ACHOLA ROSARIO VISITS THE MASAI MARKET IN NAIROBI
(Posted 11th September 2020)
Suzy the sisal basket was born on a Monday, the dyed sisal that made her up having been slowly dried in the backhouse for about a week so it is still malleable into a U-shaped tightly woven receptacle with interchanging patterns. By Tuesday Suzy had on an engraved leather cap and clasp, as well as a lovely new handle for easy carrying, well sewn into the leather with sisal to ensure it never detaches no matter the load. Wednesday saw her loaded onto the back of a pick-up, for the great adventure up to the big city, the one they call Nairobi.
The sights and smells were crisp and clear on this cold day, children running in and out of legs and barriers, smokie sausages being steamed in little white modified parambulators, and chilli kachumbali salad ready to warm the coldest of hearts. Suzy alighted in a colorful open space in front of a hugely respectable ochre building with a sign saying The Supreme Court of Kenya. The place was full of chattering vendors sat on plastic barrels, her aunties jostling for prime space on the hangers where they can be seen in all their finery. There were objects of many races that she had not seen before, each one gleaming in the dim sunlight, creating their own rainbow with their myriad of colors. Suzy realized that if she was to get a new friend to take her home like was the plan, she would have to get clever.
A stray camera came over leading a strange looking lady with bad hair, who was swinging her head left and right, ogling all the wares competing for her attention, with Suzy being no exception. She stopped to talk with Farmer Son for a while, asking for the price of Suzy with hope and moving on with slight disappointment. Suzy was out of her price range. Besides the lady said she had come for jewelry so hopefully she finds what she wants and has enough money to come back for her later. Farmer Son told the lady that we come from Narok county, a place where the Masai are very well known, but the market here in Nairobi has people from all 42 tribes in Kenya. Everybody comes to show what their little nation is known for and also in the process create something new, a fusion of all the things and skills they learned while interacting with each other in the market. There are also strange people with pale skin who love coming to find gorgeous objects like Suzy to take home with them to their “planets”.
One such lady picked Suzy up and admired her fine yellow, turquoise, purple and tan alternating oblong stripes with creamy milk chocolate leather top and clasp and immediately handed over the $25 Farmer Son asked for. Farmer Son divided the money into money for the market dues and his profit and tucked them into separate pockets for safekeeping. Suzy was filled with the contents of the lady’s other handbag and handled with Pride all the way out of the market, belly swinging the in the contentedness of being full and useful. They got into a taxi and drove to a place the lady called Karen, where she went to meet her friends in a restaurant for dinner. Suzy was put on the table, occupying pride of place at her new lady-friend’s elbow, where she was picked up and passed around the table in admiration by the four friends. Suzy preened in the candlelight.
A few weeks later, Suzy heard one of Lady Friend’s girlfriends saying she had seen Suzy in an online video called The F.O.M.O. Travel show! Apparently the strange lady with the camera had filmed Suzy and Farmer Son and had made it into a review of the market where people from home came to sell their objects of all races. The market is called the Masai Market and Suzy was happy to have gone through it, because it gave her a warm beautiful life with a purpose, and gave Farmer Son the same.
Entry to Masai Market is free of charge
Saturday and Sunday only
9 am to 4.30pm
Parking of the Supreme Court of Kenya
Market chairmen Edward Wasiwasi and Richard Mutua:
+254 712 610045
To watch the F.O.M.O. Episode 41 Masai Market Initiative click on:
Ero Kamano (Thank you in Luo and Masai)