To Madam Njoki Chege, With Pity!

In the early days, living in the village was hard but enjoyable.
Learning was not yet entirely transferred to the white man’s system. I was, therefore, together with my many siblings were taught both in windowless classrooms and in moonlit chilly nights by apprenticeship.
Learning by apprenticeship required patience, nothing like learning about a whole human body system within a school term! Watch and wait to do, when your time comes!
One of the most valuable lessons was how to slaughter a goat. Knowing my community, ithínja (slaughtering) is at the heart of society. From harvest celebrations to dowry practices and cleansing rituals! The particular goat is selected, not picked! The process is so painstaking, from where to do the job, who does it, who is present, what plant leaves to wrap what meat et cetera! My grandfather was so keen on this, although being a village preacher, he knew what part of the white man’s religion to hold onto, and what part of the ancestors not to let go!
Comes the meat handling! There is a very famous idiom that goes like Ndooi irio kana iteo! (Doesn’t know which meat to eat and which to throw away) and which is used to refer to a person who has lost their mind. That is how important it is to understand what to do with which meat! According to the ritual at hand, there is meat to roast, boil, make soup, feed to the dogs, to bury and so forth. This classification was one of those things that any Kahíí (Young man) would learn for the very early days in preparation for that day when he would be of age to teach or at least perform.
Even unto this day of agribusiness, this same classification has continued, albeit for different purposes. Right from the abbatoir, different sections of meat find their ways to different markets and with different prices. Lump steak and liver you find in up market malls and high class eateries, bone meat in the standard butchery across the corner and legs, head, foetuses and intestines on the roadside over-the-drain stand for the mûtûra, thabutha and thubu! There are also those bits like eyes, hooves, horns etc that are left for the ravens and dogs around the abattoir!
Classification is important! Yes Ms. Njoki Chege. Refinement is also a part of this life! Only one thing you clearly pointed out. Your refined man who lives in Runda and Drives a Mercedes, is already married and advanced in years! I have many friends who fit this description. Most of them will admit that, unless they came from very able families, they lived in Mathare, Land Mawe, Pipeline, Uthiru etc at some point, rode in rickety matatus and even slept hungry and at the height of their frustrations drunk cheap liquor at some point during the process of refinement. Most of these credit their maxi dress – no makeup girlfriends turned wives for loving them during those painful days of growth!
They also get calls and emails from those ladies like you that thought the men were too filthy those days and looked up to them that drove the Three-million car then!, now so beaten by life and more often than not back to the lowly hoods they had cursed! Yours is more of a blown out adolescent problem, like pimples becoming boils!
 While the likes of you walk in Nairobi half-naked groping with other people’s men and even wrecking marriages, some wise ladies are reforming your cheap-liquor lad to a husband a millionaire! Not that marriage is a life and death matter, or that anyone needs a man to be whole….and by the way, Jesus is not a man!

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