Have you ever watched football with a female companion who knows the rules of the game as much as she knows how to change a flat tyre?
I am usually a very patient man, and my mother can confirm that, but I can assure you that the first time I watched football with the mother of my clan, I nearly committed cold blood murder.
The woman was asking very annoying questions, and as much as I tried to explain the intricacies and the dos and don’ts of the game, I continued to grow weary by the minute.
Recently I was watching a football game with the boys at Zakayo’s Pub, and we were having a great time, until mama Boyi turned up like a female ghost, and she told me that after thinking it over, she decided it was high time she supported me in my hobby, in short she wanted to know the game, (so that she can support me emotionally, the woman said).
She shouted to the nearest bar maid to bring her a chair close to me so that I can ‘coach’ her on the rules of football which make grown men scream as if they are in the labor ward every time someone misses the ball.
“You said that the guys in blue were given a penalty because one of the guys in red touched the ball, so how comes that guy between the goal posts touches the ball all the time and the referee is just watching?” At that time, I thought that no matter what happens, nothing mama Boyi does or say in future will get me so worked up as it did that time, but I was very much mistaken.
Forget the East African Community old guys who are up to now waiting to be paid their dues, I found another source of wealth, but that is company secret, so I will not divulge this piece of information!
The woman who happens to be the mother of my small clan and who has also been responsible for some permanent dents on my head can drive a sane man up the wall, but because I love that woman, so recently I decided to do something for her.
There was a hefty deal I had been working on for almost a whole year, so when these fellows called me and told me that I should go for payment, I was delighted, and the zeros scrawled on the new cheque brought a wide smile on my face, and I decided that because mama Boyi has been the most understanding and long suffering partner, I thought I should buy a car for her.
I know some of you by now have a tear at the corner of your eyes, especially when you remember that the junk I call a car has been giving me nightmares for years, telling yourselves that I was a gentleman to consider my wife before myself.
Anyway, what got me worried was the fact that when I told her I wanted to buy a new car for her, she shocked me by stating clearly that she wants a car with manual gear transmission.
I tried to warn her. I tried to tell my wife, mama Boyi, that learning to drive a manual car is much harder than an automatic, but did she listen?
Nope, she was too busy drooling over the blue Subaru Legacy at a dealer’s lot near Mlimani City, convinced that THIS was the car for her, never mind that it had an extra pedal and a gear stick that went in more directions than our son’s hair.
“Why is it called a manual transmission?” she asked, and I tried to think of a simple but effective explanation: “Because every time you drive this car, you’ll have to consult the manual.
Now what do you say we look for an automatic?”
The salesman was no help. He told mama Boyi that he once taught a female customer to drive a manual car in 10 minutes.
That is how long it took mama Boyi to realize she’d have to use both feet. The salesman, of course, would have said just about anything to get my wife to buy the car.
Considering it had power locks and windows, I’m surprised he didn’t call it a semiautomatic. I tried to tell mama Boyi that it might take weeks, even months, for her to drive the car smoothly.
“Stick shifts aren’t easy,” I said.
But she had seen me handle a stick shift -- I’ve never owned an automatic -- and she said, “kama we mzee unaweza, mbona mimi nishindwe?” She was soon signing the purchase agreement, beaming from ear to ear, almost as thrilled as the salesman.
And so began one of the most frustrating periods of her life, as she attempted, bravely, to tame the stick-shift monster. At times she screamed at the car to move, as she tried frantically to change gears, which involved peering at the gear lever, and forgetting that she had to use both feet.
It reached a point that my patience was running low, but the woman never gave up, but I thank God that after what seemed like eternity, the mother of my clan managed to move the car more than 100 meters in a straight line.
She was convinced that she was experienced enough to graduate from dusty roads to the real road, and I tried all the methods of trying to dissuade her, telling her she was not ready for that, but the look that woman gave me was enough to tell her to proceed.
She managed to enter a busy highway, and I knew it was a matter of time before we both went to meet our ancestors, leaving three orphans behind, as she moved along at 10 kilometers per hour.
The worst part is that she was driving on the right side of the road, and it was unfortunate that a certain fellow driving a truck was stuck behind her, honking and flashing his lights at her like a mad man.
I knew things were going to jump from worse to disaster when mama Boyi managed to bring the car to a shaky halt, and before I could say anything, she was out of the car and heading towards the truck, which had come to a stop behind her.
I watched from the safety of the car as that warlike Nyakiusa woman opened the driver’s door of the truck and bundled out the unfortunate driver out, and I watched as she shook the scared man like a rag doll. I did the wisest thing, I shifted to the driver’s seat and left.