Other than the shoving, corruption and tempers in a typical public boarding primary school queue for supper, we are about to find out that the most peculiar of societies can occur, too.
Back in the SONA we went to as an excuse for a boarding school, we was queuing for the meal and characteristically, my homies were close by. Skwot. A little further up the queue, however, were The Nairobi Koolkids.
We have a lot to say about cool Nairobi pupils, but their mastery of Pswoili was a source for constant bitterness. They effortlessly nailed a thing we battled hard for most of life and probably never subdued. Huweziongea na mutu comfortably, ashaanza kukuambia unasema mtu, si mutu.
Cool Kid A we’ll name Fulani, Cool Kid B was Godfrey. Sorry dude, anonymity endea huko.
Fulani : nimevaa belt mbili. Godfrey : haha. Kwani wewe ni prezo.
Ladies and gentlemen, it is at this point that I should point out to you, I had had to master the structure and construction of sheng, for survival purposes. You did not get second glances as much as Nairobi peoples did, so, I figured, I should sheng up, too. So I destructured syeng and studied every little sinew. Pro - ed in very little time, thank you very much.
See, I figured, to make syeng out of regular Psoili or Ngilis, you just had to clip words and add -o’s to their ends. Bread. The syeng for bread? Breo. The syeng for mwalimu? Mwalo. It ain’t easy, being cheesy.
To further earn my respects from the Nairobi people as much as from the regulars, I figured you should replace every /a/ sound with a 4. Unakuja4? It looks cool in writ, but tragedy was, local boy here pronounced the 4 as four, so I’d go, unakujfour clao? Unakuja class?
That was because of a very tiny misunderstanding between Godfrey, who was tutoring local boy in sheng, and I. See, Fancy was a cool, badass missus, who disliked uncool people. Her approval was automatic pass to school Koolness. So, getting a whiff of my syeng contraption, she decided to put me to the test.
" Ati unajua sheng?” Asketh she. " Sindio. Kwetu ni Nao.” Local boy nishakuwa Nairobian mimi.
" Mkate inaitwaje kwa sheng.” Probedth she. " Breo.” Easy as water. " Na biker?”
Aight. She was marginally cruel, because, I was a shy boy and mentions of smallcloth would have me squirming. No, she wasn’t referring to the people who ride bikes buana.
So I turn to Godfrey in panic. Totally didn’t see it coming, and my sheng algorithm wouldn’t lead to a credible answer. Bio? Biko? Godfrey quickly wrote it in a paper and snuck it to me. I peered at the mwakenya and instantly nailed the answer.
“Baikfour.” Declared I, Lord Sheng. Bik4 was what Godfrey had written. Basic scripting mistake, he gave me the answer for print media, while it was an electronic media question. Bik4 is what you write in letters and SMSes, not the thing you pronounce. The thing to read in your head, not pronounce. Nigger uliniangusha.
Anyway, where were we? Oh, ah, in the queue, where the cool kids were talking about belts.
“Haha, kwani wewe ni prezzo.”
My homies, who were heavily eavesdropping on the cool kids as much as I was, quickly turned to their dictionary, a.k.a, I, for help. Prezo ko ne?
Unfortunately, it was at that exact moment that I chose mutiny. I decided, there and then, to abandon my skwot, my past, to graduate into a Squad. There was only a tiny problem. How to make Coolkids realise that I understood sheng enough to understand what they had just said.
So I decided to hijack the joke. I laughed hard, hard, very hard, in their direction. That knowing laugh you laugh towards someone to acknowledge a mutual laughing point. My fake laugh rang loudly of “Oy Coolkids, I understood you. I know sheng!”
Fulani : hu mse anacheka nini?
Godfrey couldn’t answer because he was dying of pitiful laughter. So I stood up for my rights. “Godfrey amesema kwani wewe ni presso,” I declared, dishing out extra gales of fake laughter.
Please see it, Fulani, please please. It is a funny joke, the presso one. Please see it and acknowledge me, I am wanting to be in the Hall of Fame, please please.
Fulani : kwani unajua Prezo.
I swung back towards skwot, the people I’d abandoned, to summon outrage for this degradation.
" Kalian! " Prono cried, already teetering.
" Le kole mongen presso. Wany kertech ano kwanechu. " They say I don’t know prezo, kwani how do these kwaneks see us?
Prono stepped forward and gave a charged speech to the Coolkids, something about social classing and inherent condescension and how all of us were children of God equal in the Lord’s eyes and pupils of Sigor Public Boarding Primary School , or something.
It was about then that Godfrey recovered, and pointed out to Fulani that I, Flintoff, definitely knew prezo. Saved me tiny bum, dintcha, cowboy?
Victory for the village boys. One of them had gone on to the Sieng Hall of Fame.
There, however, was one fundamental flaw. See, the person that was being alluded to as wearer of two belts was Prezzo, the artist. Ai, kwani wewe ni Prezzo.
But my algorithms had decoded that as President. Clip president and add an -o, that is prezo.
I thought they meant Kibaki. Shid.