There is something else you should know before getting married to a Chagga – especially one from the village, kuku wa kienyeji, as vijana wa mjini would call them. Chaggas are generally not taught about sex – not like our Zaramo cousins who are taught how to gyrate those hips or as Waswahili say – kukata kiuno mpaka jamaa anahonga gari. Chaggas are taught how to make money and provide for their families. Kyasaka women get married to Chagga men because they can provide – not because they are the Don Juan’s in bed. Believe me, you’ll be highly disappointed.
Surprisingly though, Chaggas have nyumba ndogos left, right and centre – again because they provide well, I presume. Chagga men don’t know love – or rather how to love, so we hear everyday from those who are married to Chaggas – but I’m stressing again that they are the best at looking after, erm, provide for their families. A wife complaining to her Chagga husband about his nyumba ndogos and this will be his typical answer …
“But Mama, I have given you a butcher, a beauty saloon, a BMW, a Vogue, you go shopping in Paris, London, Dubai and New York. Your kids go to school in Cape Town. I provide for you, Mama, so why are you complaining?”
Yeah, I also don’t know what’s up with Chaggas and butchers.
Anyway, so as I was saying, Chaggas are generally not taught about pleasing each other – but they do have some tricks up their sleeves. Sasa this guy fresh from a seminary school gets back home. Most seminary schools are flooded with Chaggas – not because that pious immaculate calling is only heard by them – hell no – they know they can get the best education there for free! So this guy, lets call him Nderima, comes fresh from seminary school – and he was fresh in every sense of the word, I will get to that. With his first class credentials in one hand, it was natural for the parents to start demanding for an in-law. I mean, si umeshasoma, so what else are you waiting for?
Nderima’s mother and aunts get busy looking for that perfect mpora – in a few months they got one. It was a nice wedding, with a lot of vigelegele, mbege and nyama. All this took place under the slopes of mount Kilimanjaro, like most village’s customs – Mama Nderima and the aunt naturally wanted to know if their son was virile enough. Basi bwana, on their first night, Mama Nderima and the aunts had their ears glued on his marital door listening to any tell-a-tale sound. Before long their in-law started screaming and moaning. Smiling proudly Mama Nderima and the aunts left the door, leaving the two in their marital bliss. Now that’s my boy, Mama Nderima thought proudly as in law continues screaming.
“Uwiiii! Kiruu mbeee! Uwiiii!! Eeeh Ruwa!” in law calls out to her God.
Every evening Mama Nderima heard the screaming and mourning – the first few weeks she would smile proudly, but after three months she started grimacing. I mean her mpora’s stomach was still as flat as an ironing board!! I know you are now wondering – no Nderima and his wife didn’t live in the same house with his family packed like sardines like Indians do – Nderima was the last born, being the last son he lived in one of the houses on his father’s compound.
Anyway, one day Mama Nderima just couldn’t keep it in any longer, so she called mpora in her kitchen. In the company of a crowing cock, a belching goat and a mooing cow, she started her conversation with her in-law. Maji yalikuwa mazito, so she just had to ask! Afterall, what’s the point of having all the riches in the world and being a man without kids? Aibu! Ptuuh! Could her beautiful fattened up mpora be barren? So before concluding she summoned her mpora.
“Kwani how do you do it?” Mama Nderima had to ask, when she still couldn’t fathom why her in law still didn’t have a bun in the oven.
“Well,” her in law started shyly with her eyes glued on the earthen floor, “after we undress, he mounts me and start going in and out – in, erm, um, my belly button.”
“Belly button?” Mama Nderima drops the plantain she was peeling in shock.
“Yes, Mama.” The daughter In law replies quickly not understanding her mother in-law sudden dismay, quickly adding, “but it hurts so bad!”
Like any Chagga man – Nderima provided well, such mpora didn’t see why she should complain about the painful experience – until after her mother in law brought it up. Yap, she also had a brand new butcher. Mama Nderima first covers her mouth with her eyes popping out kama mjusi aliyebanwa na mlango, then her hand moves to her forehead, then to her cheek – then she goes into deep thought. For a minute there, she looked as if she was doing some Jackie Chan’s moves with that one hand.
“Before you go to bed tonight, come to me, I will give you something,” she says finally.
Quickly Mama Nderima grabbed a kibuyu that was at some corner of the room and got to work.
Vigorously she started shaking the sour milk calabash. Later in the evening Mama Nderima gives her daughter in law a smaller calabash.
“After you have undressed, smear some of this on your belly button.” Immediately after Nderima’s door was locked, Mama Nderima glued her ear to it.
“Uwiiii! Kiruu mbeee! Uwiiii!! Eeeh Ruwa!” this time it was Nderima calling out to his God.
I tell you, the grunts that came out of the room you would have thought Christmas beberu was being slaughtered. the earth almost shook, I tell you! The neighbourhood kids thought mount Kilimanjaro’s valcano was about to erupt. If Mama Nderima hadn’t known what was going on, she would have charged into the room thinking that her dearest son was being slaughtered and he was about to get possessed na mashetani - for his pathetic perfomance – thanks goodness mpora hadn’t known any better either.
anyway, the small calabash then became Mama Nderima’s daughter in law best friend – and in no time her stomach started swelling. Of course she had to ask her mother in law exactly what the concoction was.
“Butter, my daughter, good older home churned butter.”
Sasa while Zaramos are taught about the do’s, don’ts and definitely do’s, Chagga can come up with a few tricks. It had to take butter for Nderima to know that the belly button wasn’t the cherry he was looking for. It had to take slippery butter for Nderima to accidentally ‘slide’ into the cherry. Kwahiyo before getting married to a Chagga, make sure there is a very smart mother in law. Ahem …