Saturday, November 05, 2016

Waiguru: A View from Kirinyaga County

A digital essay by Onyango Oloo

People who have been following this particular Onyango Oloo on these blogs, online fora and social media mailing lists over the last fifteen, twenty years know that I have lived a very colourful , if somehow tortured existence, which in some senses, reads like an excerpt from a Nigerian soap opera. 

Incidentally, I never ever watch Nollywood on Citizen, K24, KTN, KBC, NTV or any of those pirated, cheap DVDs readily available in the streets of Mombasa, Nairobi, Kisumu, Eldoret or Nakuru.
And I am not talking about my five years as a political prisoner at Kamiti Maximum or my almost twenty-year sojourn as an exile in the frigid climes of southern Ontario or Quebec.

I mean, if ever I want a whiff or sniff of  

Patience Oghre Imobio, 

Genevieve Nnaji, 

Ini Edo, 

Nse Ikpe-Etim, 

Linda Ejiofor, 

Sylvia Oluchy, 

Omoni Oboli, Belinda Effah, Dayo Amusa, Queen Nwokoye, Tonto Dike, Ufuoma Ejenobor,Adesua Etomi, Klint the Drunk, Ramsey Noah, Desmond Elliot, Van Vicker or even 
Basket Mouth, all I have to is to dip into my very own romantic autobiography which is far more ravishing and melodramatic-and moreover, pure concentrated tropical juice. 

Over the decades, I have had loving and satisfying relationships with Meru radical socialist feminists, Kendu Bay models, Tala hairdressers, Lamu bankers, Jamaican-born, Toronto-based, post-modernist literary dilettantes, Dar es Salaam nutrition consultants, demonic and insatiable Nyeri marathon lovers, Oyugis trade unionists, Kiambu All Africa taekwondo martial arts champions, Cleveland playwrights, Murang’a deep underground political activists, Kisii clinical officers, made in Jonglei dark charcoal Dinka beauties and Kirinyaga  senior  marketing executives. 

Who could ask for a more super-duper existence? 

You simply cannot make this stuff up!

By the way, did I mention that this digital essay is actually about Anne Waiguru, the former Devolution Cabinet Secretary?

The other week I was in Sagana visiting another set of in-laws located in that of the country-like others dotted throughout Kenya as I have alluded above. I was there for almost a week, observing the thriving industry at the Fisheries, sampling the succulent, humungous watermelons at the nearby Kagio market and drinking in gory and macabre tales of the blood-soaked nights of gloom and doom where their vicious feuds between the dreaded Mungiki and the equally vicious vigilantes who hunted down Maina Njenga’s boys and literally executed the young men at the KAgumo in Kirinyaga at a place known ominously as “The Hague”. Locals were nostalgic about the salad days of  the late John Michuki and his Mau Mau era style of state sponsored extrajudicial killings which all but wiped out what they called the “Mungiki menace” bolstered by the gun toting, grenade wielding, red bereted GSU thugs.

In conversations with the villagers, I was struck by the gushing, almost delirious love and hero worship some of them reserved for one person and one person only-Anne Waiguru.

Somebody literally pointed out where Waiguru’s father lived in Sagana-before they moved elsewhere in Kirinyaga.

To some of them, Anne Waiguru was a mugithi queen, an ohangla star; a lipala diva; a chakacha malkia. The fact that she was running for Governor endeared them more to her, with some vowing that if the thy would get away with voting for three or four times without getting caught, they would do it without batting an eyelid.

And their main source of admiration were all those millions upon millions she was supposed to have “liberated” from the Devolution ministry and NYS.

If, like some of them argued, they could propel her into the Governor’s mansion as the next Jubilee incumbent in 2017, the goodies of ugatuzi would finally dawn in Kirinyaga.

Who knows?

She may even end up inheriting Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta and finally shut up all those people from Murang’a, Kiambu and Nyeri who had been insulting Kirinyagans for eons as “those primitive Ndia Kairos who used to haul human excrement”.