The message from home was a relief and daunting in equal measure. A reprieve because it was different from the so common ‘kaa chonjo’ messages that I had been receiving all through the week. I was already getting used to such messages from classmates who were keeping me updated on the current happenings within the school. There was an impending strike so comrades had to be on the look out and to keep each other updated. Daunting because the small guy had refused to come out into the world. Ten hours tops and still counting but the little buddy kept everyone waiting. I pitied the mother who was now cursing and yelling at each figure that dared cross her path. She was devastated and tired. I bet if labour pains could be assigned to a second party she would have happily given someone else the task. Wednesday the 11th at 12 a.m. the bundle of joy finally popped up. Bouncing unawares of what awaited him in this planet earth.
This is a letter dedicated to Liakath, my nephew. The first of his kind in the extended family. The pride and joy to his mother and a blessing to the SAMOS.
Maybe I should start by saying long time no see. Hehe. But to say the truth I am yet to set my eyes on you. They have however sent me a few of your photos in the family WhatsApp group. You will join the group someday as soon as you are grown and have a phone of your own. We all have phones though acquired a little late in our adulthood. But you will have your own as soon as you can put on a pair of shoes and in kindergarten. We all are administrators of the group so I bet that position also awaits you. What a bundle of joy you are!!! Our last encounter was when I saw you kick and kick and roll inside of your mother’s belly. Like I was in there with you!!! But we all could see you from outside and the thought that crossed my mind was how jumpy and playful you would turn out to be. Such a lively personality. Your mother should prepare for an encounter!!!
You have probably met your other uncles and aunties but I will still take this rare opportunity to introduce them to you. Meet Eunice. She is the first of your three aunties. The firstborn in the family. She gets stuff done, including people. She will not get you done if you promise to be a good boy. You better prepare to talk on end because Eunice talks. She will chart you up so get ready with your ears wide open and a notebook if you must, because she informs. We call her Chelsea even though she is a Manchester United fan. She loves nothing else more than sleep…and eggs too so brace yourself for a fight for these two. She adores kids and loves travelling. All I see is fun-filled experience only if you keep her close to you.
Uncle Eric is the first of your uncles. The firstborn male of the house. We call him Personnel. He is the father figure to all of us. He makes sure that everyone is provided for. Since dad died not so long ago it has always been Eric who we turn to whenever faced with life challenges. He listens to all of us and tries as mush as he can to provide solutions. He is always there for someone even to the extent of forgetting about his own affairs. He is hardworking and outgoing. I will organize soon enough so that he takes you on a ride with his motorbike. But be cautioned that the guy has temper of a wounded lion who is denied his prey when provoked. And the guy loves Rhumba-the John Juniors and Emma Jalamo.
Florencence is your mother. The second born daughter in the family. I took her to the clinic occassionally for check-up and believe me you she is a strong lady. The look on other expectant mothers’ faces could only tell how they wished they were as strong as she was. All through this journey she proved that expectant ladies are never sick, only that they are in a special condition that need a little more attention. I call her Baby and she hates it. She is a believer in people, outgoing and socialable. She is not on Facebook yet however much I have tried to pursued her to join. And she loathes farm work.
Sharon is the auntie after Eunice. She is the reporter, the celebrity of the house. She is in form one currently and plans to pursue Journalism in college before proceeding to work at the CNN. Dreaming big I tell you!!! And she also draws. She draws everything from cows, houses, flora and fauna to pooping kids. She already has your portrait doing your thing. She loves kids too. Mothers in the neighbourhood like her because of how cool she always handles kids. She knows how to hold them with just the right grip and also how to magically make them sleep, including the stubborn ones-the reason she is called Mammu.
Then we have Felix, the last of your uncles. The Drogba; the Messi of the house. That guy loves football. He just recently jumped sides and joined the Manchester City camp from the Chelsea camp fearing that his former team would come out trophiless in this season. My phone never gets to rest whenever I am home because he, Felix won’t let it. He uses it to check the on goings in the soccer world. I am forever put to task trying to get acquainted with soccer news because you never know when Felix will pose a question. That dude asks so many questions about everything. He is in primary five and insists that he is already an adult. This makes you the only kid in the family if only it were true. And I fear he will soon start asking about the desk mate at school. The brown lady with small eyes, just how he describes her. Why she performs so good in class and looks so different. He wants to become a lawyer.
Finally there is Nyaoke. Do not dare call her that. She is your grandmother. The woman through whom we came to exist. She is not old like the grandmothers of the gone days. All grandmothers in the new generation are not old. They do make up and put on colour-coordinated clothes when going to their grandkids’ school meetings. The kind that brushes their teeth not using twigs. They know the city life and just how to cross the roads without assistance from anybody. They chart on phones and are acquainted with the current fashion and style. They know how to tell a Safaricom caller from an Airtel caller. They are the digitized grandmothers of this generation. She stays at her Boma now and adores her time in her little shamba. She prays a lot, the reason we never lose our ways.
We all welcome you to this small family and look forward to an awesome experience throughout this journey called life. We all are so happy to have you join the family.
P.S: And oh, I am the uncle who writes, the noisemaker behind the keyboards. All that I am is in my writing. Enjoy this experience with me.