Recently, my grandma was to visit me to see and bless her new-born great-grandson. Now, I live in Dagoretti in one of those villages with a funny name- Kanungaga. Kanungaga borders Gatina Village, with Macharia Road separating the two. From town, you board a Route 56 matatu at Railways, where touts, as they scramble for passengers, shout at the top of their voices. “Gatina, Kanungaga. Gatina, Kanungaga.”
Well, you can imagine my discomfort at what my grandma would think of me. See, she raised me strictly in the Catholic faith, even seeing to it that I got baptised as Ephantus; me thinks Fanta was her favourite soft drink. Anyway, Gatina literally translates into a small butt while Kanungaga means little smelly thing in the Kikuyu language. Conjoin the two words in the same breath and ignominy is born.
I thought of using Route 105 matatus and alighting at Uthiru. From here, I could book another matatu to Kawangware and onwards to my house. Still, the last time I used this route, I ended up dozing off and waking up at Kinoo. Well, if you know your history, you will know that our Founding Father never could refer one of our most brilliant athletes by his second name. Instead, he always referred to the athlete as ‘that man with that name.’ The athlete in question is Kipchoge Keino. Kinoo and Keino are virtually the same and denote the female genitalia.
Route 4C, Kabiria and Satellite bound, was no better since it meant I had to go past Wanyee Road; Wanyee being ‘he descended from the testicles.’ Again, in their evasion of the traffic police from Kabete Police Station, I could easily find myself being dropped at Ndurarua- “Are you not getting circumcised?”
What place names in your town or neighbourhood embarrasses you?