I am increasingly getting irritated by people around me. These people led by my mother and my friend Adenya have been on my case for long. They want me to get married.

Every weekend, my mother informs me of each wedding or ruracio (dowry ceremony) she has attended at home. Adenya’s crime is that he keeps reminding me about the girlfriend I had back in college.

My explanation that I want to stabilise my farming first has fallen on deaf ears. These people don’t even appreciate that I am now a proud owner of a second-hand pickup truck.

And so when Adenya, who works in the city, invited me for a dowry negotiation ceremony in Kirinyaga, he laboured to explain that it was an opportunity for me to “meet and mingle” with a potential wife.

The programme was ‘‘easy’’ as he outlined. After the ceremony, we would drive back to Nairobi and have an evening party at a club in Westlands. I flatly rejected the venue on that side of town.

Adenya, who is quite influential, managed to convince the group to hold the after party at a new joint along the Thika superhighway. I was more comfortable as this is on the way to my flat in Kasarani.

When we converged at the international stadium for the journey to Kirinyaga that morning, people hopped into the sleek vehicles for lifts. No one thought my truck was headed to the ceremony. I travelled alone.

TWO BIRDS WITH ONE STONE

But this did not dim my spirit because I looked forward to killing two birds with one stone. You see, I was likely to meet a potential love of my life, and finally visit Makanya, my old friend who has struck it rich in dairy farming. He neighbours the family we were visiting.

Farmers are very generous in sharing things. Makanya gave me some new variety of napier grass and two half sacks of carrots and potatoes, which I loaded on my pick up. He also gave me some sweet potato vines, which make very good fodder. As he handed me two cat fish from his pond, he said, “Tie them on the side mirror.”

By 6pm, we were on the way back. We checked in at the noisy joint at around 8.30pm. Beer was quite expensive as it cost Sh200. Back home, we need Sh140 though I rarely drink.

By 11pm, almost everyone was settled. “This is now the Tujuane session. Let’s know each other,” Adenya announced after the volume of the music was reduced.

There were all sorts of young people – both men and women. Most of the young women had ‘‘brief’’ skirts, not enough to hide their flesh, but good enough to sustain our interest. It is a round of drinks I ordered that made me get noticed.

One lady interested me. She had a fresh hairdo, moderate make-up and she spoke with an accent.

“I am a fashion writer and I have a column on relationships in the newspaper,” she introduced herself.  I heard some murmurs. “She is the City Girl. She writes stinging articles” someone offered

“I am an agriprenuer. I have a dairy farm and I export herbs and spices,” I announced when my turn came.
There were bankers, insurance managers, techies and businesspeople.  I was the only farmer.

Quite loaded with some cash from my previous week’s sale of pilipili hoho (capsicum) and tomatoes, I felt more philanthropic and ordered two more rounds of drinks for all.

The City Girl I had spotted came to sit next to me. “Please allow me to buy you something,” I offered. “Tequilla double,” she replied. I didn’t know what that was.

I later dominated the discussion with my farming experiences. My enviable knowledge on how to remain young and beautiful by consuming royal jelly – a value added product from bees got the lady hooked.

About 1am, it was time to go home. Those going to the same direction hiked lifts. By coincidence, the City Girl was going in the same direction as that of my cousin, who I was to drop.

We had already exchanged contacts and agreed on another date “to know each other better”. As a potential lover, I walked faster to the pickup and opened the door for her.

However, she stepped back a few metres from the vehicle, her hands held over her head. “You have a pickup ya thaara (napier grass) and fish! No way!” she shouted. “Can I have a cab please?” I heard her shout. “Huyu jamaa amebeba thaara.” (This guy is carrying napier grass). “Anakaa mshamba,” she added as she scampered for safety.

It’s by luck that she didn’t even get in since I had some samples of garlic and onions in the car.

I am not sure if I will have another date with that City girl. But let her know that ukulima si ushamba (engaging in farming is not a sign of being backward). And I will get a wife, who can tolerate my business.

By joseph macharia