Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Talk Of The Town

We live in a small village called Nairobi. At least that is how it feels when you travel to some of the far away cities and make a comparison with our own. If this was truly a City, how come it has a Town Clerk and not a City Clerk?

It doesn’t thus surprise me that when something happens at an end of Nairobi the whole village or town knows!

Some years back, those KTN lab guys had come up with the talk show, ‘Talk of the Town’, that had Fred Obachi Machokaa and Jacque Thom. One flaw though. The chemistry was evidently in short supply and against Safari Parks backdrop they amused by insisting to each other: Let ME ask the next the next question!

The recent talk of the town has been a tragic accident that took place last weekend as four young people lost their lives. At first, only 3 had died but journalists reported all 4 dead. The fourth succumbed days later. He had, in the true James Bond lingo, lived to die another day.

Parents agonized over this loss. One insisted that the youth had gone to attend a birthday party and not a farewell party. Based on what happened afterwards, it may have been the latter. We share in his loss. Pole sana.

You may recall the times that a parent has tried to warn us not to do something and we, in our usual ignorance, have thought the parent is being anti-fun!

So how many times do you hear kids say: My parents don’t care!

Reason for this? The parent has just said to ‘em that it isn’t the right time to buy ice-cream. It’s a cue for tantrums.

Or if a boy is told not to go out with a neighbour’s girl - even if she looks like Halle Berry - he’ll sulk to high heavens. I did that!

My Dad warned me against the girl we called ‘Raw’ whom I had intentions of going out with on a certain Tuesday. ‘WTF?’ I said and the old man, a teacher who had heard a lot of this asked me: What did you just say, boy?

“I said WTF which was short for Wednesday, Thursday, Friday?” I lied. In a few days time, Raw was busted with drugs by cops! It was the talk of the village.

Dad was right. In fact, I think if Dad were to rise from the dead and walk into any classroom in today’s No-Cane-Please Kenya, he would just glue misbehaving pupils together. After all, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em!

As parents, we owe it to kids to mould them into good towners.

For in the end, if your child is a ‘talk of the town’ for all those wrong reasons, it is failure you will regret. As that Classic FM’s comedic Mwalimu King’ang’i is on record as saying in Kikamba: Mbui nzau yaa yenekee. Or ‘the white goat disappears whilst you are just watching’. Touché!

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