess work.
"Any questions? Come ask me."
They seem to be saying. But without the bitterness of someone that feels slighted.
On the day of my mother's funeral Mambo said to me.
' I want you to use your imagination and think of Jehovah standing in front of you holding both of your hands and telling you, I'm with you. I'm with you Cecilia, you are my dear daughter.'
I used my imagination.
And then that passed.
And people dispersed.
And I got up each day and tried to live it.
And then I couldn't pray.
And if I did I simply said- I'm awake now, help manage somehow-
On one of those days I got to the meetings.
And the minute I got in I was convinced I should just go back home and re-start a sobbing session.
I smiled and waved at people and then I saw Mambo seated, arranging his things and went to him.
'I can't do this, pray for me.' Said I, without a greeting.
I thought he would tell me
"Cool cool I will, as soon as I finish setting up."
No, he moved over and asked me to sit beside him.
He said a prayer for me right there then gave me a hug.
And then I found enough strength to sit through that the meeting.
I will remember that forever.
Because, we are not weak forever.
We don't grieve forever.
But it's the hands that pull us out of the darkness that we remember.
Hands that hold us up until we can hold ourselves together again.
And strong enough to grasp others who are temporarily felled in this journey.