Dear Fundis, why are you like this? Why do you take our dreams and visions and send them crashing into a heap of bitter disappointment, poor stitching and empty wallets? When did you become the dons of Character Development University?
Why do you take our clothing measurements, without writing them down, knowing full well that you don’t have the time, energy, ability or inclination to make outfits that fit us, or that bear even a passing resemblance to what we ordered? Sometimes, ours are the very first pair of trousers you are making, why do you let us find out when we collect a pair of pants which look like they quarreled and one leg decided to puff its chest out, kama dume, causing the other leg to sulk and ghost the dume leg? And when we are shocked, why do you tell us our left leg must have gotten bigger? How, unless we have been hopping atop the Bunyore hills on one leg, is that possible?
Why, even when we have important occasions to attend, do you suddenly start working on our clothes when we show up to pick them up? And why is some fabric always missing? Do you not care that this ridiculousness will be immortalized in our friend’s wedding photos? That, years later, when the happy couple has children, the children will ruefully shake their heads, looking at the photos and ask, “Mom, why are your bridesmaids dressed like this? Was this a thing back then?” and her blood will boil all over again when she remembers the poor stitching that forced her maid of honor to tie a leso over her dress when it ripped the minute she wore it simply because she dared to walk in her dress.
Why does the stitching on the clothes look like something that was done using a blunt wooden splinter, while you were running away from Kanjo? And why does the skirt, which was supposed to be a mermaid skirt, look like a deflated balloon? Why does his shirt hang high above his belly? Has inflation gotten so bad that we can no longer cover our bellies?
And you, fundi wa mjengo, who promised me that you have constructed and painted many houses before, complete with photos. I now realize you cobbled these pictures together by going around construction sites and taking photos, like a mjengo slay queen. Why can’t my window close properly? And why is my friend’s bathroom floor slanting away from the drain hole instead of towards it? Are you a jajuok, greater than those of my neck of the woods, Alego, or their equally formidable comrades in Kitui, who can cause the water to defy gravity and drain towards higher ground?
And you, fundi who constructed my friend’s sky high bathroom sink, are you related to the one who constructed a sky high bathtub in my mother’s house? Are you secretly trying to turn all of us into high vault jumpers?
And then there are you who save your character development for our beds, the place we lay our heads to rest after surviving another day in these mean streets. You who assured us that making a bed was a simple affair. After all, how hard can it be to cut wood and make it stand on a wooden box, or on four legs? Sounds simple enough, no? Well, tell me why this bed has one leg that doesn’t touch the ground? As if it has too much pedho to touch the floor? And why do you claim it is because my floor is uneven, and not because you made one leg shorter?
I won’t even get into the horrors of paying an arm, a leg, and a piece of liver for curtains, only for the fabric to disappear, or of bakers who deliver the cake very late, and to show it’s solidarity with your own disappointment, the cake literally collapses into itself, like a sinkhole.
I will not because this daughter of Alego cannot even.