I Tire of Crying Whenever Obama Speaks

November 1, 2008

Perhaps in my later life I might consider being a professional mourner!

For some reason, I love funerals. Not death but funerals. I love the performance and the ritual that defines these ordinary yet so extra ordinary dramas. Sometime back I was in my small village somewhere in Mwingi (one of those places in Kenya where there exists only a single season throughout the year; summer or dry season if you like). I was in this village some time in the later half of the 1990s or thereabouts. My aunt had recently come from Canada and she was into this business of catching up with the hard life of Ukambaniland. For some reason I was always excited whenever I had to accompany her as we got into the deepest of the deep village zones.

Ja, I was talking about the ecstasy of attending funerals. I am being sadistic again, right? Hey, hold up…I don’t rejoice in death just the burying part.

So, I attended this funeral in the village which sent my auntie and I cracking. Well, it was one of those ‘celebration of life’ funerals because the deceased was a rather old woman. Life is a crazy journey if you ask me. It is amazing how much the human species takes to routine.”We Inyaa Nzangi ai susu nukwiie nanduia we?”…Well, those who don’t come from the land of the Akambodia, a woman from the crowd got up at this old woman’s funeral and said “Nzangi’s mum you know granny is dead and you aint crying?”. When ‘Nzangi’s mum’ heard this she got up from the midst of the crowd and sent a defeaning scream.

This was the beginning of my admiration for professional mourners. This is what I think I should be… A professional mourner for hire especially when the ‘not so good people’ die and no one is willing to mourn them…good riddance after all.

I have been following the US presidential election campaigns quite closely. I have been watching in a rather biased way though. I have been watching more of Obama than McCain (I am thinking of stopping eating that McCain vegetable brand).

You see, I am not American (by now you know). In fact, I have never gone to the US. I know American states because I read novels and watch Hollywood movies. I only know the US from the weather man. What I don’t understand is why this US White House has suddenly become a personal experience for me. I am so tense about the election yet I will still eat my ugali and kachumbari whether its McCain or Obama in the White House. I am getting annoyed with myself for getting emotional about this whole purely American thingy. Why do I cry when I watch Obama promise tax reduction for Americans? Obama is not worried about the fact that R 200 at Pick n Pay cant feed me for two days yet I feel like he is talking about me anytime he talks about Americans trying to make ends meet. What is so wrong with me to put my hope in Obama.

I tire of crying whenever Obama speaks.

I cried in 2003 when Kibaki became a reality to Kenya. I think I just have this habit of crying whenever joy grips my ego. I cry when I see how far my granny has gone with living her bonus years. I cry to think of how much my mum has sacrificed for my sister and I. I cry many times in a day.

Atleast these many times I cry, I understand why. I know I cried when Kibaki won the 2002 elections because I was stupid enough to imagine he would be far much better than Moi. I cry whenever I talk about my granny because she has been my mum, dad, sister and brother in my life. I cry when my mum says ‘I love you’ because she understands how disappointing men can be.

But why do I cry when Obama speaks?

Hold on…It’s got nothing to do with my misguided ‘other’ who thinks Obama is Kenyan just because of his Dholuo name or because a sperm from Kogelo happened to be present in his making. No.

I tire of crying whenever Obama speaks and that’s why I am considering being a professional mourner since I can cry for virtually anything. Call on me for professional services.

Still this Obama thing beats me!

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