This one is dedicated to one Beatrice Kivunga who was one of the funkiest house-helps my mum ever employed.
She loved to dance ‘chakacha’ and it was kawaida to find her doing her thing in front of dad’s gramophone player with a ‘leso’ tied around her hips. And she loved to read which for a ‘housie’ as I came to realise later, was quite remarkable. (Long before ‘Roots’ became a hit series, she had read the book). She could cook too.
However, the thing I loved best about her was her ability to nick-name almost anyone. There was “Kichwa Tofali” from the next court who earned this name because the registration of his car was KKT….and in my seven-year old mind I actually pictured him with a brick head
And there was “Dirishani” also from the next court who got his name coz he was always either peeping or just looking out of his bedroom window.
My favourite was “Doa”, “Spot”or “Spoti-Doa” whose nickname had the craziest origin. “Spoti-Doa” was our neighbour’s house-boy and he loved wearing this pair of tight-fitting maroon trousers which had a small, round, black dot just below his um….(well-endowed) bottom – on the right side to be precise. This black dot was visible only when he was walking and given it’s sensitive location I’m not sure how we even noticed it! I can’t remember his real name but wherever you are “Spot”, I salute you for all the laughs we enjoyed because of you.
It’s a pity Beatrice didn’t stay with us for very long and as it happens with all the really nice ones – she left to go start her own family.
p.s. When Beatrice left, Spot came calling. He had noted her absence and was looking for her – apparently he had the majorest crush on her. (He aimed rather high)When we told him that she had travelled back home he asked, “Mbitilesi atalundi?” which translates to “Beatrice atarudi?” or “Will Beatrice come back?” *Heart Break City* His life was never the same.