Down Memory Lane 2-: Shoes

Posted: August 7, 2014 in MemoryLane
Tags: , , , ,

Todays’ article subject is shoes.
Every child relishes the few days in school whenever he has the newest and coolest shoes in class..
They never came on a silver platter though.

Before a new pair of shoes were bought, the current pair had to meet 1 or all of the following criteria.

  1. No longer fits even if the shoe laces are loosened beyond limt.
  2. The REPLACED sole has worn out and water can sip in too…(in fact an emergency if it’s during a rainy season).
  3. They were stolen(good for you if thieves actually stole it among other things) or you lost them(which would not be good for your sitting apparatus)

Other expected events in the aging of shoes such as as being torn, worn out sole or loss of tan meant a straight visit to the Fundi for repair, a new sole or kupakwa dye respectively.

Allow me to digress.
When the Fundi got your aging pair of shoes some new soles, something invariably went wrong.

1 Fundi would pick a pair of soles with a big heel.
Your shoes would be nicknamed ‘makavunja’ (meaning a weapon of mass destruction)

  1. He would force a particular sole (because it was available) to fit your shoes.
    The result was disastrous forcing you to invent weird walking styles and standing position in an effort to conceal the disturbing look your shoes had acquired.

Just like medical school students, I was supposed to satisfy the Board of Purchasers and Repairers…..who had come to specialize in the latter though.
The Board consisted of 2 members. The father and the mother.

Before you could gather strength to face them however, you sought approval from your experienced siblings to ascertain whether the shoes have met the criteria.

Afterwards, you meet the mother aside first because she had a soft spot.
All you needed was to get carried away in your tantrum and shed a tear or two(which were genuine by the way) and there you were, headed for the finals.
Fully convinced, she would tell you to wait till the father ‘apate mshahara’.

On the D-day, you would pray that no one would get in trouble especially that brother of yours who had a committed relationship with trouble.
After supper, you would be the one who takes the dishes to the kitchen and wipes the table even if it wasn’t your day as per the timetable.

As the father was happy telling his childhood stories, you’d interrupt him before he got to the part where he got his first pair of shoes while joining High School.
Not that there was a problem with that on the other days, but on this day? That would be negative vibe.

“Baba…..kiatu” (Dad….shoes). That was enough to make him cut short his tales and fully focus the attention on you.
He would go through the criteria and you would breath a sigh of relief when you realize you had satisfied the Board..

The moment you had been waiting and hoping for would arrive when he said, “Sawa basi, chukua kalamu na karatasi uchore miguu”
You couldn’t see well as you left the living room heading for the bedroom because tears of joy clouded your vision.
Once in the room you would pick the excercise book which you hadn’t used past the midpage and tear up the middle pages with unrivalled gusto

Then you would borrow a pencil from one of your brothers(the responsible one considering I always lost my pencils before mid day everytime I had a new one.
I would borrow a pencil from the guy I knew had stolen my pencil. That guy was a character to behold….he steals your new pencil and then makes you think he is such a generous fellow by lending you his old pencil for the day.

The next day you would see him with a new pencil which unfortunately had no pattern. It was all woody brown…..meaning someone had worked on a new pencil with a razor to scrape off its identity.

Back in the living room, the father, when feeling sufficiently philanthropic, would decide it was time everyone got a new pair.

So everyone was up and about drawing the outline of their feet.
The brother who had a penchant of getting in trouble would be asking for a piece of paper in hush tones because he had lost his bag together with its entire contents.

Fastforward to the next evening, the moment everyone had been anticipating. The father walked in with a paper bag.
You know those kind with calenders on either side?
I always wonder how the manufacturers intended we use those calendars.

Let me conclude with this theory we had.
The persons whose shoes would be given the first as well as the last were never in luck.
The middle lot would be the luckiest.

This is how we supported our theory.
The father arrives at the shoe vendor who then using the feet drawings selects the matching shoes.

The father picks the ones he deems appropriate based on comfort but most importantly the ability to withstand wear and tear.

The vendor quotes the prices and the first shoe to go in the paper bag is the one they quickly agree on the price( meaning kinda cheap).
The ones that follow are only put in after lengthy discussions because they are quite dear hence likely way better than the first one.

There’s always that pair whose price won’t be settled on easily unless one party sacrifices, so the vendor not wanting to lose out altogether, offers an alternative similar to the first shoe since both of them now tired, prefer a shoe they can both quickly agree on……meaning cheap but all the same can withstand wear and tear.
That becomes the top shoe in the stack.

Back at home as the father sits down and is ready to give out the shoes, everyone except the Board Members know that to be called first or last means bad news!


p class=”post-sig”>Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry.

  1. kemuntomayio says:

    hilariously true#thankGodIgrewup—my brother’s facing this-his time sadly he’s alone in this-shida ya kuchelewa


  2. Sam Asselo says:

    Hahaha so you remember Daniel!
    Sent from my BlackBerry®


  3. Dan Murano says:

    The las born always got the best shoes


  4. Sam Asselo says:

    Hehehe it’s good to recall such moments Kivs. They are just too special to be forgotten


  5. Kivindu says:

    Sam hehehe unatuexpose mbaya…you’ve a good memory


  6. Sam Asselo says:

    Thank you Mollet. 🙂
    Sent from my BlackBerry®


  7. mollymollet says:

    Haha part ya kuchora ndo ilikuwa the best .nyc piece


  8. Sam Asselo says:

    Thank you Fay Lily
    Sent from my BlackBerry®


  9. fay lily says: