This month we celebrate my grandpa: Paul Nyakwanya Siagi who went to be with the Lord a year ago. Just as I thought of him this morning as I often do, I had an epiphany. So many memories, but this morning I specifically remember his “grooming kiondo”.
Mr. Siagi usually woke up to a cold shower each morning for as long as I can remember ( this applied to his days off too) He had a metal basin which he usually filled to the brim with ice – cold water. He would proceed to hum various songs from the time he started his shower until he left the bathroom. Even after, he still continued to hum as he moved within the house as he put on his carefully selected clothes for the day( which he did prior to going to the bathroom BTW)
After getting dressed, while still humming, he would pick his “grooming kiondo” and head outside to his usual spot, under a tree, and continue with the process of getting ready for the day. He would set the kiondo down, open the chair up ( it was one of those wooden, foldable chairs) and take a seat. In the “grooming kiondo” was an assortment of lotions( like lady gay which was quite popular when we were growing up), hair tonic, vaseline, a shaver, combs and a hair brush.
While still singing, he would put a scarf around his neck, shave a little but of his beard off since there wasn’t but a stubble as he did this daily. He would then methodically apply hair tonic, part his hair with a comb slightly to the side and start combing until he felt it was soft enough. He would then use the hair brush to cement the cut and ensure it was neat to look at.
The kiondo fascinated us kids, but it was never left lying around since it also had an assortment of blades. Some blades he would use for his shaver and some for trimming his nails. Promptly after use, he would fold his chair and take his “grooming kiondo” back to the house. He would hang it high up on a nail that he had specifically drilled out of reach of children.
My childhood was fun, and it was colorful. Thanks to my ever smiling, humming grandpa. I have a lot of stories to tell my children who didn’t get to fully enjoy his presence. We love and miss you dearly, but you were a ball of positivity and tenderness. Keep looking down at us from heaven, or how far have you gone?