Abina, a beautiful young lady from Ghana, was having lunch with her best friend Njogu, the first young man she could honestly say was more interested in her business acumen than her bust. They met fortnightly to discuss business opportunities in Ghana and Kenya that can most likely take root in England and make them rich. Abina loved these meetings, because even though for the last year they’ve met regularly and haven’t come up with any concrete plans, Njogu was informed, intelligent and aware of legal requirements for almost all things. The meeting today was to come up with ideas to open a recruitment agency.
Half way through their lunch Abina’s ex-husband’s sister’s boyfriend, Harvey, walked in the pub. He was very fond of Abina and was always introducing her to potential future boyfriends; Abina was always too polite to tell him to knock it off and that she preferred black men. After the usual pleasantries Abina introduced the two men. Harvey looked aback when he heard Abina’s lunch buddy was called Njogu.
“Njogu?” he looked puzzled.
At that moment Njogu was regretting not telling Abina he preferred his first name when being introduced to white people, or his soon to be new name Clinton Bull. It’s very disconcerting when a white person can tell your tribe just from your name.
That night Harvey called Abina and asked to meet her because he wanted to warn her about Njogu.
“Do you know him?”
“No, but if he’s from where I think he’s from then we need to talk. But first ask him if he’s from Kenya and from a tribe called kikuyu,” he paused for an eternity, “if the answer is yes, then we most definitely need to talk.” Abina couldn’t sleep for days. She googled kikuyu and the information she got was generic and wondered what Harvey knew that she and google didn’t, and why he freaks every time he asks her about Njogu.
A few days later Abina and Harvey sat at Wetherspoons gobbling down burgers, chips and beer.
“So, what is it about Njogu that gets you so wound up?”
“I was born in Kenya.”
“I didn’t know that, but so what?”
“Let me tell you what I know about the kikuyu; or rather what my father warned us against the kikuyu. I lived in Kenya for the first 10 years of my life, so all my friends were chosen for me, we only socialised with our kind, sad but true. We moved back to England before I had a chance to make my own friends and my own decisions about them, but a cheetah cannot change it spots….”
“What on earth are you talking about? What has Njogu got…”
Harvey cut in… “Kikuyus are conniving. Don’t trust them when they befriend you; they are usually after something.”
“I think that’s human nature!” Abina interjected. “Nobody wants nothing!”
“They are sly…”
Abina interjected again, this time more forcefully and ready to defend this tribe that Harvey was hell bent on destroying, “did a kikuyu person hurt you so badly that you intend to tarnish any kikuyu walking the earth? You are generalising and its unfair …… ”
“Let me ask you something. If you are walking down the street and you notice a person looking up to the sky in wonderment, what would you do?” Harvey asked abrasively.
“Why?” asked a bewildered Abina. It was now becoming a battle of who can speak the loudest and fastest.
In a calm but devilish tone, Harvey continued.
“A tested and well-known ruse is the sky gaze! A shrewd thieving kikuyu would look at the sky in wonderment. A few inquisitive onlookers would join him asking him what he was looking at. He would cook a story. Before you know it, a hundred people are looking at the sky making up stories as the crowd increases, in the meantime, the original kikuyu who started the whole gazing phenomenon is miles away somewhere in a street corner counting the notes he’s pickpocketed. They are hypocritical ruthless lying conmen who drink too much alcohol.”
“What the hell…..” Abina thought.
“Just be careful. This person is up to no good. When he finally turns on you, it will be very tempting not to say I told you so.”
“I guess the only positive thing my father taught us was that if you do business with them you are most likely to succeed, just don’t employ them as they will steal every penny!”
Abina knew there was more to this than Harvey was letting on, but she decided it won’t get in the way of her friendship with the best man friend she’s ever had. Stereotyping and bias are some of those human conditions that have no cure and people have to put up with. One thing is for sure though, Harvey has managed to, unwittingly, convince her that a trip to Kenya is a great idea and she couldn’t wait to meet the kikuyus, mingle and make merry. Talk about the trials and tribulations of being a kikuyu. The idea of having little kikuyus running around too became very appealing.