REFLECTIONS: Maria and Ringo

I don’t like cheating myself and therefore I will not want to cheat you. It is a fact that in the very house I sweated gathering materials to build, I don’t have control of the TV remote.

You can now start wondering who calls the shots in my house, if I cannot have control of a gadget that is the size of a matchbox. The people who control the remote have never even bought its batteries and they will not do it any time soon.

This evening, just like other evenings before, and to come, I was at home before dusk. I sat to watch the box that talks and shows us pictures.

The top story was what the son of Chomo said earlier in the day, that he had extended the curfew for another twenty one days. I am now thinking that the husband of Magireti should have said from the onset that the curfew was to run for 42 cool days.

The news is over and cabinet members are jumping in the house. The youngest Nyagenkean is repeating after the talking box’s signature tune, “Kumesha Korondo, Stay at Home!” He then tells me that coming up next is “Maria.”

I have watched this Maria by passing, not that I wanted to do so but because I did not have an option. I have always assumed soap operas to be things for hearts that are not like mine.

I have also come to dislike the timing of this show.

This is for the simple reason that it comes at the time I should be hearing the clatter of utensils and smelling things that send my taste bads in a frenzied overdrive from the kitchen.

Now, the person who should be behind what should be happening in the kitchen has sat pretty (kitako) as the Swahili would say, to watch a scripted story.

I pretend to be following news and updates on other platforms using the phone, but I cannot concentrate fully. I am getting distracted by whispers and laughs.

The soap is underway. I can hear that someone is wearing someone’s T-shirt. I look up to see who the ‘someone’ is. I cannot connect. So, I go back to my phone.

A member of my cabinet inquires why I am not following the show. I have no immediate answer that may sound palatable. For instance, I don’t want to admit that my stomach is yawning and I am thinking of the time it will be salvaged. Surely, I don’t want to tell her that I did not eat metals for lunch.

“Dad, you know even teachers watch this show. Why are you not watching?” the Leader of Majority prods me. “I do, only that my interests are limited to pictures. I don’t pay attention to the story,” I respond.

This answer sounds vague or so I think. For me to pass for a brilliant guy that I am presumed to be, I contact my friend Google to get the synopsis.

This is when it dawns on me that this addictive series has an unprecedented fan base in Kinya. I learn that I must have remained behind because Kinyans have gone as far as creating groups where they discuss the last and upcoming episodes.

I get distracted once again, as one of the Cabinet members tells me that the next episode is already on ViuKesho.

I get back to my phone screen. It is now auto locked. I have to key in the elaborate key lock that is fifteen characters long.

I continue reading and discover that Maria is produced by Rashid Abutura and the love of his life Ruru. I am excited to know this. So I read on.

Before I cover like five paragraphs, the youngest Nyagenkean is jumping round the house, singing, “Ringo! Ringo! Ringo.” I look at him. He has reached for his pair of sandals and taken them as hand groves.

His mother just disappeared to the domestic food factory and my ears and nose can tell that she is making good progress.

Who is this Ringo? I contact my friend Google once again. By the time I get through with reading the synopsis of the Mexican telenovela, ugali the size of Mt Nyagenke is right before me.

When the food is served, I forget the long wait I just underwent and devour it. It does not take us an eternity to flatten the mountain.

The head of the domestic food factory appears to suggest that staying at home has irredeemably enhanced our appetites.

Soon, the 9 o’clock news is up. I know the bulletin will be a repeat of the 7 o’clock news but I have to watch it anyway, for lack of any other thing to do.

Hii Korondo itanionyesha mambo (COVID-19 will teach me new experiences)!

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Mr. Araka is the pioneer reporter and editor at The Scholar. His satirical segment, The Idler's Corner is very popular with our readers. He is also a published novelist and biographer.


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