Jean Akinyi shares her thoughts preparing to leave Kenya for the first time for the Kenyatta University/University of Cincinnati Exchange.
Africa is a continent of celebration. When a child is born, he/she is welcomed into the world with song and dance (I will desist from writing food at this point because it is obvious the singers and dancers have to eat…if not for energy, as a way of payment for their services). When it is a time to plant, weed, harvest, initiation, marriage and during burials the African will sing and dance. It is our way. I think we always look for the best in any situation to celebrate. I love celebrating.
Now, in modern times, we have included other reasons for celebration. When one graduates from the university, a bus load of everyone that knew the person arrives at the ceremony in style (I have notified my family that my graduation draws near). It is usually a happy moment, not just for the graduand but for his or her village. We share each others success.
Another cause for celebration and of course prayer, is when one is going away. The family plans for a party so as to share the happiness by eating and catching up. I just had my departure party held by my loving mum. I was eating chicken. She asked whether I am packed and ready. She prayed for me and my friends to be well from now to the day we get back (I’m guessing when we get back she’ll start another prayer). She told me she loved me and was very proud of me. She said what all and sundry in the village thought. When I finally hang up, I sighed and gulped a glass of water. Not even the distance of over five hundred kilometres would stop my mum from celebrating. She sent the money to buy chicken via mpesa.
It is time to celebrate. Three days to go.
– Guest contributor: JEAN AKINYI, Kenyatta University, Class of 2016