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Friday, April 16, 2010

A Letter from a K’Ogello Villager to Obama

I recently met with a colleague who happens to hail from K’Ogelo, a once sleeping village which now happens to be one of the most visited remote villages in Kenya, if not Africa. Besides talking with such air of buoyancy that I believe owes its origin to Obama’s triumphant and fairytale entry into White House, he (Awilo) had so much to say about how life has changed for the villagers in that area.

Never mind his list of “things which have changed” only included what I consider as trivialities like seeing high-end and state of the art – by his standard - vehicles that continue roaming around the area, new electricity poles dissecting the roadside, police posts which became necessary only after Barack Obama (who’s literally living the ‘American Dream’) got what the gods have always preserved for him.

Awilo also had enough and sweet words to say about the Wazungus (white people) who I consider lazy to some extent. Lazy because a plethora of them suddenly developed interest in knowing Obama’s roots and made the decision to fly to the blessed village. In their landing, they have been excelling at taking some lazy pictures while shaking hands with the ever-smiling octogenarian, Mama Sarah Obama, Barack’s grandmother. I wonder when Mama Sarah started smiling all that much.

“A horde of men and women have stamped their feet on the dusty, at times muddy confines of the village, most of them who leave Mama Sarah smiling ever wider.” Knowing what could possibly make the goodwill ambassador of Camp Maradona, smile that much, I inquired about what the visitors get back.

“Most of them are just happy to get a picture with her,” he sighs.

“That’s all?” I inquire. “That’s all,” he says as if wondering why I had suddenly developed interest in the activities of the Wazungus adding colour to his village. Before I plague him with another question, he’s quick to point out that he is not sure whether the visitors ever leave the village with a meal of Ugali and fish or any other traditional menu in their bellies.

I resign to my few questions and let him do the rest of the talking.

We had a very meaty conversation. Some things were quite interesting, others, trite. My ears had this tendency to pick only the most exciting stuff. He continued saying all that he could as he let his rich menu of the day – of which I was going to pay for – reaching the resting destination in his stomach.

When we finished our main course and were now imbibing our glass of cool crisp natural taste of alvaro (a local beverage drink), he got suddenly got serious and asked; “hey dude, do you ever get to understand all that “Uncle Obama” ever say?”

“Why do you ask and since when did he become your uncle?”

“Just answer the question and if I didn’t say it before, am Obama’s 11th cousin.”

At this point, my nerves gets excited as I marvel just how many cousins Obama has before I say: “Yes I do understand all that he says… but the trick is not to listen to every word and try to make a meaning out of it. You may get lost.”

He nods his head and after a God knows how long of prolonged silence, he calms himself and then asks me of a favour.

“You have a blogspot huh… could you kindly find yourself some time, type this out and post it on your blog and let’s both hope that Obama reads it?”

He handles me a letter of which I have an extract down below. Since I didn’t decipher the highest percentage of the wording here, I took the bother to check the meanings so that you, and perhaps the president, would understand:

In promulgating (spreading) your esoteric (ambiguous) cogitation's (thoughts) or articulating your superficial (shallow) sentimentalities (emotions) and amicable philosophical or psychological observations, beware of platitudinous (dull, cliched) ponderosity (weighty).

Let your conversational communications possess a clarified conciseness, a compact comprehensibleness coalescent (merging) consistency and a concatenated (linked together) cogency (clarity). Eschew (avoid) all conglomerations (collections) of flatulent (self-important or pompous) garrulity (wordiness or verbosity), jejune (immature) babblement (meaningless) and asinine (stupid) affectations (habits or showing off). Let your extemporaneous (makeshift) descanting (comments) and unpremeditated (involuntary) expatiation's (writings/speaking’s) have intelligibility and veracious (truthful) vivacity (liveliness) without rodomontade (boastfulness) or thrasonical (boasting) bombast (bravado).

Sedulously (persistently) avoid all polysyllable profundity (complexity), pompous prolixity (wordiness), psittaceous (repetitive) vivacity, ventriloquial (projective) verbosity (wordiness) and magniloquent (using important-sounding words) rapidity (speed). Shun double entendres (double meanings), previnient (preceding) jacosity (humour) and pestiferous (annoying) profanity (bad language or curse), obscurant (deceiving or obscuring) or apparent.

In other words, Mr. President, talk plainly, briefly, naturally, sensibly, truthfully, purely, keep from slang, don't put on airs, say what you mean, mean what you say and DON'T USE BIG WORDS.

And That's thesteifmastertake!!