EDWIN KIPTANUI CHIRCHIR email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
A photo of Tom Tubei, next to the shoe believed to have belonged to Mulalit
PHOTO CREDIT: TOM TUBEI
When my late grandmother told me a story about giants in the early 1990's, I listened to her with a heightened sense of childhood curiosity. At that time, I was this short, wide eyed kid with a protruding belly (not related to Kwashiorkor folks, I repeat, not kwashiorkor). The story was always told at night, making any child afraid to go out for a short call unaccompanied.
For the rest of my childhood, I was careful about talking to strangers. I was always watching over my shoulder, just in case some one eyed giant with a tail was stalking me.
It was believed that giants were huge one eyed, human like creatures, who ate naughty children for breakfast, lunch and supper.
Of course, later in life, during my teenage years, I started doubting those stories. I dismissed them as nonsense and even laughed them out of my mind. I questioned for example why for some unknown reason, the giants in question never digested the children they ate, which is why after eating so many children, they would eventually be killed by some hero of the clan and the giants stomachs would be slit open, hence leading to the recovery of the all the children the giants had eaten, each of them being safe and sound.
That was until recently, when Tom Tubei, The Communications Director of Baringo County Government, posted some pictures on Facebook, from The Riftvalley Innovation Centre - Mwachon,near Torongo in Kenya. One of those photos, had a picture of a shoe which was larger than life. A shoe which reminded me of 'Barmuriat' in some class seven text book which I read ages ago. A shoe which if I was to wake up one day and find it on my door step, I would relocate to Northern Uganda. I had no reason to doubt Mr. Tubei, since he taught me English at some point in my life and I turned out alright. Secondly, he had photo evidence. Yes, he was there (on the photo), standing beside the shoe, which belonged to a giant.
He (Tubei) says that the shoe belonged to one Mulalit, a gigantic man from 'Kipkugoi' clan, whose mythical fame was narrated in many forums. It is said that Mulalit could eat six well folded or rolled, self - respecting chapatis (Pancakes) at one go. I can only imagine if one of you female readers here was the wife of Mulalit, cooking would probably have been a full time job. By the way, Mr. Tubei did not mention anything about Mulalit having been a married man, hence I might have to go to Mwachon and ask those questions myself. He (Mulalit, not Tubei) could also carry two sacks of maize on his shoulder without complaining. Did you get that? Two sacks (90 kgs each) ladies and gentlemen, which makes the activities and efforts of those guys who normally go to the gym to chase biceps, seem like a huge and ugly joke.
Another thing which makes me hold Mulalit in high regards is that, it is said he once single handedly pulled out a car that had skidded off the road into a ditch, somewhere in Nerkwo, not far from Torongo in Baringo county. The car is believed to have belonged to one Senior Chief Kiplabat from Kabimoi (Kokwomoi to be precise, since that is the area where I got and lost my milk teeth). Unable to recover his vehicle from the ditch, Kiplabat had decided to go and get a tractor from Kapng'etuny, to pull his car out, only to come back and find that Mulalit had already sorted out the problem.
Now, that helpful character of Mulalit, stepping in to help a man in need is very unlikely of giants, at least according to my grandmother. But I have questions, which is why I would like to go to Mwachon, near Torongo very soon. I want to know whether Mulalit was a married man, whether he left descendants, whether his wife was also a giant. I want to know whether he was violent, whether he fought with people sometimes (of course he would win if that happened). I want to know whether he had political ambitions, whether he lived in a house or a cave and whether ladies had a crush on him (which lady would not like to have such a strong man, huh?)
I would also like to re - introduce tales about giants (especially those who ate naughty children) to my own kids, but there is a problem. Today's kids are a different breed altogether, because they will nullify your narrative with difficult questions. Questions like: Why couldn't the police shoot those giants? Why couldn't the giants be arrested? Why didn't the giants eat you? Why don't we see those giants on T.V? (apparently, T.V now rules their world). And then after all those questions, they will give their final submissions, in a court where they are the witnesses as well as the prosecutors and judges, saying, "unadanganya" (you are lying), then they will conclude by saying you will not go to heaven, before finally sentencing you to one week of buying yoghurt.
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