Nshenyi Village
  Bahima tribe

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The Story History Culture Language  

"... Growing up on a large farm of cows, goats, sheep and lots of crops, offered a lot of work engagement during school holiday time. Wild animals like zebras, antelopes, and some times a few scary ones like hippos, lions and leopards too were a part of life on our farm. We worked till the early part of the evening and not because we were lazy, but safety from prowling animals after evening was never guaranteed. As teenagers curiosity consumed a big part of our lives and the evenings, time when people our age else where would go messing around, we were resigned to the art of imagination. We dreamed of when our horizons would never ever be limited to the surrounding Nshenyi Village hills. Some of us fantasized of one day becoming world renown super stars in fields, that mainly were inspired by people we heard on radio. But as the years went by fantasies became a childish pastime that we scorned. We needed to expend our vital luxurious evening hours after work more sensibly. The nearest farm didn’t help that much, for it was located a mile away from ours. Sometimes we made adventurous trips to the neighbours but that was seldom. Then one day we discovered to our great amazement something that was always there, Grand pa’s hut.

    Grandpa lived about 100 meters from our farm house, in a well-dressed grass thatched hut. It was his castle of some sort, for he conducted himself therein with an air of a knight. There were different kinds of wall hangings, mainly of animal skins. He had been a hunter a million years before we ever were born and he had tales from history that span over 200 million years. Most of them he made up. Grandpa was in his seventies and the passing of time seemed to smile an eternal smile of youthfulness onto him. He was a yarn-spinner, our farm term for someone with a great knack for telling exciting stories. And grandpa made up for our lull evenings. He told tales of chivalry, hunting, wars, origins of things and one of our favourite was how he lost his wife.

    Grandpa had married a foreign woman. She was as foreign in the sense that she came from the neighbouring village. They were married for 28 years and according to him she was the ozone layer over his vast life of hunting, traveling, Grandpa's hutwarring and trade. He had a strange way of referring to people and the ozone layer seemed a thinly stretched metaphor. But grandpa never was at loss to redeem himself and so he made that reference a classic. He said that the woman of his passion and love had been always around him, but as the years went by the ozone layer started wearing off. He said: "Poor girl was getting too old for me and she never loved living on the edge anymore. She started worrying over so many things. One evening my lovely ozoie couldn’t get up. I persuaded her but she didn’t budge. She was passing on; dying right before my eyes. I couldn’t have it. I carried her in my arms to the edge of the Bara cliff. I cried and begged the moon to keep her for me. I couldn’t put my precious one six feet under. The moon accepted and she lifted out of my arms and went to live on the moon". To grown up teenagers this was one of the most far-fetched stories, but the conviction with which he spoke and the fact that, whenever someone objected, he would take them out into the moonlit night and show them a woman on the moon, made us believe grandpa. It made us believe so much that every school holiday we brought back home many friends to come to grandpa’s hut and hear the gripping stories.

    Now years have passed and we have grown up into men and women. Some of my siblings have turned out to be their childhood dreams, stars in their own right. Some have moved on to live in other countries. But Baba and I have stayed on. The memories of teenage of a hut that was lit with a hunter’s fire, who was also a great story teller, have kept our love for the farm life kindled. Grandpa went to be with his ozone layer up on the moon, but the hut that he lit literally with fire and great stories still stands. And Baba picked up from where grandpa left off. For you see, I was invited to write a story for an international farmers’ anecdotes festival. My story won and stole the headlines around the world.

    Nowadays people come from the furthest of places to sit and hear hearty stories in the hut on fire..."

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  The Story History Culture Language  

Nshenyi Village
"A cultural immersion in the heart of Africa"