Paja mwanangu


Elder Lister
Staff member
I go to museums and historical sites not because there is anything that makes me happy there, but mainly because of the guides that work there. Those people speak with an apostolic conviction. “Sasa Vasco da Gama alipofika hapa, akapatana na mwanamke wa kiswahili...” They just know how to arrest our imagination and focus. When they say someone met a woman when they touched shore, that story is about to go down. An empire is about to fall and a hero is about to build a castle and die crying for love. “Sasa kajenga jumba hili la vyumba kumi na sita, kila kimoja cha miaka kumi na sita walioowana na mwanamke huyo.”
These stories aren't documented anywhere mostly, but they are bigger than the characters. Bigger than the storyteller and most definitely bigger than you the curious listener.
Lastly, they ask, “kuna swali?” Then a man, will volunteer to ask, “na kwani huyo mwanamke alikua nani hadi akashinda huyo jamaa.”
Our guide will chuckle and say, “Paja mwanangu. Paja.” The way he will say it, you will know that it is this generation alone that has a false belief -that thighs, any thighs, save lives. Paja mwanangu. Paja!
They will leave you with a disturbing thought, do I need a paja in my life?