The Elephant in the room

You probably have heard of the famous Lewa conservancy. It’s that place in Meru where they have Safaricom Marathons and Safari Rally Competitions. It’s owned by Ian Craig, Ian is the father Jecca Craig. Everyone calles Him Kiriki!

Jecca Craig for those that don’t follow international news is the girl that should be seriously whooped for denying us a chance to be in laws with Prince William. Yaani us Amerucans from that side of Mount Kenya would have been heard bragging how we are in laws to Queen Elizabeth! Jecca, Jecca, Jecca, Who disses a whole Prince? Any who, bygones are bygones!

But that’s on a light note. On a serious note the Kiriki family has been around us for so long that unlike for their color they would be 100% one of us.

My ancestral home happens to be just a few kilometers down the road from Lewa, but above that, my father owned a track of land right next to the conservancy. Growing up the wildlife reserve was being set up so it wasn’t any big deal for us. We used to call it “Lewa Downs” then.

It was one of those days as a teenager that my siblings and I left home early in the morning to the farm. I was raised by a Taliban father that believed that a child must be passed on all important life skills. Digging the land manually was one of those critical skills.

So harmed with small hoes that He had specifically made for us since we were kids, He dropped us at the farm and went on to work. He was based in Isiolo then as a civil servant. Together with us was a naughty boy cousin (RIP)

The six of us spent the day toiling the hot Isiolo Sun  and by 3.00Pm above being tired, we were pretty bored. We knew it would still be a while before Dad came to pick us and as we were trying to figure out fun options in the wild, my brother got a light Bulb Moment!

“Lets go and Chokoza the Elephants!”

I looked at them as if they were mad! And I think they were.

But they had a high level of convincing power and before long, all 6 of us were totting down the hill towards the wild animals drinking hole. It was evening and we knew the animals would definitely be coming to drink. As we walked down we could see a batch of Elephants quite close to the hole. Our mission was going to be successful. After arriving we stood and looked. Personally I had no idea what the boys plan was.

There was really nothing to worry about though, because the wild animals were enclosed by an electric fence. Over time I relaxed and even started enjoying the show.

The rock like Jumbos were quietly feeding, Its easy to separate the males and the females, there were a number of few young ones too. In my mind I remembered my grandfather telling me that just like Women, elephants with young ones are usually very fierce. I made a mental note to keep off

The boys started whistling.

The Elephants raised their heads, looked our way and returned back to their quite life. You have no idea how excited we all were. It was working!

As kids when you succeed in stupidity you tend to quickly graduate it a notch higher.

Its at that point that boys decided the cat calls were not sufficient to get tangible results, so they decided to do the worst thing you can do to a male Elephant. Make a trumpet call!

The Male Elephant automatically assumes you are challenging its status quo, and before we knew it, the mammoth being was charging against us. The first thought in my head was that our last born who was only six will not be able to run!

Time rushed before my eyes like an eternity. The more my intestines liquidated, the more excited the boys became. They knew the animal could not get past the fence so the trumpeting went louder, they were almost competing with the Elephant in terms of sound. I am a risk taker but testing any fence against an angry massive male elephant is not by idea if fun.

I took my baby brothers hand, shouted at my small sister who was 8 and I started backing down. My adrenaline was now at a record high!

Then suddenly the unexpected happened! The Elephant went past the Electric wiring and continued incriminating towards us. Right there I saw the news headline the next day flashing through my mind. “Family of 6 crashed by an angry Elephant”

The boys confident trumpet call suddenly changed into shrill screams of little girls. Everyone took off and run towards our farm. As I had truly anticipated our baby brother couldn’t run as fast as we could. My cousin took hold of my sister and we literally dragged the two up the road.

None of us dared look behind to see the horror of what was coming to us. After decades of running, we eventually stopped. Looked at each other and we realized we were still alive. And in fact the Elephant hadn’t probably charged more than 20 meters.

We sat down for some long minutes panting as if our hearts were going to pop out. Suddenly we all burst out laughing! we would remember that day for a long time!

What does this Story have to do with anything?

Nothing! Absolutely nothing. I was just thinking earlier about this “Elephant in the room” That the society has a skewed outlook on women and their importance, or lack of it in the society. The thought of an Elephant reminded me of this story and I just had to share it.

This week I start a series on ‘are girls valuable?’ I will share some nuggets every day mostly based on my own experiences as a daughter, a sister, a wife, and a mother. At the end of the week Kaylene and I will have a Facebook/You tube live and that day we will discuss all your opinions face to face.

I look forward, I hope you do too!

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