“Come here Joseph!”
It was more of a command than a request.
I could detect the tone in my mother’s voice. See, my mother has never been the one to bark orders. Neither was she the one to pamper the cheeky African boy in me. She is like a juice blended from many fruits. You’ll never know which is the real taste between mango, pineapple, apple or avocado (I wonder how someone would mix a sweet fruit like mango with a tasteless, creamy fruit like avocado and before avocado fanatics kill my ego, I’m not disqualifying its position in legend). Mommy is sweet but you’ll never tell who she is.
In my biblical meekness, I responded to her call and went to what had been justice chambers for the last 18 years. And boy, you’re damn right! I’m that young. I found daddy sitting on his usual chair which we always regarded in awe. It was his symbol of power and no one ever sat on it when daddy was around. I quickly studied the mood and smelt fish. Fish is not something rosy to talk about in our neighborhood. Perhaps in my awe for his power I didn’t note the visitors and shamefully greeted them. They were my paternal and maternal uncles. The local church minister was also in the house. Now I was very sure this was more important than a referendum.
“Njûgûma njega yumaga ikûrîro.” He started.
For those not from the big mountain covered with milk at the summit, this proverb is used when a young man becomes like wine that is fully ripe.
“That is why we have come to arm you to go and fight.” A few heads nodded in agreement.
Kamande, my paternal uncle who is always high on bottle let out a chuckle which my strong instinct smelt sarcasm.
“A micro creature me to go fight.” He must have thought.
My dad continued, “Books have removed the web in your brain. Go use them.” He went on and on about how empowered I was with education. Point is, the lecture was like the calculus equations. Important but boring.
During this whole time, what was running in my mind was crazy statistics about unemployment levels. 11.47%. That seems a little percentage representation of the crisis but mann, I’ll break the figure up for you. Over 50000 students graduate each year. Less than 10000 people loose their jobs for different reasons. Less than 10000 new jobs are. Related annually. Approximately 30000 graduates each year are told to employ their own brains. How will they when banks charge 15% interest on loans. I know figures are not your cup of tea, but hopelessness is what young people are experiencing. Hatred for society for creating this situations. Someone told me that he hated anyone that told him when he was a child that education is the key. He felt cheated and now does not trust anyone.
After all this thinking, I clapped my hands loudly, told everyone in the room to stop spicing the talk and….
“Knock! Knock! Knock!”
That was the landlord in my single room in Kayole coming for his dues. How would I dare dismiss my elders!