Wednesday, September 24, 2008
I cannot help it:
This misty collection is traditional Kikuyu in nature and heavily inspired by real life happenings. It’s about a lady that can only go down hills and cannot climb; how it all ends even I don’t have a clue.
Kui I cannot help it:
My lady Kui
I sincerely don’t understand you,
Kindly tell me what is wrong.
You don’t even care to cut my nails anymore
You no longer let my leg lie on your thigh...
Or it is because my heels are now cracked?
And I can no longer afford muratina.
You told me you will always be with me
Is this truly forever?
See you cannot even look at me,
I’m I not worthy of your eyes?
You don’t even eat this food.
It’s ours not mine
Its not meat, your favorite
But it’s better than nothing.
Kui I cannot help it
When we went to Baba
You promised me and all my people
That it will be for better or for worse.
Kui I cannot help it.
Life isn’t like the flat Naivasha
It gets steep like Nyaga’s abode
But you seem not to understand
Poverty the wise old Guka says
Should be the sharpener of our digging sticks
The sharper they get, the better we can work
We are still strong Kui; the grays haven’t come yet…
I hope and pray
That what I said gets into your head
For I will not talk to you again.
I hope and pray.
Baba I cannot help it:
Baba I cannot help it
Yes Baba all is not well
That is why I came with my people
Plus we are unkempt so.
Baba and Mami we came here long ago
Maybe ten full waru seasons ago
Or twelve, today’s waru matures too fast
We also came dancing to the karing’aring’a
Baba didn’t we bring muratina?
And cows and lessos for Mami?
If I’m wrong Mami correct me.
But my people and yours plus Mwene Nyaga were witnesses.
Mami and Baba I tried
I gave birth to my father
And then my daughter that is you Mami,
So that you would be with us forever.
Baba I cannot help it
Since that foot and mouth curse took all our cows
We have met hills all along our way
But we have tried
Baba, Mami I cannot help it
That I am no longer rich
But I’m thankful that I am healthy
And there are many years ahead of me.
But ever since the meat on our table became mingi
And the tea is now ndubia
Your daughter is no longer Kui
She is someone I do not know
Kui, my mother I tell you, cannot even look at me
Baba she won’t even eat our food
But we have never slept on empty stomachs
My children remain my witnesses
Now Baba and Mami
You have seen that all is not well
I have brought my people
As my witnesses to strengthen my words
Baba you are old
And with that comes immense respect;
So I will give it to you as you deserve
Because refusing to give it you is wrong.
I came with only two solutions in my head
Which I prayed and asked the Great one for,
Plus I talked with my people
Until we decided what was right.
Baba and Mami, Kui it seems cannot climb
She can only go down hills
For that me and my people have decided
And we cannot help it that it has come to this.
Baba if you can please bring your people
To my home that I share with your daughter
And take her back with you
Because it might get worse now that it is bad
But on a second decision, Mami
Come to my home and stay some days
Use them to talk to Kui; teach her
Show Kui that a house is held up by two...
My people here bear with me witness
That I did not disrespect or do anything wrong.
Baba and Mami we have spoken
I pray and hope that you decide the best
Kui you cannot help it:
Kui my daughter, my loveliest of all
The last time I talked to you about a home
Was before your uthoni
It was a long time ago, a very long time ago.
When you got circumcised
They taught you all about pleasing him
But that all, wasn’t truly all
You always learn on the work
Kui my daughter I want you to listen
Me and your father have shared a bed for a long time,
More than half of our lives
But you still see the fire in him for me
It is not easy
Nothing is easy not even sleeping
And marriage binds you together
Until the bad one takes away one of you.
He was young and wealthy before
The dowry he brought us
Has never been seen before
Not even to this day
You have lived well my daughter
It’s only now that your skin has lost its texture
You were the loveliest and still are
Not only in the mind but in the head too
Character Kui is like a pregnancy
It cannot be hidden.
And yours is beautifully seen
As we raised you in the best way.
Who thought he could ever be poor?
But you lost all your cows in days
Yet you did not lose your hands and land
Patience is a woman’s best part
It is like your breast that feed the world
And I know you have enough of both
Your husband wasn’t chosen for you,
It is the great one that gives us companions
And yours is one of the best
You also know and acknowledge it.
We will not take you back home
You are young but past marriage days.
Now I beg and want you to have patience
Have patience with your husband…
Wealth is not breath
Yet breath is life
You and your husband are young and healthy
You will still be wealthy…
Everything comes slowly
Even life itself is slow and humble
So you stay with your husband
And work hard for your children.