The thrill of village weddings ...
“Ngai, niwekee kanyama!” exclaimed a woman with a rainbow of colors on her headscarf. I figured this was definitely not Nicole’s relative. No relative of Nicole would be so meat-starved to a point of pleading for meat in a wedding. They are known for their strict barter trade policies of offering meat to get a different kind of meat. And as the woman wore a seriously concerned look at the lack of sufficient animal parts on her plate, I had to swallow hard. I wanted to laugh but I was new there and I feared the wrath of the nyama-starved woman.
So I shut the hell up and waited my turn. At this point, the emcee started talking and the first announcement he made caused the laughter I was holding back come in torrents that were larger than Miguna Miguna's ego. He said that people with dogs should keep them locked up whenever there was a wedding because they had the potential of grabbing food from kids.
Welcome to village weddings.
You see I was invited to three weddings one of those weekends last December. One was on a Sunday which I happily skipped. The other was an urban neo-wedding which I spent an hour or so in and the last one was the village one. The urban one was very expensive but I reckon the biggest expense in the budget must have been to buy boredom. They must have hired large trucks to shower the whole thing with boredom. People in that place wore elongated faces like they had been dragged to a forced STD immunization campaign they had to dress up for. Never have I ever seen such a huge bunch of up-tight people. It got so boring that certain refugees who live in my stomach by force started whining. And they were waiting for moments when the church went quiet to voice their discontent at the current proceedings.
The pastor presiding over the function was talking to himself and the moment the service was over, I fled to save my Saturday and my reputation thanks to the boredom and the IDPs in my belly. Therefore I rushed onto the next available option; the village wedding. Luckily, I got there just before food was served. The pastor was finishing his sermon and so I had to introduce my behind to a rock that would represent a chair for the rest of my stay there because the tents were full. People were obviously impatiently waiting for the food. Lucky for me, they were setting up just next to where I was and I thought I wouldn’t have to push people for food. How wrong I was. I was the first to pick the plate but how twenty hungry women grabbed plates and queued before me would require Mohammed Ali's entire Jicho Pevu squad to uncover.
When my turn finally came, I peeped into the huge sufurias. The food did not look at all appetizing but the illegal occupants in my stomach were already rioting and threatening to embarrass me further as they had done during the service earlier. I got some rice, some stew and skipped the njahi section and some other mean looking mukimo. For those who dont know, mukimo is a variety of food whose components (mostly grains) don’t normally stick together in a normal setting but get beaten into submission with the aid of a mwiko and potatoes or bananas by muscular women and in some cases, men. The result is a very solid coalition that my digestive juices don’t particularly register success in breaking up.
The village wedding turned out great and my day was at least saved. From the speeches, the cheap gifts wrapped in priceless love sort of taught me that though money is a great thing to have, sometimes, it is the small things that make special moments memorable.
At the end of it all, it was a thoroughly enjoyable wedding. The emcee was particularly pretty good at forcing commercial breaks when any of the persons appointed to give speeches took longer than the prescribed two minutes. Am sure to give him a call when my big day finally comes (God forbid) to star in mine. The only small bit would be that I would have to pay speech therapy classes because he was a text-book case of a person suffering from chronic Chinda Ya Matamuchi syndrome. Oh, and I would have to have a serious conversation with his wardrobe. Last thing I want in my wedding - if it ever happens - is a man in a hand-me-down from his obese grandpa trying to convince the bouncers that he is the emcee for the wedding.