The Idle Thoughts Of An Idle Farmer

Now, on the subject of farming, I can hold my own. Hand me a piece of land and some rainfall and I will be capable of growing food. Farming is one of my gifts. I have a deep connection with the soil.

Owning a pair green fingers is a big deal in this finger twitching, tech savvy, digital generation. I know more people than I care to count who are incapable of tending to a basic houseplant. Leave a plant in their care and consider it dead.

Water Has No Enemy But It Has Owners

My favourite Fela Kuti song is, “Water, No Get Enemy”. There is a hypnotic saxophone that awakens dead nerves carrying through the number. It is from the album “Expensive shit”. In Nairobi, water has enemies and owners. I was thinking about expensive water bottles littering the road sides as I rolled back into the city from the December manenos, to be confronted by the disturbing news of an imminent water shortage. I only get the city supply once a week, so this was not good news. News reports warned; Nairobi to face dry months ahead. Panic!

Act Like A Man, Be Like A Tree

I love trees. As a kid, I would climb them, explore them as though they were an elaborate labyrinth of branches. Trees were treated like personal friends, always ready to play. I would find resting spots, where I could just chill, places to hide, places to play and branches to swing off inspired by Tarzan, the white monkey man. Many a time, we just sat, up there, killing boredom and doing absolutely nothing else.

There were trees in Nairobi where we lived, off Ngong Road. A big tree that had ridges on its trunk burrowed by industrious termites. It had vantage top branches with steady places to perch and hang loose. My brother and I spent a lot of time up there.

In The Land Of Braves, Carry A Big Stick

Do one brave thing today…then run like hell

Bravery is a word only associated with special forces and male marital confessions. Confessing to your wife about an illicit affair is an act of bravery. Spontaneous bravery, where random men save elderly citizens from burning buildings are rarely heard of in the city.

One has to venture into the countryside where acts of bravery are an everyday affair. Fearless men still prowl the rural thickets. Acts that would be deemed literally foolish in the city are regular fare as a result of an uneasy relationship between man and wildlife.

In the country side,  men are expected to defend their homesteads against any dangers. From lurking cattle thieves, granary plunderers, pesky night runners to wild animals. Real men sleep with weapons besides their beds because when the family faces danger, they are expected to be the first responders and usually the only, line of defense.

Time To Climb Down From Ivory Towers

A cast of international celebrities were reported to be headed to Nairobi. Hollywood A-listers Leonardo Di Caprio, Nicole Kidman, Billionaire philanthropists, George Soros, Paul Allen, Michael Bloomberg and Howard Buffet, flamboyant Elton John, ex NBA athlete Yao Ming and the voice of conservation BBC’s Sir David Attenborough. That is only half the list. It read like a guest list to an invite only destination wedding for the hideously rich and famous.

The big deal was Kenya’s burning of 105 tonnes of ivory and 1.35 tonnes of rhino horn at the Nairobi National Park. The biggest ivory stockpile ever set ablaze and reportedly Kenya’s entire stash. A historic gesture by any measure.  Experts estimated it was the equivalent of 9000 elephants that when placed in a single file would measure 30 miles, the distance from Nairobi to Thika town. It was so much ivory that it took a week to stack up it into towers ready to be burned. All these great beasts, murdered for their tusks in the past decade.