Today, I encountered an adult male dog with a golden coloured coat, but without a tail. It is tailless because some person mutilated or cut it off just to please the ego. We quickly became friends and I named him ‘Mkia Ngûtû, a name which he seemed to love; he most probably named me ‘Masho Ine’ in return.
Following the encounter ten flashes came to mind:
One, it must have been a very painful experience for the poor canine at that fateful moment when it saw its tail unjustly dismembered and before the ensuing wound healed. Animals should be treated humanely. They possess feelings and senses too, just like humans.
Two, because of that ruthless action, Mkia Ngûtû cannot show emotions anymore since dogs use their tails to communicate emotions. I shall get to know what replaced the tail in communicating emotions once he tells me after our friendship is cemented and firmly grounded.
Three, there once lived a mzungu called Whitney Whitcar in Kangema, Murang’a County, who was famous for cutting the tail of every dog that entered his compound after vaccinating it against rabies. It was his way of branding vaccinated dogs.
Four, my vernacular-mates are great in comfortably, shamelessly and notoriously corrupting or adulterating long names, including those of distinguished persons like Whitney Whitcar whom they named, “Waitina”.
Five, in the book, “Approaches to Teaching the Works of Ngugi Wa Thiong’o”, a book which is published by Modern Language Association of America, New York, 2012 and edited by Oliver Lovesey, Whitney was a laughable authoritarian colonial officer who the locals of Kangema named Waitina to connote the Kikuyu obscenity for ‘anus’ (sio mimi nimesema).
Six, the late music maestro Joseph Kamarû sang about Waitina, and how he showed dogs dust, in his song entitled, “Thigari cia Waitina”.
Seven, during those times, the Kangema local Greeks would be heard saying, “Wîra wa Waitina na thigari ciake no gûtinia ngui mîtingoe”; eti ‘the only work that Waitina and his soldiers know is to cut the tails of dogs’.
Eight, Whitney and his soldiers killed all unvaccinated dogs they came across. Things became so thick or elephant that the dogs would feign their own death when they heard the sound of Waitina’s landrover.
Nine, how proud my mind is of my Kangema descent; of having my roots deeply anchored in Kangema. The Kangema which, just like Rwanda, is a land of a thousand hills, one of which has been fondly christened by a Beatle I know, “NjeriHinga Hill” or NHH for those like me who possess a heavy tongue.
Last, but definitely not the least, considering that Mkia Ngûtû and I, Masho Ine, quickly fell in love at first sight, we must be blood and gene related; and, therefore, he must also be of Kangema descent too.