“Wewe si ukunywe chai vizuri!” Naliaka complains. And I giggle because they can’t just seem to be normal siblings without having to fight eachother.
“Kwani unataka nikunywe aje?”
“Si ukunywe venye unakunywanga ukiwa na escort!” I almost choke on my tea as I painfully clutch my sides from the sudden laughter.
To start us off there’s the kitinda mimba, but I cannot call her that. I call her enough! Or the full stop. To tell you the truth she came as a surprise. The kind of surprise that catches you unawares and instead of making you happy they make you mad that you almost want to give back the surprise. She came when I was away, and old enough to understand that children were never really bought from the hospital. This is the only time when people found the perfect excuse to just pop up unannounced and say things like “Kwani hujapika kuku? mimi sikuli kienyeji. Niletee chai ukiendelea kupika hiyo kuku!” as if someone told them that home is their hotel and I’m at their service. If you happen to visit, she’s delegated herself to washing people’s hands and clearing tables, how can you not love her, eh?
And then there’s Nekesa. Ah, this one is as smart as a whip and a little conniving thing. She knows exactly how to mind her own business. People say she was supposed to be a boy from the way she looks. She’s those kids whose fathers cannot deny because how can you deny something that looks exactly like you, eh? She’s growing and becoming more feminine now that she’s even fitting in my dresses! She serves as my secret box.
Naliaka.Where do I start with this one? She’s like a police, and so I watch my every move whenever she’s around. She’s such a nuisance that sometimes I’m tempted to forget that she’s my sister. If you see me with ridges on my forehead just when I’m from home, just know that she’s responsible. She likes to think that she’s the most beautiful because of her dimples and doe-eyes. Now she’s growing and having these enviable legs that go on for days that she can’t sit or let us just be in peace. She has started stealing my make-up and she thinks I don’t know when all I’m doing is just taking note.
These three have developed a slang amongst themselves. You’ll hear them muttering ‘chavu’ as they scatter like broken bones whenever father comes through the door. They cower and stick together like wet chicken whenever mother walks in with her no-nonsense face and my heart sinks a little with sadness at the thought of them growing up and shaking off these tendencies.
And yes, we do have a brother. Sometimes I take pity on him seeing as he’s the only boy amongst so many loud women. Okay, we are not loud as such but you get my point? He’s gentle, soft spoken with a patience that never seems to run out. He speaks like a tiptoeing thief and his laugh is as rare as a black feathered chicken.
I want to leave her out but I know she’ll be on my neck over oh, you left me out and what-what. I’m yet to find a suitable nickname for her. But on sight she’s so skinny you’d think eating in our house is a race that she constantly keeps losing. She’s so chatty words just keep tumbling out of her mouth. But besides that she’s an adorable woman, the master in charge of all duties at every chance she can get. She loves food more than she does new clothes. So generous is she that when she was a kid, she would give out all of her food only to end up asking people to prepare her new food because suddenly her stomach was rumbling.