Anyanyo shook her waist so hard, the Ohangla singer playing the Nyatiti was lost for words; no amount of lyrical improvisation could extol such astonishing levels of agility and flexibility. Sweat dripped in steady streams down Anyango’s cheeks, her limp blouse was matted to her back. Her white teeth lit her face with pride as her upper torso seemed to move to a completely different beat from her lower limbs being flung in the air, kicking up the red dust.
The whole of K’Obare market stood still. Young men drew closer to watch, some elderly women ululated singing out praises, young girls screamed in awe and joined in ululation chanting Anyango’s name. Anyango was the undisputed village choreographer, daughter of the great Chief Okano Winyo. Whenever there was a ceremony the village was guaranteed of great entertainment from this multitalented singer and undeniably gifted dancer.
Chief Winyo was away in a far off land attending to administrative duties. He would not be very pleased with young Anyango’s behavior. It was considered, by the chief and his stuffy kinsmen, to be a huge shame. A daughter of a chief is not expected to expose such levels of sensuality in dance at a market place to all and sundry. This was a preserve of special occasions, but only for younger girls.
Anyango was 15 years old, and had been initiated; womanhood expected more than gyration and singing. But Anyango was stubborn; rules were for ‘idiotic’ villagers. She was a free spirit and no cultural dictates would stop her from pursuing what she wanted.
Bushman (his name really is Bushman) was the son of a chief from a neighbouring clan who had had his eyes on this ball of sunshine. But never once had Anyango given him time of day. He took this opportunity to try and lure her with what she knows best. He showed her what great music was about.
The dumbfounded Nyatiti player was quickly shoved aside by Bushman’s henchmen. Bushman took over, playing in tandem with Anyango’s agility and belted out in his tenor an endless string of glorious tribute. He hoped that he could serenade his chocolate gem straight to his hut as his wife that day.
As soon as he hit the crescendo that left Anyango breathless, and exhilarated, she waited for the cue and with one twirl and drop to her knees for the grand finish, she pumped her fists in the air and accidentally knocked bushman to the ground, bringing an end to the song and his consciousness.