The honor and privilege of wiping this lantern globe was a reserve of the tenderest, most cautious of hands in the household. This chosen person was identified at birth… from their peculiar cry. The elders knew it when they heard it.
They were brought up on a special diet ; terere (amaranthus/pigweed), managu (black nightshade) and positive reassurance with a sprinkle of arrogance. Nobody dared to touch the chosen! There were unspecified consequences, nobody wanted the wrath of the gods of light to befall them.
In early teenage, the chosen one would be escorted to the mountains by an elder from an acceptable bloodline; an unblemished goat in tow, to make burn sacrifices to the gods light. Timing was of essence, the sacrifice was made at first light.
On an ordinary day, gathering tools of this honorable duty would start at 5 pm. By 5:30 pm, without fail, the chosen one would sit on a stool outside, wind in their locs of hair, away from impure souls that gods might loathe. They would face Mt. Kenya; Thaaai!
They would serenade the gods with sweet evening chants as they held the precious globe against the light, and with the most gentle strokes, wipe away.
Any person wishing to be in the presence of the chosen one as they executed this duty had to approach with their head bowed for no one, I dare repeat, would dare to anger the gods of light, or their servant by making direct eye contact with the lantern globe while in its most vulnerable moment; glasses are a little insecure about their bodies too.
The process would end by dusk, and the shiny globe would be carefully installed in place, all this while everyone held their breath. And there was light. The whole household would then celebrate. Another night without a crack in the precious globe. Another chance from the gods. Thaaai! The chosen one would take an honor walk around the house.
Today, I appreciate all those who sacrificed their gentleness to make sure the nights were lit AF. Where would we be without you? Probably in the dark,that’s where💁,and without education because how could you get homework done in the dark? The family dog would have had to eat a lot of homework.
Further attention is drawn to the fact that approximately 598 million people in Africa alone have no access to electricity. Without electricity families have no clean source of light, leaving millions to rely on expensive and dangerous alternatives such as homemade kerosene lamps. These lamps are a poor source of light; they emit toxic black smoke, eat up to 15% of a family’s income and are extremely hazardous ( https://solar-aid.org) Educate yourself there.
Before I sign off, I am still in pursuit of my dream; to learn how to light the pressure lantern below. Is anyone willing to share their expertise?
Stay lit, Salud!
I out 💕
This post was inspired by a meme, it’s not that deep😂😂