Thank God for WhatsApp and status updates from whence (almost) all topics come without soliciting or researching. I am flipping through the WhatsApp status updates of my contacts (yeah you know know I have a smartphone and I stalk you as much as you do me) and I come across a status update that reads, “Where do you think we would have been as Kenya without colonialism?”
We would still tell our children the stories from our heads and not from books where the good kid is light-skinned and the evil one is black. We would still know Satan as an evil spirit that we could conquer with morality and specialised rituals. Satan would not be a naked, black man with a farm hoe ready to roast some other equally black fellow. And oh yeeees! We would still have our Vera black devoid of “plastic” pollution. Guess what! Young mothers would only use the phrase, “My babies” more reverently in reference to their infantry, take-away homo sapiens that they “pushed” into the world on behalf of the community. “My babies” would not be the chihuahuas, terriers, and poodles that they seem to ferry and flash around, as they adorn their other six-inch high “babies”.
Likewise, dogs and bitches would still receive privileges deserving of Canis lupus familiaris like sleeping outside and eating their fair share of their kill with a touch of last night’s, stale remnants. Breastfeeding would be an act of God through divine calling, done by women for God and the good of the community as opposed to being a form of post-pregnancy punishment handed down to the “twin fawns of a gazelle grazing among the lilies” that Solomon described in his Song of Songs 4:5 and reiterated in 7:3 – hehee this Solomon guy and his wisdom though…
Anyhow, we would still have a complete ecosystem that respected nature and had a way of accommodating every living thing one way or another symbiotically. Our lice and our jiggers would still have a place in our lives and we would only deal with them with our thumbs and acacia or sisal thorns respectively when they invaded the riparians of our heads and limbs. Instead of playing PS4 and Xbox games, we would still have those lice-crushing and jigger-removing hobbies baada ya kazi as the men and women of rightful, acceptable ages sipped some homemade brew as they chattered the evening away.
I know, we would probably still be somewhere in some bush without underwear, but we would be a closely-knit family where no one lacks and no one Ole Mashambas another.
Five years would mean a while ago or sometime in the future instead of being a period within which we hatch and brood Musandorization and Baby-Pendorization schemes. Handshakes would still be simply that. True, cattle-rustling would still be our thing and people would die of pandemics, but those would certainly not be HIV or Ebola. We would still consider death a robbery caused by some evil spirit unless it was the justice of rolling a criminal aboard a literary “lit” beehive down the highest, steepest hill in the village.
Discipline would still be a prerogative of any of your elders whenever they were and you would tie your tongue any time your elder was around. Your father’s word would be decree and your mother’s gospel truth, for neither would speak just to keep the mouth aerated. Fathers and
mothers would respect themselves and teach their children the number of vowels in their mother tongue. Mothers would dress decently because thence, their dress would really be their choice and not some shoved-down-the-throat hegemonic, brain-bleaching stunt. Hard work would still be hard work. Barter trade would still mean better trade. You might have met your great grandfather whose remains (I hope they are his) are a heritage stashed somewhere in some foreigner-maintained, “beautiful” war cemetery.
What more do you think we would still have if we had not been colonized?