Meet Snake in Nairobi


Will I meet a snake, last night dreamt of fish,

Was fishing in River Sio, our local river,

The one that has its source somewhere up there in Mt. Elgon

The one full of crocodiles and thousands of other reptiles, did I tell you of the black mamba?


A distributary of Lake Victoria, the lake of three countries;

Kenya and her neighbors, Uganda and Tanzania

The source of the great Nile, Africa’s Royal River that drains in Mediterranean Sea

Down in Alexandria, the river that keeps Cairo breathing, with all due respect to the Egyptians


Mama is standing on the River bank, she’s pointing for me where to throw my fishing line

Funny, mama has to be the one, never gone fishing with me before

The few times been to fishing, down where the Sio meets our farm

Unless if it’s in her two fish ponds, she keeps Tilapia and Catfish


Where I grew up, you wake up and say,

Look mama, last night dreamt eating fish,

She will look at you and say sternly, boy,

Today don’t go swimming in the river and no playing in the bushes, hear me?


Lest you want to be bitten by that green snake we saw last time, slithering in the grass

Remember what happened to your friend, remind me the name again?

The one who never listened to wisdom, the one who I forbid you to play with

The mischievous one who hated school, only choosing to walk around with a catapult hanging down his neck


That’s my people’s culture, the one we the millennials no longer care about

To a stranger it’s nothing more than stupid superstition, beliefs that have no basis

To my people it’s important, a rat crosses your path and you have a lucky day

You happen to dream of fish, you end up meeting a snake


Thank God no snakes in Nairobi streets, have no plans of visiting the museum

Just waiting for the UEFA Champions League final, not going to Nairobi National Park either

I hate snakes; killed Polisi our loyal bitch, sometimes wish God had never created them

(Ain’t superstitious either, just writing to make sure my future kids know my roots)









6 thoughts on “Meet Snake in Nairobi

  1. There are a lot snake superstitions here in Appalachia. The most dangerous is the Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake. Not as dangerous as a Momba but how many times can one die? Only once.
    One of our superstitious beliefs is that if you kill a snake and hang it upside down in a tree it will make rain. That’s a old time myth.
    But I never kill a black kingsnake because they eat the dangerous ones.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi sir! That’s interesting. So it means all of us have these beliefs, though most of us choose to ignore them, especially those that don’t add any value to our lives.


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