Atoti Koko and the neighborhood watch

There was a time in Ekot when crime had risen beyond the bar, in fact it had broken it-the real bar, not that people did not drink in it-the actual one, but theft and robbery with violence were so rampant that people would live in great fear. Most people had resulted to using tins and basins as their portable toilets at night. Wait a minute, before i go further i feel in need to explain something for those of you who may not have comprehended, here is the thing that most of you might not have pictured – in Ekot, most peasants used pit-latrines, for those of you who might not be aware, latrines unlike toilets are usually located outside the house, so when the need arises one must move out of the house to help himself( Guiteithia). Well this and the fact that most compounds were not fenced and those that were had crappy gates made of mabati and wood rejects, wood rejects are broken pieces of timber that would otherwise not be used in construction anywhere else in the world but Ekot, to think that robbery was rampant here only makes one wonder why those thieves were so damn stupid, why on earth would one risk their health at night to rob peasants in Ekot? well the rate of crime was high, a fact that can not be disputed.

In this scary time Atoti’s uncle who was always drunk from his Muratina that people had nick named him Kigwa ( sugarcane , for sugarcane is one of the important ingredients used in brewing Muratina, by the way alcohol is also casually referred to as Kigwa). So that fateful mid night, Kigwa would not hold his pee and he needed to go out, Why not pee on the basin, his wife pleaded as he got out of bed, no way, i will not pee on the basin because of Riika ria mumo, ( the young boys who in instances like this , with crime, were always the perfect suspects in Kigwa’s mind) Kigwa responded as he reached for his Panga( a kind of sword used by farmers in farm work), with this let one come near me, as he waved it, weeeee ndukandeme!! (heeey take care don’t cut me with it) replied the wife covering herself with the Chuka( bed sheet).

Upon opening the door, what Kigwa didn’t know, neither did he anticipate was that a gang of robbers, armed with machetes and rungus was walking by the nearby foot path which passed through his garden sliding like a slithering snake connecting his farm to that of his neighbors, to make it worse they had him dismiss his wife’s plea. His eyes had not even gotten used to the pitch darkness out there as one of the robbers shouted, Kata huyo mjinga, ( cut that fool)instructing another one, Kigwa was so scared that he pead on his pants as he scrabbled to look for his bearing with the gang on his heel as rungus landed on his back, his wife gave a deafening scream that woke the whole village as Kigwa somehow through shear luck managed to open and lock the door leaving his attackers outside kicking the door and hurling insults of all sorts at him, to his surprise, the robbers then took to their heels, he did not understand what had transpired out there that made them run but was so pleased that whatever it was had stopped them from breaking his door and adding to the dose of beating he had already received.

In this confusion, a moment where a mixture of fear and graciousness had engulfed him, he heard a familiar voice calling from out, Uncle, uncle uncle are you alright, it was Atoti’s voice, yes he is, what are you doing out there in case they come back, Kigwa’s wife as kigwa was still rooted to the spot where he hid ever since he managed to escape, dump shaking like Jerry, one tear and mucus half way across his cheeks, how it got there only god knows, No the wouldn’t, Atoti assured her, why not go to sleep and stop risking your life you boy, her motherly voice becoming serious, if you say so, but you need to know that my plan to scare them saved your house from the robbers and uncle kigwa’s life, you should be thanking me, Atoti with his voice fading as he walked away, Wee how did you do it? kigwa shouted as he blew his nose and  Atoti  still walking away responded by shouting from a distance Ambe wohe nappy na wihure mamira nitukaria kiroko!!( get yourself some nappies (like pumpers) and clean your nose before we talk tomorrow!!)


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