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We are grazing our herds and cannot swim because the river has broken its banks and swallowed the pocket where we swim. We are throwing pebbles into the water. Lumbasi is saying very little because his parents beat each other last night and nobody wants to ask him things. He is back because he cannot play with his father the whole day. We have postponed our lecture to him because anything confrontational and he will cry badly. It is enough that he cried and screamed last night calling on neighbours to come and separate his parents.
As we throw pebbles, we start singing are you gonna dansi yo if I show you my moni? It is Lumbasi’s song and we are singing in high voices and we are now throwing pebbles in sync. And we are rocking back and forth. Lumbasi’s face is an ember that slowly becomes a huge fire. He is now up, holding an imaginary microphone. Lumbasi is now Wizkid promising to take us to Dubai, Mumbai. Lumbasi is now dancing, holding his crouch and shaking his head. We are cheering. We are shouting, Wizkid! Wizkid! Wizkid! Take us! Take us! We are all up now and shaking, showing our bodies baby and jumping and clapping and squatting.
Wizkid’s electric performance ends abruptly when we see some cows trying to sneak into the adjacent sugarcane farm belonging to the sub chief. We all know too well that we shall be flogged at the chief’s camp if those cows taste even a leaf.
We get home when the sun is just sinking to sleep and the village children are singing excitedly, Uhuru for president! We love you! Sifuna shakes his head and says, but Uhuru is president already, stupid children. But the children are like calves on the loose, jumping, kicking, running in circles and playing oringo and praising the president. The little monsters are uncontainable in their furious energies.
Timina’s home is the first and as she bids us goodbye, she says we shouldn’t leave her the next day on our way to school. But Sitokho who sells charcoal is on his bicycle and stops to tell us the president has said there will be no school till further notice.
The news sends us dancing and singing are you gonna dansi yo if I show my woleeet. Show me your body yo. Dance fo me o. Can’t you see what am feeling? And other village children are
singing Uhuru for president! And the village becomes alive even as darkness forcefully caves in and all of us seem to forget that when we shout in the dark, the evil spirits will steal our voices and souls.