Bikozulu has a forehead. In Swahili it is called, ‘Paji La Uso.’ And it is quite beautiful. I would like to say that it is handsome, which it really is. Mostly because he is both male, and a man, but that would take away from the aura and magnificence of it all.
The reason most of us have (that being me, here) kept long hair is to hide the deformity that is our heads. If we didn’t, people would wonder what we are doing with a written-off car over on our heads. You know back then when someone decided to chongoa you and call you, ‘Kichwa Kama Kobole’ and it was not funny or painful? It is because your head really looked like a Kobole.
Millennials, Kobole is the old five shillings coin that had seven corners, to denote perfection. Your elder siblings brothers called it punch before it was known as five bob. Your fathers called it Kobwang’ to make it sound like it was bigger than it was. Their forefathers before them called it Kona Saba. Kobole is a classic now. Established in 1985.
Anyway, Bikozulu has a very beautiful forehead. (I had hoped to get a photo to show you, but it is not easy getting a photo of the man, even on google search. Which adds on to the mystery of it all). And I am sure he cherishes and loves on it a lot. With specific oils and a guided treatment regiment. Maybe even moisturizers, Aloe Vera and what not. That’s why he speaks highly of it. He does.
People speak highly of things they have, and own. People say, I have a car, when it is a shell of a car in their back yard. People say I have a boyfriend just so that you stop bothering them. Other people say, Obama is my cousin, so that they feel good about themselves. And people shout, ‘The Middle Class’ so that the look sophisticated and super intelligent when they are in a socio-political argument, but they cannot begin to explain to you who that middle class is and how they look like.
Back to foreheads. It’s like God, during creation, called together all his Associates, the creative angels, on the 8th day after a good Sabbath rest, and said to them, ‘Let us outdo ourselves this week. Let us make foreheads.’ And they went to work, for a whole day, just working with structural and architectural design, and some major quantum mechanics, for the perfect final outlook. They put everything in it. Heart and soul, blood and sweat. And when they were done, He looked at it and said, ‘This is good. This is very good.’
If Tesla decided to make their own line, they would come a close second.
The Good Lord, He curated it in the museum of museums, and then one day, then he remembered his humble servant Biko. And he gave him that amazing technical item and put it at the top front of his head. He reminded him the parable of the talents. He implored him to take care of it, and when he comes back, Biko should account for it.
When I first started reading Biko’s blog, I was sure we were related. Somehow. You know how Jang’os find their relatives in places and circumstances they had not planned.
You are at a party, and people start introducing themselves. Then you hear a name that sounds like something you know. You find them later and find out, why they have such a distinguished name. That name has roots among great people.
‘Where is your shags?’ You ask.
‘Gem.’ They tell you.
‘Interesting. Me too.’ You say.
You hug, and you are almost tearing up. It is always so emotional to meet a person from Gem, because first of all you are so proud of that whole constituency. That amazing place that has defined and redefined the authenticity of what it is to be a Luo, Kenyan, East African and even a citizen of the world. And it has done this in any and every way. Your pride shows all over your face.
You draw your family trees and realize you have one great ancestor, Adam, and his wife Eve. And that us enough cause for you to be best friends and when they get very drunk, they keep reminding the whole party, “Thish ish my cousin. Huyu ni cuso. Patia huyu chupa mbili, mimi ndio nitalipa.” But the bar is open and free.
Jang’os find relationships in everything, from going to the same school 40 years apart, to riding the same bus, to owning the same kind of car, or even wearing almost similar socks.
The reason I was sure I am related to Biko, before I even ever met him, is because my relatives are the true guardians of the foreheads. I had already told people that this our son is making us proud, in the way he does things. The same way I told people Obama is my cousin. Which is true. Mostly.
One of my favorite aunts has an iconic one. Fam, a forehead and a half. She is the Patron Saint of Foreheads. If foreheads were a country, she would be the capital city. If foreheads were a people, she would be the president. If foreheads were a religion, she would be the patron saint.
Have you ever had me diss people with foreheads? I would never do that. It would be like scoring an own goal at the world cup finals. Or drinking hot porridge in front of everyone. Those people who even say they have foreheads, actually don’t have any. And the people who diss others about it have never seen one; at least not a real one.
It’s like the devil was so jealous of the ones the good Lord had made and given to his people; his humble servants, that he too decided to put up a contraband assembly. So he called up his people and told them, “Let us make foreheads.” And they too went to work. The things they came up with were the extremely atrocious things that those my relatives ended up with. Some square, some rectangular, some elongated others diminished. Some oblong and some were soooo extra and soooo big, they would need their own instagram accounts if the owners went on to IG.
The worst thing about having relatives with foreheads is you can’t make a joke about it. And you can’t stare, or out rightly point at it. So you call them up for a selfie, and you take a picture, and then you go and study it.
People out here may claim to have foreheads, but just let them know theirs is just part of the franchise. We hold the patent.