Of the Festive Season and Its Costs.
My friend was seated next to me laughing hysterically. I didn’t care to join because I didn’t know why he was laughing until he showed me a picture which captured my imagination for today’s piece. A cock was standing on a raised ground by the front yard of a house giving a speech to what looked like his children and concubines.
As you know, it is only a cock that is honest to his creator. He wakes up every morning to crow. In the crow, it is alluded, the cock usually thanks the creator for waking him up for the day and asks for forgiveness and strength to go chasing and disturbing the peace of his many concubines; the chicken.
So, on this day also, the cock is seen having a family talk with the rest of his family. He opens up his speech with these words, ‘Today may be the last time we are having supper together as a family….’ The speech doesn’t need to end because we know the lamentations that follow.
Truly speaking, it is that time of the year again. Let me begin with the borrowing that comes with this festive period. People go around borrowing virtually everything. People borrow clothes, others borrow cars, others borrow swags and other borrow even boyfriends and girlfriends.
You may not be amazed to a find a man or woman asking their friends to travel with them to the village to act like their fiancée because they are expected to come with one for their age. They borrow their friends time and presence to help make things happen albeit for that moment.
Others who are not so lucky have to resort to hiring some friends for this very important occasion when they will be meeting as the larger family and many other family members will attend with their wives and husbands whereas others will come with their partners and they are expected to match the occasion.
Some other people will borrowing their friend’s car and use them to travel. Once they reach their local centers, they then become arrogant and abusive while showing off ‘their’ car. And because village people are good, they see an opportunity to dare these types. Their friends will ask them to chafua meza to ascertain that they can really manage to own a car.
Because most of them cannot stand that embarrassment, they go ahead and show their prowess and end up buying brew for half the village. It is a dear mistake that gets paid with lack of money to fuel the cars back to the city. They have to crowdfund again for them to come back to Nairobi.
A walk-through town last week was the perfect reminder of the challenges that come with those of us who use PSV vehicles to go to the villages. Were it not for the curfew, people could do what we have always done religiously; sit throughout the night waiting for the first return vehicle that comes our way which may even be at midnight.
People have to wait for long hours now in order to get a ticket to have a glimmer of hope in sharing their festive period with their loved ones in the village. The conditions for that waiting aren’t good either. Its long periods of standing with luggage, enduring the awful dust emission as well as the scotching sun.
To add salt to an injury, one then pays almost twice or even thrice as much as the normal fares. By the time the whole celebratory period is over, we realize we have spent every penny we had and have to start again for the next December to do it better than last time.
The costliest thing about December holidays and the new year eve is the number of lives that gets lost with it. People put simple courtesy and mannerisms into the dust bins and end up paying with their dear lives while desiring the good of that moment.
For instance, the law is explicitly clear that don’t drink and drive. Yet still people will go out and drink themselves mad and then decide to hope into their cars and drive home. Unfortunately for a majority of them, they never live to see the next day. And as you know, death is no respecter of persons. Other times it just comes but when invited, it never fails to show up.
Another cost of lives lost has to do with the meats or rather flesh that gets consumed during that period. Hundreds of millions of chicken and cows gets lost during these periods. No wonder that cock had called a meeting as a matter of urgency because he to knew the time was at hand like the Apostle Paul and that he surely he will be no more with them a short while after.
It is only this period that mercy on pets isn’t spared. You can find Wanyama having a chicken as a pet but when Christmas comes, they look aside and cut the chicken’s neck because they have to do it. After all, they can always rear another chicken for a pet for the same cycle.
Finally, when it come to the new eve, people sit down to evaluate all their actions from the beginning of the December festive season to that moment and realize that a majority of whatever they did was not worth it.
We then sit to make the next year a little bit different and meaningful. But because it’s a cycle we know little about, the time comes and just as usual, we are thrown into limbo. It is the same things all again. Nothing becomes different as such.
And so, to you my lovely reader, do everything with decorum and moderation during this period. Remember the pandemic is still with us and you need the sobriety of your mind in next year to read, understand and make a conscious decision about the BBI.
Happy festive seasons from all of us here.