Disco Matanga

Disco matanga
Image: Julius Ojwang/ HiviSasa

So Jayden announced another round of lockdown measures. Politicians can’t campaign for the BBI for the next thirty days. But we have to wait for another sixty days to see if we will be allowed to enjoy night travel once more. Your daddy bishop and mummy pastor don’t have to worry about finding a real job as long as they allow only a third of you in their presence at any given time. Lastly, you can’t be the 101st person at any funeral. 

And oh, you have 72 hours to put your loved one six feet under after a licensed medical practitioner declares them gone. 

I have no issues with the new burial directives from him who listens to science (even though he has continued to hold super spreader political rallies in the middle of a pandemic). In fact, I very much welcome the new directives. If you have been following the conversation, people with enough sanity still left in them have been calling for funeral expenses to be affordable to the bereaved. There is really no need for mourning families to be left under crippling debt in the name of celebrating a life (sometimes of someone who died of hunger). This is the point where I plug in a funeral insurance cover. However, I don’t know any of my friends who sell such policies. So I’ll let it pass. But if you want catering services at your funeral and you know your family won’t be able to afford it, take up a funeral insurance cover.

I just realized that like the pandemic brought a new normal for the corporate world, there will soon be a new normal for the village social life. It’s already here but we’re still in denial so we prefer speaking about it in the future tense. One of the things we might never get to enjoy ever again is disco matanga.

Disco matanga will never be the same again

For the city kids who have no idea what disco matanga is, it is the village equivalent of sherehe. But more lit. Without any cameras in sight. With probably more chang’aa and weed than you’ll ever see in your entire life unless you are a drug dealer. And they aren’t thrown every other weekend. Disco matanga are only organized to celebrate the life of a departed member of the community and raise money to help offset some of the funeral expenses.

Here’s how it goes down. There is an MC. He does pretty much what every MC is expected to do. That is, boss the event, set the mood, make announcements about which toilets belong to watu wa Nairobi, and make jokes about who is dancing like a bird with broken limbs (in disco matanga, dance tu lakini watakujudge). There is also a DJ. Not your typical DJ who makes music mixes. The disco matanga DJ has the simplest job of all DJs- press play, pause, next, or previous. In most cases, he plays music on his phone. So one of you has to volunteer his phone to put his sim card in. Because he can’t afford to be off and you also don’t want his callers disrupting your dance sessions.

This is what they mean when they say you’re dancing like a bird with broken limbs

And there’s the unofficial Miss Village- the village beauty who’s the center of attention at the disco matanga. People don’t only want to dance with her but also take her to their bed at the end of the night. 

You pay to dance with the village beauty. It’s a bidding war and the highest bidder gets to “open the field” with her. You dance with her until any of the following three things happen. One, you make moves at her but she doesn’t like you so she pushes you away when she’s tired of your lame vibes. Two, the MC gets jealous of all the whining you are getting and decides to put a stop to that nonsense. Three, she’s really good at whining her waist and you have to pull away before you jizz yourself. A visible hardon from dancing with the village beauty is cheered, it might even get you laid by the other horny lasses at the disco. But if you jizz yourself, you are better off moving to another country, changing your identity, and starting a new life altogether. Because you’ll have brought shame to yourself, your immediate family, your ancestors, and everyone who’s known to you. Even your enemies will be ashamed of being enemies with someone who can’t hold themselves. You don’t want that. People who vote for the BBI will be judged less harshly than you if you jizz yourself at disco matanga.

After the winning bidder is done, everyone else gets a chance with the village beauty. If she’s still up for it. It’s all consensual. If she says she’s done for the night, often because she’s found someone who’s going to rearrange her guts, the next beauty is called to the stage and the bidding starts again. How much time one gets with the village beauty after the winning bidder is done depends on how much money they contribute to the funeral kitty. And how much the girl likes you.

I have been to a disco matanga once in my life. In fact, I got one of the many loves of my life from there. No, I was not in any way related to the deceased. I didn’t even have an idea who he was. I was there in the line of duty. Was I getting paid to attend a disco matanga? No. The deceased was, in some way, related to the governor. One of the perks of being close to power is that you get a hall pass to enjoy state resources. So instead of hiring a PA system, the family made a call to the right places and we received instructions to take our PA system to Usenge.

If you’ve ever worked with office equipment, you know that you have to sign out stuff and at the end of the day, sign them back in in the condition in which they left. We could have gone, set up the sound, come back to Siaya to enjoy our sweet time, then gone back after the burial to collect our equipment. But we have trust issues. And that’s how I found myself in my first-ever, and only, disco matanga.

It’s also where, as I mentioned, I met one of the loves of my life. She was the village beauty. Sexy af. With a perfect pair of tits (perfect, not big. Learn the difference. Perfect tits, regardless of the size, make blood rush to the lower part of your body leaving the upper unable to make sane decisions). And she was energetic, dancing long after everyone had left the dance floor and screaming obscenities at the DJ whenever he took off her favorite song.

I can’t remember who made the first move. All I remember is that she came over on Monday evening and for the next two months, I woke up to a perfect pair of tits almost every morning. Life was good. Except for one little strange thing. Whenever she was over, she would find an excuse to go home every Friday. Her uncle was traveling back from home and she had the keys to his house. Her sister’s kid had been admitted to the hospital and she needed someone to watch the house. Every Friday, a new excuse. But if you are having your balls drained every morning and evening, nothing else matters. She wants to go and ensure that the chicken took their bath? Cool. She wants to check if the cows have enough salt in their nappier grass? Good. Nothing matters. Fuck Dr. Cupid and his red flags.

In my defence

It was later that I found she was married with a kid. Her hubby worked in Kisumu and would travel home every Saturday morning. That’s why she needed to be home by Friday evening. This earth is hard. After the Jubilee government, fear Luo women.

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