Absurd Story Of Abenyo

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African society has always been using the oral narrative as a tool to instill knowledge, warn, remind or encourage the community in different contexts. Due to lack of written literature and formal education the community fully relied on the oral narratives known as poyo so as to relay the lessons especially to the younger generations. These artistic narrations helped the community relay ideas, emotions of the society towards certain acts, elaborate cultural beliefs and show appreciation of the society to the past and the present life. These narratives have been able to transform the generations defining that particular society as well as interpret the future of that society. Through the narratives the society has been able to inherit and preserve its culture and continue to pass on from one generation to another. In a nutshell, the narrative is the primary repository tool for African society’s culture. That aside, our narrative today will be about a beautiful girl called Abenyo from one of the turkana clans. Besides, the narrative resonates across all the Turkana clans and brands.

Once upon a time,there lived a self-accomplished beautiful girl called Abenyo, the eldest girl in a family blessed by only girls. She was morally upright, hardworking and likeable by both her sisters and other girls in their village due to her upbringing. The girls in the village were fond of her and for every girls’ gatherings Abenyo was a must to be there to rejuvenate the group. She always gave priority to her home chores and other duties expected of her then the girls came second. She also took part in the communal duties such as watering the livestock (akiruu) with other girls as culture demanded including the organised  communal dances among other ceremonies.

One day, they gathered as usual under the tall acacia tree for the girls chit-chat as some made stories and gave advice on different issues touching them. The stories were made as they engaged in beadwork, made skin costumes and others curved the household utensils. Abenyo had a liking for the girls as well since she liked their stories and the company. One day Abenyo was listening to a story from one girl which drew her attention. The girl was narrating how she choreographed the plan and managed to steal from one of the villagers getting away uncaught. As morally upright as she was, that seemed to have sunk into her to the extent of bending to her principals.

That evening she learnt that one of the villagers had slaughtered a ram for his family and she made up her mind to apply the strategy from the spoiled girl to steal from the neighbor. For her it was an adventure considering the fact that she had never stolen. The house wife had prepared the meat for her family and the rest hung in the kitchen to dry by smoking. She waited until it was dark and then left her home to her target. On approaching the kraal she remembered how the girl consoled herself by a recitation in the native language;

Kiyapi cha iyong loge, ebe ekokoyo loge

 In other words, she meant that one ought to stalk carefully as he/she goes to steal which she made a song out of. As inexperienced as she was, she began singing audibly enough that she could be heard. It was obviously heard by anybody who was awake but assumed to be a mere song.  She entered the kitchen still singing

Kiyapi cha iyong loge, ebe ekokoyo loge…

The house-wife was standing in the kitchen waiting for the thief as the phrase was commonly used by amateurs as a way of gathering courage. It was clear who the woman was waiting for. No sooner did she entered the house than the woman pounced on her. She was scared from toe to head and started screaming. This woke up the entire village and when they heeded to the call, they realized that it was Abenyo that good girl admired by all. When asked of her intention she narrated it all and the entire village made a laughing stalk out of her as it sounded funny.

Nonetheless, the villagers sympathized with her and did not punish her but instead made fun of her for her stupidity and gave her a cut of the meat warning her never to repeat or ever think of stealing.  She went home tattered into shreds by shame as the story went viral throughout the entire village. The following day she became the talk of the village with suitors withdrawing their intention and friends gathered in cahoots talking about the “unblemished” Abenyo. 

She became depressed and could no longer hold her face in front of the villagers and that night, she decided to let go and hanged herself. The following morning her body was found dandling lifeless on a tree and that was the end of the self-accomplished Abenyo.  In life we should be careful of the friends we relate ourselves with no matter how principled we may see ourselves. It only takes a drop to make an ocean and so if we hang out with wrong friends who can be misleading to the point of regrets in life which can land us into troubles that we cannot fathom.

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