Recent reports that, “Kenya’s rain was stuck in Tanzania” bring nostalgic memories of weather reports back when the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) was the only TV station in the country.
Unlike currently when they seem to have put their act together, many were the moments in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s when the weatherman would give ‘non-specific forecasts’, plunging many people into confusion.
The predictions, which seemed to be the same day-in-day-out would be like:
“Na haya ndio matarajio ya hali ya hewa hapo kesho, yakiletwa kwenu na ___________:
Pwani ya kaskazini kutakuwa na mawingu kiasi. Kutakua na mvua kwa sehemu chache na vipindi vya jua nyanda za juu. Magharibi mwa nchi kutakuwa na mawingu kiasi, mvua na ngurumo za radi kwa sehemu chache.
Katika nyanda za juu mashariki ya bonde la ufa, kutakuwa na rasha rasha za mvua na radi hapa na pale majira ya asubuhi vikifuatiwa na vipindi vya jua nyakati za adhuhuri.
Ukanda wa ziwa Victoria, katikati mwa nchi, pwani ya kusini, nyanda za juu kusini magharibi, Mikoa ya Kaskazini Mashariki na Mashariki kutakuwa na mawingu, mvua ya ngurumo kwa baadhi ya maeneo, na vipindi vifupi vya jua”.
The weatherman was also blamed for misjudging weather patterns and hence giving inaccurate predictions, leading to losses in other sectors such as agriculture due to poor guide to the farming calendar.
Fun would be made of how they always got it wrong, especially during rainy seasons.
When forecasters announced that there would be heavy rains, that was the time to leave umbrellas at home because the sun would emerge shinning and hot with a vengeance.
Woe unto any bride and groom who decided to tie the knot in the open or out of doors on the strength of a weatherman’s forecast of a sunny day; they would end up soaked wet and muddy.
The most boring part for the youth that we were then was that the forecast took a whole one and a half minutes. This was a long time considering that it was preceded by a staggering thirty minutes of the 7.00pm KBC Habari.
Another reason for the impatience was that the forecast was the only thing that stood between us and the next programme, which was most often a thriller, whether it be, “Derrick”, “Gillette World Sport”, “Football Made in Germany”, “Wrestling”, “Vitimbi” or “Vioja Mahakamani”.
Tumetoka mbali kweli.