Good, bad and 'ugali’: The 13 types of uncles in every Kenyan family
3 months ago, 23 June 09:26
Uncles. Every family has them. They are the ones who take you to ruracio for bride price negotiations after narrowing down a suitable nagger and bed mate.
The uncles on the paternal side of the family are normally harsh, prominent, domineering, omnipresent and decide on which spot of ancestral land you will be buried.
Paternal uncles are loud, have endless stories about the family tree both fact and fiction and carries the bulk of family misfits who have splashed from the shallow end of the genetic pool.
The uncles on the maternal side are retiring, fatherly, most out of the picture unless a niece has been chased by a husband who had not paid bride price and has come demanding her back. Unless when they make wazees from the paternal side sweat during bride price haggles, uncles from the maternal side are not usually loud mouths and carry fewer family misfits.
While there is Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, Women’s Day and even World Toilet Day, no one remembers your parent’s brothers. There is no Uncle’s Day to celebrate them as father’s figures to the many single mothers dotting our father land.
There is no Uncle’s Day to celebrate the men who became godfathers to the many nephews who grow to resemble the same uncles after whom the family tree is rooted. There is no Uncle’s Day to mark the men from whom a family function is not complete without their inebriated presence as they burn their fingers roasting meat by the grill.
But, nevertheless, you will recognize several uncles from the characters we celebrate below…
The Lost Uncle
Every family has that uncle who went abroad for further studies in 1980 never to return. Even some who went to Mombasa to become beach boys are yet to be seen since boarding Malindi Bus when it existed when Big G was Sh2.
Once in five years, a relative will says he met this breed of uncle at the Likoni ferry and that he looked happy and healthy having changed religions and even exchanged numbers-which never goes through, and when it rings, is picked by a woman speaking Kiswahili cha Amu. No one knows where this uncle lives and whether he has a family in the 30 years he has been away from home. The Lost Uncle eventually comes home- in a coffin.
The Harsh Uncle
He coughs, everyone freezes. His daughter will get pregnant, deliver a baby, but no one will tell him, not even his wife who fears him, and his daughters (the ones who are not yet pregnant) can’t wait to finish school and flee from home. His sons finish school and follow the sisters in exile. They will call their mother, but never call the tyrant. When your wife threatens to engage the Harsh Uncle over your swiftness of slaps to her face, you apologize profusely foaming at the mouth.
The Con Uncle
This is the whisky gulping, Mercedes driving uncle who calls himself a contractor but has no office and his car boot is full of tender documents. He ...
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