I was seven going to eight when we moved to the country side. I had gotten so used to town life that I was unable to hack the Shaggz life. The noise, hooting cars, chanting hawkers, street lights in the night was the order of the order of the day. In a blink of an eye, it had changed.
I found myself in a quiet neighborhood. Unlike the brick walls in the city, homes were fenced with K-apple. Trees were grown in every homestead. Instead of taking a siesta on the couch, under the tree was always best. Most of the time you would be woken up by neighbors screaming at each other because another person’s cows trespassed and destroyed maize.
Soon it would be four O’clock and children would be scampering home looking like they had passed through a sand storm. Cow bell noises and bellowing goats would be heard at a distance. It was time for the milkman to lock in the herd and milk the cows. This kind of life for a child who had been used to the city, was not exciting.
I was bored and unhappy. My parents could see it. When I was enrolled to a new school, my father got me a golden bells. We did not have electricity or solar. Every evening my mother would light her old glass lampand place it on a cupboard at the corner of the house. She believed that from that corner, light would illuminate the place evenly.
As she cooked, the rest of us would sit quietly in the living room. Our Great wall TV sat on another cupboard that served as the wall unit. This was a luxury that was curtailed by moving to the countryside. These times, we had very few options to spend the evening, sleep or talk to each other. Sleeping on the couch in my mother’s house was crime. However, going to bed on an empty stomach was a bigger crime. We just had to talk to each other and the hymn culture was created.
My father started teaching me hymns from the golden bells. He was a trained music teacher and knew almost every song in the hymn book. Every evening, he would teach me a new song. After school, I would back my homework books in the bag. The Golden bells always went in my bag first. It was better to leave my Math assignment at school than the hymn book.
After learning the new song, my father would stand and walk to the door, raise his hand, feel the top of the frame and take out his flute. No one else was allowed to touch the flute but him. He would play the hymn that he had just taught me. I would stare at how his fingers moved on the flute and I’d be amazed. How easy it looked. I wanted to be as good as he was.
As I progressed in school work, I made sure my love for instruments was at bay. One time, in high school, my music teacher asked me to sing a certain stanza of a song on my own. The crowed listening to me was wowed and they gasped. I have never forgotten that experience, more than ten years later.
Fast forward to today, I have fallen in love with the saxophone. It is similar to the flute in that they are both wind instruments. My tutor could not believe my choice. They felt that the Tenor sax was a bit too masculine and I was not having any of that. After shopping around for a while, I settled for a black one by Karl. I hope that it sounds as good as it looks.
I intend to share with you my saxophone journey. I hope to sound as good as my father when played the flute.