The Samburu man and his colored socks

He sat down the ground holding a stick. His head covered with red handkerchief. Any civilized man looking at him will think he’s out of his mind doing that. I am curious to find out why he has that thing on his head and he says its swag down there. He tells me he has long hair too and that the handkerchief holds it up. I laugh hysterically. I don’t know whether I was laughing because that statement was funny or the primitivity that I saw in the man. Maybe it was both, or maybe it was just too funny and I was trying to understand this man that I had just met during my trip in the Samburu world.


Another thing that I noticed apart from the red handkerchief were his colored socks. Men, he looked like a clown, wearing a bunch of sheets and those socks with black akalas. It is swag to them ..mmhhhh..I asked him why they still wear sheets in this day and age where civilization has brought clothes. He tells me its culture these sides. They are not in a hurry to change that fast. He looks down at his socks and then looks at me. He tells me that his wife bought those socks for him during one market day. Those socks are important here in this terrain where its grassland and well, they don’t have shoes, and they don’t get to wear trousers. The fact that his wife bought it for him makes the socks sentimental to him. He tells me how he met his wife.

‘It was one hot afternoon. The sun had come out with her  cousins. I was sitting down with my fellow morans having a chit chat on the hottest chicks in the land. Then one of us showed us his sister on wassup.”

“Wassup?”I suddenly interrupted.

“Yes, wassup.” he answered , giving me that am not from the bush kind of look. By the way, I noticed that these chaps really understand technology more than us “civilized guyz”, or let me fry myself in this oil, more than I understand. he showed me his pretty samburu wife. She was light skinned with hair as long as a horse hair, I nearly thought it was human hair. (Kuzoea fake hair sana ). I think he noticed me checking out the hair and said, ” by the way its natural, si kama zenu fake”

I was offended, but just laughed brushing away that answer. It was true but did he have to just say it bluntly like that?

He continued with his story. He went on and on telling me how he organized to meet his pal’s sis until when he did the traditional marriage. How he felt piercing the cow and telling the whole world that he’s the only man for that lady. (by the way that’s big for Samburu morans). He narrated how they traveled for 20 km with cows together with a bunch of morans singing praise songs to his newly found love. Aki when he was saying that I felt like I should get married to a moran right there and then. You feel special being serenaded like that. Ni venye that uncouth behavior siwesmek. waaahhhh..By the way, here in Samburu land getting married is a big deal. In fact, it is a priority. By 25 you should be having like 3 kids and thinking of how to add others to fill up a football team. It makes you look like a bingwa. Kwanza if you top it up by adding more wives.

He went back to his socks. He wanted to sing and do that Samburu dance, that one that makes them look like they don’t have bones in their neck. He told me that from the time they are young, they are taught how make those sounds, and shake their neck like that. By the way, it is hard to remove that Samburu thing from them. He tells me that even if a Samburu has a PHD, they still have their accent and behave the way they do. This time, he stopped and gathered saliva in his mouth and spat so disgustingly. Waaahhh..that was trauma to me. He noticed and just gave me a big smile.I frowned.

“What was the meaning of that?” I asked still disgusted by the act.

“I don’t know, we just do it. Its what we do over here. You just spit all the time. ”

He wiped his mouth with his sheet and covered himself again. He noticed I was shivering because it was getting dark.

“Do you want me to cover you with my….”

“Ahhhh..wacha tu..nitamanage.’ I quickly blocked his idea of wanting to give me his sheet. it would have made him look like a gentleman but enyewe I just pictured where that sheet could have been and said no to the request.

We were given food. he held his with his hand and watched me hurriedly eat up mine. I stopped and he asked me why I did it. I asked him why he wasn’t eating. He tells me it is wrong for a moran to eat while a woman is watching.

“Sawa. Kula kwa macho bas.” I tell him and he laughs

Suddenly, I notice a bulge on his socks. I ask him what he has kept down there and he tells me its cash that he received after selling his three cows. he doesn’t have an account so he walks with it everywhere, fearing to leave his down his manyatta.

I ask him how much it was, and he me, its enough to pay my bride price.

“Would you like to be my second wife?I think I like you?’ He tells me smiling.

It was time to go back, so fearing to shake his hand, I just told him goodbye and told him that we’ll discuss my dowry story when I come back.

So what do you think I went back thinking guyz ?


6 thoughts on “The Samburu man and his colored socks

  1. I think you went thinking.. holy shit this guy is nuts.. .? Me a msamburu guy. ..Kwanza the spitting…. if he does that how will the first kiss be like. …hell no….ndigehota(a Kikuyu word for siwesmake) hehehe….nway nice read it has made my morning.. keep them coming.

  2. Woow! So refreshing, so awesome. I liked this part that Samburu men don’t eat while being watched by a lady, and the experience is unbeatable, do I expect more stories from the #tembeaKenya???

    1. yes expect more dear. But you know with writing that sometimes you just write what comes to mind..But nitaaandika more on that.. thanks for the support

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