If I was to ask you to tell me what your best Christmas was, I can bet my beautiful black ass that you will not mention any Christmas that was posted on Facebook in real time. The best Christmases happened back in those days we remember in sepia-tinted flashbacks. Memories the colour of old newspaper pages. When the world was still in black and white and the only thing that mattered was just how many chapos your sister could roll from a 2kg packet of EXE. But then I would bet this ass of mine on such a thing because those are the only Christmases I have ever really celebrated. Christmas was more than just a holiday, it was an event that started the moment Jamhuri Day ended. It started when Father Christmas (we never called than man Santa) rode on a train in that CocaCola ad –  remember it? I do not celebrate Christmas anymore. Not because ati I stopped believing in the fairytale of a white beared man with a stomach the size of Game of Throne’s viewership sliding down a chimney to give us gifts for being good kids. No. Nothing like that. The concept of Santa Claus has always been too irrational for me to believe because; one, we never had chimneys in our house, two, we were always naughty throughout the year so we did not expect him, and three, (courtesy of Born a Crime by Trevor Noah) there is no way my mother would ever allow another man to take credit for the gifts she bought.

At a time like this, about one week to Christmas, we’d start planning all matters decorations. Because of the kind of person my father was, our house was always full during this time with relatives we called Uncle and Aunty even though I did not know how exactly we were related. They were mostly from shagz – chaps who the old man was paying school fees for and had closed school for the holiday break. These guys did not take part in decorations. As far as I can remember, the guys who handled decor were my other siblings. They folded strips of coloured paper into each other and then stretched them to reveal a zigzag pattern that would be hung on the wall. For the life of me, I could never get this thing right. When I tried, my elder bro Nimrod would undo my patterns because I did not get the edges right. Either they were too sharp or too curly. To me, they all looked the same.

What I knew how to do well though, was to blow balloons. I’d fill those elastic pieces of rubber with all the oxygen in me. I would do it dutifully as if I was being paid. Then I’d tie a string around the neck and give them to Nim and the crew to hang. Sometimes a balloon would burst in my face and the rubber would slap my cheeks with the fury of a scorned woman’s vengeance. That shit hurt bana. But there was nothing more fun than filling a ballon with air and then letting the air out while stretching the neck, so that the air came out sounding like a fart.

These house decoration things were really just a competition, in hindsight. It was just about who decorated their house more. Or better. But then during those days, there was not much difference between more and better. More was better. You’d walk into your friends’ house days before Christmas and they had sparse decor and you’d ask, “Kwani you are not done or what? Us we finished kitaaaambo.” because back home, our walls were leaking with Christmas decorations. Then they would make excuses about their elder siblings refusing to do the work, when in actual sense, they did not have enough paper or balloons. It was one of those childlike ignorances that hid the fact that not everyone’s father was a honcho at KRA like yours. The complications of economic inequality were as lost to you as honesty is to a Kenyan government.

Safaricom Christmas, Christmas Eve, Deo

I must have been this high on this Christmas.

However, despite not having enough decorations, there was one thing that never lacked in any Migosi household during Christmas. A Christmas Tree. They were not the plastic ones that people buy from supermarkets. And actually, they were not even trees at all. They were branches of cedar trees. Getting the right Christmas tree was an adventure. 24th of December was the day boys from the hood would leave their houses with pangas, walking around like child militia, scouring people’s houses. If you did not know what was going on at the time and then you saw a bunch of kids with machetes outside your gate, I would forgive you for imagining that they had been sent for your head. But you would be wrong. Those kids were not interested in your house, or head(s) (hehehe), but rather, your fence.

The holidays were a hectic time for people with live fences, especially people with live fences made of cedar trees. It was hectic because we never really asked for permission to cut the trees. Nobody would ever give you a nod to cut down their fence – and then what? Wait for like 3 more months for a gaping hole in your fence to grow again? Never. So that created a conundrum. What do we care more about? Your fence or having a Christmas tree for Christmas all the way to New Year’s? The answer is everyone’s guess. We would just rob people of their fences.

Because we were good thieves, we did not steal a lot of fence from one person. I mean, it was Christmas time. During Christmas, even thieves develop a conscience. Including the government. Come to think of it, in the entire history of the world, which money-laundering scandal ever happened on Christmas? None. There may be a scandal that happened because of Christmas, but never on Christmas. So even us, we robbed people, but we robbed with a little shame. We steal from this one neighbour trees enough for two families and then go to the next house to steal from there. Like that like that. And we’d know which compound to relieve of its fences because we had been scouting them since June.

The other rule about robbing fences was that you do not rob from near your hood. You go to steal from other neighborhoods. So for Migosi Site people, we would go those sides for either Ezra Gumbe Primary School, Kapenesa, Car Wash or White Gate.

To hunt Christmas Trees you have to go in a pack. It is a herd activity for many reasons. Mostly security reasons. First one is that if kids from those areas came after you, you’d find security in numbers. We invented Tyranny of Numbers long before Mutahi Ngunyi made it cool. Then of course for look-out purposes. Two people would climb the trees to cut down Christmas trees and then other people would be on the look-out.

We’d take turns between who is cutting down the trees and who is standing guard. Trust me, you did not want to be the guy going up the tree to cut branches. If the owner of the house whose fence you were stealing from caught you, you were on your own. You had two options – stay up the tree and hide in the leaves as others run, hoping against all hope that he thinks you have run away with the rest…or take your chances with gravity; jump down and cut. If you got injured, you would be left behind. Our loyalties did not run that deep. Your fate then would belong to the Lord in whose name you were stealing Christmas trees. It was nothing personal by the way, it was a matter of life or death and there was really no point of all of us getting caught. Look at the bigger picture; someone had to survive to compose poetry and songs about your sacrifice and valor.

And quite frankly, it is selfish to ask other people to die for you. Kwani who are you? Nelson Mandela? Even Jesus – the Son of Man, begotten of a virgin, first born of the dead, sitting on the right hand side of the Father! – was denied by his best friend. Not even once, not even twice. But three times. You you are denied once and you want to cry here. Please, be humble, eh?

We got away with this thievery, more often than not. Thankfully. And after a long day hunting for the perfect Christmas Tree, we would drag them home the way a hunter drags home his kill – with joy and pride, with a sense of accomplishment of providing for the family. We would get home to the taste of fried meat soaking the air. The air always tasted delicious during Christmas time. Then we’d go to the kitchen to ask for the chapos that have already been cooked. My sister would give me some because I deserved it. I earned that shit. Later on that Christmas tree would be erected into a tiny bucket, supported with rocks and sand until it could stand upright on its own. We’d wrap those coloured paper decorations, balloons, pieces of cotton and Christmas lights all over it until it came alive like a little glistening city in the distance.

It is next to this Christmas tree that family photos would be taken. We never paid attention to the size’ in our eyes, it was twenty feet high. The area photographer would ride in with his bicycle and take photos of all of us standing next to this tree. You had just one chance to look good, because these were not days when the photographer would waste negatives taking snaps of the same person making different faces. He would call you for your turn, you stand there with big smiles, new clothes and uplifted spirits and you’d watch him kneel on one knee (photographers always kneel) like he is receiving a knighthood and then click – a Christmas memory was frozen. Many others would then pose next to this tree not knowing just how much we risked our lives for them to enjoy this privilege. But since we were big men, magnanimous men trapped in the body of 10 year olds, we never mentioned anything about the robberies. We just let everyone enjoy the Christmas we’d made happen. We did not take credit or brag. Man, we were superheroes! By the New Year, this tree would have withered, its green faded away with the old year into yellow, then into nothing. The leaves would fall off, and the Christmas tree would be undressed into nothing more than a skeleton of dry sticks. The balloons would have deflated by then, and some of the decorations would have started to fall. A metaphor to remind you of the many things that never make it into the new year. 

Safaricom Christmas, Christmas Eve, Deo

My bro Deo on the Christmas of 2003. Next to him is a decorated vandalized property

Yet on Christmas Eve, somewhere close to midnight, we’d congregate at our normal rendezvous point and look up into the sky and wait for Father Christmas. Normally he would not come. But then once, in 2002 I think, long before we knew much about the galaxy a shooting star shot across the sky. And we spent the rest of the following year swearing that we had seen Father Christmas fly on his way to Amerka.

***

I do not celebrate Christmas anymore. My robbing days are now behind me. Thank sweet Jesus we got away with that murder. These days all I need to complete my Christmas are the new pairs of shoes my sister brings me from Amerka every year. I wonder how kids celebrate Christmas today. I wonder whether it is the same for them like it was for me. I wonder how long Christmas lasts, because for me it never ended until after January 2nd when those annoying Back 2 Skul offers came on TV to replace the jingles and fan fare of the holidays – kwanza Bata Shoes were the worst culprits.

For me, there is no such thing as a favourite Christmas ever. However, I have favourite recollections from many Christmases. But that is just me. What about you? What is your favourite Christmas story? Were you in a band of Christmas Eve delinquents as well? Comment below on the Facebook section and tell Safaricom all about it. Use the hashtags #SafaricomXmas and #HomeIsWhereTheHeartIsYou might win yourself a beautiful Christmas memory.  Could be a brand new phone or bucketloads of airtime. So that someday when your kids ask you to tell them about Christmas, you will ask them to gather around your feet, and you will begin your story the way all good stories begin;

“A long long time ago…”


About Author

I am a writer. I was not blessed with much, but I was given this ardent love for writing that I just can't shake off. And anyone who tries to make me do that deserves a bruise on his/her neck. I write for a living, yes. But I also write to live.

30 Comments

  1. “The complications of economic inequality were as lost to you as honesty is to a Kenyan government” favorite line lol anyway I got to agree with you I miss those mandatory christmas photos with the new dress and a stern warning from your mum to smile and kiki keth pesa na (i know my luo is wanting) anyway another great piece

  2. I couldn’t help but notice how your Christmas was way familiar to me. Too bad this current non-millenial generation cannot experience Christmas

  3. Too much nostalgia in a single read! All so very relatable. I also remembered of Christmases we would go to my aunt’s. There was a river nearby. How we loved to go fishing there! So this particular Christmas we ( my cousin, my brother and I) woke up quite early to go fish for extra delicacies in the menu ( fissss). As we were going about the fishy business (pun intended), my brother slid in the river but swam his way out. Mistake. Mama would go ballistic if she knew he “almost drowned” in the river. We had to think quick. The cousin, a lady mind you, ran back home and brought him HER clothes. A flowered top and some baggy hipster. We had never laughed so hard before. And again, we had never received such a beating like we did before. On Christmas Day. Oh, memories!

  4. it was 2007,the year of God,having put weight of 8years of my primary school behind my back i was unstoppable..i was 14days old into manhood not factoring 10days spent recuperating from the atrocities of ‘circumsiser’s’ blade…and on a chilly morning chrismas day i was to be usher back to my parents having undergone the process of bravery and my walking style,clean shaven and new savco jeans was the visible evidence….how can i forget a chrismas my privates werd put to trial

  5. A Long Time ago, Magunga For us Christmas day started at exactly 1200am, on 24th we would trans night our asses off in our Gramothers house as we wait for Baby Jesus to born. Grandmas endless stories would keep us awake and we would also peep outside to see if there is The star moving guiding the Wisen. Our Grandpa would be snoring in the next room because he drank one too many of the local Brew, Muratina was always in plenty during the Christmas Time. But I remember others our Aunties as u call them would keep us awake on the Christmas Eve making us remove Minji from their nasty pouches, that work is always hectic like Unblocking a sewer line .Morning would find us and thelats the moment you been waiting for as a Boy u Rush to the pen and keep an eye on the Hegoat that is going to be slaughtered obvias the Moment you have been waiting for. There was that excitement of Seeing it being Tied down and the Fathers pinning it down, as a boy you would hold the Sufuria close to the neck as u Collect the Poor Things blood not regretting why it is Being Killed.That’s Where courage for Blood came from now I am the one who Cuts the Neck. From there the Homestead is like a bee hive being called here there go fetch something/some relatives who forgot where u live and they are stranded at the Shopping Centre. Lateron you Realize that Appetite of yours Failed you and u end up eating very little. Our Memories run up to date 26 boxing day of which I don’t know why it is even a holiday. That is the day your appetite is back 100% and the only thing you can feast is some left oves Goat Head and the Skin and The Balls , yeah those thing are nice and Sweet you just need Kachumbari
    #HomeIsWhereTheHeartIs
    #SafaricomXmas

  6. My perfect Christmas would start on the eve of Christmas. We would do decos at our houses and church.
    The ultimate achievement then for me (and us) as kids was to get to serve as Altar Boys in that xmas eve vigil mass. Nothing could beat that. And it wasn’t easy. Out of about 50 Altar Boys, only 4 could make the final list. It was really prestigious to be the ones infront and being able to watch the Christmas play clearly. It was a big thing. Even none-church goers would come to mass annually specifically for the xmas play.

    Then on the morning of Christmas day, we would dorn our neatly-pressed new ‘christmas outfits’ and rock our neighbourhoods. We would spend the whole day feasting all around homes in the neighbourhood.
    In the evening,everybody would dash to their homes for the climax fete awaiting us at our homes.

    Perfect Christmas !

  7. I was 12 years old. Father had been sick all year. Life at home had changed completely. On this Christmas though, I think father knew it would be his last. Weak as he was he asked us all to pack our bags as he’d be taking us somewhere for the Christmas holidays. We had always wanted to go to fort Portal(Uganda) for Christmas and on that year he took us there . And for the entire week spent at that place as a family we forgot for a minute that he was sick. It was my best Christmas, needless to say 6 months later he was no more. It has remained over the years to be the best Christmas I ever had.
    #SafaricomXmas
    #HomeIsWheretheHeartIs

  8. After reading this post, I sat down and tried to sift through memory to grab which would be the most memorable Christmas I have had. Memorable. Vivid. Playing at the back of my mind like a symphony on loop. That would be the Christmas of 1999. I was 6. Perhaps, it’s the most memorable because it was my first Christmas – I had been too young for the others to make a difference. I was in class one at Migosi Primary school that year. It had been rough on me – seeing mum less often (don’t laugh, but I had attended the same nursery school she was a teacher in). So, naturally, the Christmas break was the time to play catch up. The eve of Christmas day is where it all started to make a difference. As the aroma of the chapati wafted and filled every crevice of the house, my siblings and I jumped around excitedly and hovered too close to the kitched; we go a new high from the rewards of bits of chapati pinched and stuffed into our mouths. That’s how Diana, mother’s younger sister who was making the chapatis, became my favourite Aunt. The Christmas day came and the usual ritual kicked in – church, visit relatives who stay around, etc. A seamless process that has evolved over the years with regard to the participants, but has not changed. And in all my twenty three years of existence, there can’t seem to be a Christmas I have spent away from family.

  9. Christmas day is my birthday so I probably always have the best Christmas each year so I should probably tell you my worst. But then that would ruin the question wouldn’t it??? I hope that satisfies a good short story!!!

  10. The Robbers of Christmas Eve….My cousins and I had gone visiting grany (RIP) in Kaimosi, I was around 7 years old and the eldest amongst us was kitu 17. So granny left us home on this particular day 24th to go to those church gatherings that they never want to miss for some reason. She knew she would be coming home early as she had left her “town grandchildren” home alone, we were like 7 of us. Too bad it started raining heavily, Ile mvua ya mawe and that meant granny couldn’t make it home in time, this went till around 7:30pm, we started worrying on what we would have for dinner as everybody complained of hunger, bahati mzuri au mbaya the neighbors cock (jogoo) ended up in our kitchen (I think it was just our lucky day) , you know those shags kitchens are always outside the main house….haha to cut the long story short the jogoo ended up in the sufuria, it didn’t end there, we decided we don’t want Ugali, my cousin (Oloo) the eldest one and the one who came up with the idea we chinja Kuku ya wenyewe, again decided to go to the nearby shop and told the shopkeeper that granny had sent him for unga ngano atalipa the next day. Hehe just like that shosh came home at around 9,found us feasting on Kuku na chapos ( io Kuku ata haikuiva vizuri), viboko tulipata io usiku, no one could sit up straight on the 25th, ata we didn’t go to church….shosh had to pay for the jogoo and the 2kg unga ngano…..the story still goes on to date! Most memorable Christmas to date!

    R. I. P shosh *sob*

  11. This post reminded me of that Christmas…I cannot clearly recall what year it was, but my uncle had just graduated from Egerton University and it was in the late 90s. My bother and I were toddlers at the time. So for his “homecoming”, he was dressed in his graduation gown and some goodies (a box of ballgums…zile zilikua ndogo sana, you would think they are priton pills and two would go for 50 cents). I tell you we sat around him chewing the ballgums like they were the fruits of his success. It was Christmas time and we also had our Christmas tree (it was an actual tree planted at a corner of the homestead decorated with zile stuff za graduation and cotton wool….*how lame*, and off-festive season would serve as a place we would lay our laundry to dry). So we took turns to take pics near the tree with his graduation cap, chewing gum and vowed we would go to Egerton University, where ballgums came from

  12. There was this time in primary school, when I had been promised a bike if I performed well in the end term exams (these were the days bikes had the effects of cars on our crushes. You rode one past your crush with your hands off the handlebars with a nonchalant expression and voilà, she would be head over heels)

    Now, I didn’t have one yet, so I used to borrow from my cousin in the next estate to ride in ours (he was/is football crazed so he didn’t ride much).

    That term I forgot about lazing around boss, you can’t have the opportunity to own the newest bike over the Christmas period and concern yourself with bano(okay, I played a little bano). I used to wake up at 5 to cram the planets in that dumb pnemonic the teacher created.

    Results came out and guess what,😏
    Man like me was 3rd in class. I headed home with the report card in my shirt pocket. I presented it to Ma immediately I arrived and started fantasizing about riding past Shiko, the crush, freestyle(as we called it).

    However, there was a small glitch (as there always is😒) Dad was the one to pay and he’d gone to the other end of the country for work and Ma wasn’t being clear about when he was coming back. Long story short, I sulked for pretty much the rest of the holiday until Christmas morning, while we were cleaning up for church, I heard the doorbell sound.

    Since I was discreetly trying to catch up on cartoons before my sisters were finished with the bathroom, I went to open the door and, there stood my old man, bike in hand🙌🏾.

    All church preparations were temporarily abandoned. I had to take it out for the first spin, albeit quickly before Ma noticed that I was making them late. Needless to say, that is still my favorite Christmas to date.

    #SafaricomXmas
    #HomeIsWhereTheHeartIs

  13. My favorite christmas story is funny and sad, haha, so, in 2010 as soon as i joined college, one of my hood friends convinced me that there is no party like an Athi river christmas party,i was used to travelling to shags all holidays so i figured, why not? siendi ocha, my mum was so pissed to hear i’m not going with her,”mum, i will join you later, let me stay one more day” “unabaki ukifanya?” she gave me sh500 for fare for when i decide to go and left(my shags is 200bob max from cbd) this was on the 24th, as soon my mum left, i joined the boys and later, us those, dunda, some dope club in kite, i got only 5sok that i was left with ya fare, voices in my head be like, “you will just order two beers and the rest of the drinks will flow from all corners of this place, huwezi kosa mtu unajua, na watu wana pesa, ni holiday”, lol, weeh, i nyonyad, two guiness mpaka asubuhi, ushawai nyonya chupa mbili mpaka asubuhi? the friend who chochad me to stay around it will be lit didn’t even throw a round, smh, i went home with 50 bob that morning, no food, no fare to shags, the whole buroti smells chapo and nyama but huku si ushago, you can’t go knocking peoples doors for some christmas food…my mum called to wish me a merry christmas, guess what? i swallowed my pride, “mum si unitumie hata mia tatu nibuy ka nyama nienjoy ka wengine?” “nyama imejaa huku na unataka kubuy si ulikataa kukuja? utapata ya mia
    mbili?” “eeh, hio hata ni mingi” …guess what i did with the 2sok? yap, nilikua ocha by jioni…. usiwai baki nairobi christmas bila doo my friend.

  14. Gabriel Mwendwa on

    Ohhh yes! Christmas moments. The one I vividly recall clearly like it was yesterday was the way back in 2005, my cousins came to shagz with ‘baluti’ which we did blast them on the 24th eve to Xmas day.. We did this exactly at midnight to celebrate the birth of Jesus. We then marched to our church to enjoy some dancing with other church members until kitu 2 am when we will go back to our home to sleep.. On 25th we woke up early in the morning to go to church where we recited our Bible verses which we had memorised. When the service was over, we went to the market to hang around and from the shillings we had saved from the offerings we were given, we bought the longest sugarcanes. We chewed on our way home where the sugar juice would stick to our clothes which changed colour like the litmus paper! We would still buy some kaimatis from a mama who was baking in our neighborhood..
    #SafaricomXmas
    #HomeIsWhereTheHeartIs

  15. If I remember well,this was the only Christmas I cried. I was 7 years old then. I woke up early that day and spotted a bike next to my neighbors door,without thinking twice I went took it and rode it for about half an hour before my neighbor came out of the house crying saying there’s no bike,her father went to the parking and saw a boy in pj’s riding that bike. He took me to my mum and my mum wasted no time with the slippers and mwiko. I was beaten till I went back to sleep. Later during the day we went to wimpy and got myself one of those big balloons. 😁

  16. I can’t quite think of any favourite Christmas moments because I’m that weirdo that hated large family gatherings with all the accompanying unnecessary drama and hullabaloo. The loud laughter; the being forced to remember relatives you have never seen your entire life; the ghastly slaughtering of chicken and goats followed by the charring of their flesh all in the name of “celebrating”. I won’t even mention the smell from chapati smoke that left you feeling nauseated and bloated. Then as if that wasn’t enough, you’d be forced to dress up in uncormfotable new apparel (nguo za Christmas) and go for mass early in the morning. Ugh!

    So this year will be my favourite Christmas of all time mostly because I will spend it alone; in an old baggy T-shirt (no pants) and fluffy socks, eating a messy chicken burger and cold fanta orange, watching Cartoons and Sitcoms the entire day 🙌

  17. So this one Christmas when I was in class 7 refuses to leave my mind .Mum buys material and we are forced to have matching suits (from that Luo tailor)something I detested . Dad is a medic and he hated going to the barber so we are forced to have a scissor’s shave( oooh the pinch from the scissors)our heads look like ploughed land ready for planting. On Christmas day we troop to church with out potato fields heads and oversized double breast suits(dad did not and has never put on his own suit) We get to church amid protestations from me and by coincidence we sit next to this girl from school whom I had a crush on, that day that church service was the longest ,I never followed as all i was thinking how the girl viewed my whacky new Sunday trend( I never talked to her so I don’t know what she thought). Back home the surprises were far from over. Dad left for work after church and comes back at noon with a whole bale pack of exe(that one that holds 24 packets of 2kgs and is half a person in height) filled with kangumus, on his yellow Gk Suzuki 125 motorbike that belched out smoke that would put panpaper mills chimneys to shame. Hapa ndio unajua wewe ni mtoto wa mluhya.We ate those kangumus till the new year. To date I love kangumus but I detest locally assembled suits and scissor cuts. Love you dad and mum#homeiswhereurheartis

  18. My favourite christmas is from when i was 8 years old, It was the first time spending christmas in the village. On the very Christmas day we were to attend church before celebrations commenced “to lasma tutungie ngai muveya kwa sikukuu” (we must give God thanks for the celebrations) my grandma would say. Church was within walking distance “no vaa” (do not believe a kamba when the say this) but my cousins and I left early so that we could walk leisurely. Half way there they decided we could with a detour. Other than the food, christmas in Ukambani means mangoes. Sisi hao through the shambas (black jacks making a home off my socks) like Escobar escaping La Catedral. Finally we get to the mangoes and up the tree, went the boys and from there they threw the mangoes. The very devil that had us take a detour had the boys dare us to climb the tree. It being chirstmas we had to toklezea, neti neti dress. knee length socks, hat with elastic that threatened to end your life at a moments notice and glitter on the cheek that excited my grandfather and he’d say ‘wi tisa tisa ta ndata’ ( you sparkling like a star). At first we all refused but the tomboy in me had me up the tree like I was a monkey in a previous life. Coming down, i tore my dress and since we couldn’t go back home had to go as it was. Somehow we made it for the presentations for which we were a part of but as fate would have it my mum (family) had already arrived. Clutching my torn, mango-juice stained dress we made it to the front and joined the rest of the kids. All the while mama was throwing the ‘wait we get home glances’. After the perfomance she signalled me to meet her outside, i tried looking at my grandma hoping to send an SOS, wapi. Outside, I was taken to the back of the church and whooped a good one. I spent that christmas sulking. To this day we laugh over that story during every Christmas.
    #HomeTsWhereTheHeartIs #SafaricomXmas

  19. This post makes me very nostalgic. Takes me back to the mid 90’s when my paternal grandfather was still alive. All our relatives would congregate at my grandfather’s place on Christmas eve. My grandfather would slaughter one of his goats. The best part of this goaty episode was roast time. All the children, yours truly included would not leave my grandpa’s side. I don’t know of this hyena manners were due to prolonged episodes of not eating meat during the year or plain lust for meat .. He would choose the fatty pieces and roast for us .we would eat gleefully not knowing that this was an elimination method to reduce consumption on our part. You do not want to know what would happen thereafter because once done eating the roast meat ( we were not done actually, the fatty meat did us)we would now troop to ‘sleep’ in our grandma’s hut. I said ‘sleep’ because the sleep episode would be marked my midnight visits to the toilet for the ‘warfare’. At this time our mothers would be cooking chapatis but the present predicament we were being subjected to by the fatty meat would banish the thought of even wanting to ask to taste the chapos. My grandfather would at this time be laughing at us whenever any of us requested for his escort to the pit latrine .. We had “unlimited supply of data bundlesbundlesl” if u know what I mean.. Diarrhea at its peak. If u didn’t diarrhea but showed overfeeding symptoms my grandma was always ready to give you a condition made of special ash and you would puke the daylights out of you.. I don’t think such a phrase exists but it existed then. Nway on Christmas morning we would wake up hungry having “downloaded” last night’s food. You would be spoilt for choice on what to feast on. The most favourite part of this day was when my uncles would bring out their music systems and we would dance to south African music by Ntombi Marumbini and the best dancer would be given fifty shillings by my grandfather. How I wish he was still alive we miss the fatty roast meat and the night episodes we had on Christmas eve.
    #SafaricomXmas
    #HomeIsWhereTheHeartIs

  20. My favourite Christmas should be ile ya 1998. Was my first time visiting the grandparents(momma’s side) in some remote village in Uganda. Now, we (me and my 2 bros) were the cool kids…flashy clothes and all. (Lol. Mum had selected the best of our clothes for this journey) Christmas started immediately we arrived. I couldn’t count the number of chicken slaughtered from since we arrived, which was around Jamuhuri, to when we left, around 5th Jan. Every day was an adventure; visiting different homes and being introduced to new “aunts” and “cousins”… which again…came with chicken.(Please understand, I’m a luhya)
    Now on the D-day…being woken up in the morning because I’m late for eating. No, not breakfast. 25th was solely a day for eating. At around 8, I saw for the very first time, a bull being slaughtered. Around 10 muscular men holding the bull with sticks and it’s legs had been tied up in a very funny fashion. Io ilikua movie. After church(I would have bragged about nguo ya kofia na kibeti,and my new pumps,but I doubt you would understand).Now the best part, mum actually let me swim in the river that afternoon! Oh God, I wanna be six again. #SafaricomXmas #HomeIsWhereTheHeartIs Magunga please make this one memorable🙏

  21. Jerome Onyango on

    2005 is the year. Christmas is known for plentiful food. My mama always made chapos and kuku, it was our favorite. Each and every Christmas that can register in my mind is chapo and kuku but on 25th Dec of 2005 tulidandia food at a neighbour’s house. I still cannot find the right words to describe the food but it was something like this, boiled chicken dipped in semi-thick mixture of wheat flour and water. It looked like uji. We were there to watch as the process went on. We parted with a piece each, chips and a mug of juice. It is the best meal I’ve ever had in my lifetime.

  22. It was the Christmas of 2010,I was 19,a teenager who had finished high school about 2 years before….I thought I knew everything.Christmas has always been about family to us.Everybody is home on that day but on this particular day it was different for me especially.I was frustrated because my parents had not shown any interest of taking me to college so as I result I had become rude to my mom especially…si you know teenagers.on this particular morning she says I am disrespecting her,I argue back.,we throw words at each other and I remember saying najuanga unipendi and going to the store and taking some cattle spray from the bottle…
    Next thing I remember I was in an hospital bed and my mum was the first personn I saw,she was crying and telling me she loves me and I start crying saying forgive me mother….it took me near death to realize the love that woman has for me and this Christmas being the first Christmas am away from home ,I wish I could get her a phone because she always tells she wants a phone that I can send pictures of myself or the foods I prepare at work …this christmas I want her to be happy despite the fact that I won’t be there to make her#home is where the heart is#Safaricomxmas#Memoriesaremadeofthese

  23. We always spent Christmas with our grandparents,whether you liked it or not.The whole lot of us,cousins,parents,aunts,uncles.My best Christmas is when my grandmother would hide the sweets you had brought with you as part of the shopping and hide them till the afternoon.This is how she would dish out those eclairs….throw them up in the air.Some would land in thorned bushes or thick tree leaves,but the 8-10 of us would all scramble for them and what a joy it was just counting how many sweets you had collected that year….:-):-)

  24. We all love Christmas and my most memorable moments of Christmas, Are the scanty memories of me in Safari boots and a high waist 05 jeans. The year 2005 , was it for the first time I would go to play out with Chapo in my hands without my friends asking for pinches and accusing me of being selfish. We lived in a neighbourhood where every mother had prepared Chapo to avoid “Aibu”
    Wed later go for a face painting and I would win a dancing competition on a coca cola truck get awarded an oversize Tshirt that I have kept to date.

    2005 was that Christmas.

  25. I  saw this post is didn’t have to think through on which Christmas was my favourite,as a child i was very playful that one couldn’t differentiate  whether I was a boy or girl.On that very year Christmas happened to be a Sunday and as always we had to do a few presentations in  church,my sister and I had a skit to present so we got on the podium ando guess what the unexpected happened my sister fainted and I continued with the presentation as that’s how the skit was set to start,thinking that she hasn’t  realised that it’s her turn to talk,I took up both roles as Joseph and Mary as my sister was Mary in the play.since it was a 5 minutes play I finished and thanked the audience only to realise that my sisters case was serious unlike I had thought.Our Sunday teacher  came by and handed themail mic to the moderator and carried my sister.The audience clapped thinking that was her role in the play.It took a few minutes for her to recover after first aid.At the end of the service everyone congratulate us and as Africans we bless kids with a gift or a few coins,that brightened our Christmas and turn to be one of our favourite, unless you’ve been a victim of circumstance you know how good a kid feels when gifted a few coins.
    #homeiswheretheheartis #SafaricomXmas

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