"Did you see that? that thing that fell from the tree? Let me tell you why it came down, it is because of gravity!" this was said to me by a very drunken man in his fifties this weekend.
I was having lunch with some friends somewhere in archer’s post when this man happened to pass by.
‘Of course its gravity’ I thought as I looked him over. He was thin, wore a faded black T-shirt, checked blue trousers – both oversize and untidy – and his hands were caked in cement dust from fingertip to just above the elbow. I idly wondered what his story was even as I dismissed him in my subconscious.
He then spoke about a plane that landed in Lebanon, at the international airport at Beirut. I don’t remember it verbatim but it was a well articulated story telling type thing, which he repeated impeccably when we asked him to. I took a bit more interest.
The man said he was 58 years old and told us about how he served in the army between 1975 and 1980. He proved this by explaining how a gun works – in very fluent fashion – and sealed the deal by physically illustrating how soldiers roll on the floor while in combat or training. He knew what he was doing.
I asked the waiter who the man was and he said ‘a retired teacher’.
The man asked us to give him the leftovers. I came to learn later that he was one of several others in the town who get odd jobs and sneak away for a shot of changaa between working hours.
One business owner there said that the situation was getting extreme nowadays because not only are the men drinking, but so are the older women, and the younger ladies and gents. He felt as if hope was running out for the people in that area.
Unfortunately, this sad story is testament to several other places in the country. Fathers, mothers and children are enjoying their drink just a tad too much and sometimes even together. Is there something wrong with this picture? Has the ‘enjoyable pass-time’ become a ‘necessity or addiction’?
Despite the fact that several people enjoy their ‘drink’ responsibly, at an arm’s length and while still in control of most of their senses, thousands of intelligent Kenyan brains are being washed down their owners’ throats alongside the potent chemical.
Is the cheaper alcohol too potent or too addictive? Just what is the problem here? Or is it just gravity?