The Cup of Guilt

The Cup of Guilt

Tales form under the bed

It was on a cold Saturday morning…isn’t that how we like phrasing our first paragraph? 

Anyway, let me start my story using a different line, ‘It was under the bed…’

Beneath the bed lies strangest of things. I once heard a story of a lady who was married in boma which was famous for night-running. Everyone in that home was a night-runner. Like any other boma in that part of Nyanza, they kept cows, goats, sheep, chicken and ducks. A few days after moving in with her husband, it was time for her to be initiated into the cult. It is said that that night she was taken into the main house where there was a gathering of the whole family. They sat her down and told her how things were done over there. The mother-in-law began,  “We are very happy to welcome such a rare beauty into the family. (There’s something about very beautiful ladies falling for bad boys, and some of these bad boys are just a jajuok meaning a night-runner). However, in this boma, we have a culture which has been in existence over the years. It has been passed form one generation to the next. And we hope that your people also practice night-running.” The storyteller told me that the lady died on the inside. She fought hard to put on a calm face in the face of these jojuok who were about to initiate her to night-running. Acting shocked would have resulted to death so it said. Not that she’d be killed by anyone but the every act of doing so would see her fall sick, weather and just die a mysterious death. “Yes, we do,” she said bravely. “We are glad. This would have been much  harder had you been an outsider. Welcome to the family,” said the mother-in-law with a smile. She then instructed her son, the newly wed, to bring her sons. “Omondi, kel nyithinda omos wendo.” (Omondi, bring my children to say greet the visitor)

The son went inside and made some funny sound signalling the creatures that it was time to come out. From under the bed crawled out a long python and a leopard. Only a night-runner can make the two co-exist peacefully under the bed. When she came eye-to-eye with the leopard and the python, she wanted to run away. She wanted to scream. She wanted to grow wings and fly. But there she was with a snake about to lick her or maybe wrap itself around her and a leopard bunting between her legs like a cat. Dunia simama nishuke (Google translate can help you with that). She didn’t faint, neither did she pee on herself. But she came to the realization that under the bed lies the strangest of things.

Under the bed also lies a cup. 

I first met him in 2018. A fine coastal man who spoke good Swahili. The kind that makes us ‘watu wa bara’ rethink about ever uttering another Swahili word ever. He had come with her then girlfriend for a studio photoshoot. At the moment we were running an 50% off offer on temprature cups. Magical cups they are. Plain cups which are plain even with the photos on them. You have to pour in something hot to see the photo. And so we made one for them. They looked good together, like they were created for each other.

I don’t know what happened. But as they say, things happen. They later broke up.

He met a beautiful Luo lady. They dated. He went to their home with cows and money. He was given the girl. This girl who now served him almost everything in that one same cup. 

When we met this year during another photo session, he pulled me aside and we had a small chat. “You remember that cup that you printed for us like two years back?” he asked. “Of course I do,” I replied. “We’ll, I was almost served ugali in that cup.” I couldn’t stop laughing. It was a long laughter. “It’s not funny,” he said. 

When they broke up, he didn’t dispose off certain stuff for reasons best known to him. He kept some of the things from his previous relationship, one of them being that magic cup. 

Since the day that cup was found under the bed wrapped inside a box, he was served tea in that cup, he was served porridge in that cup, he was served juice in that cup, he was served soda in that cup. And one time when he got home and the kitchen sink was full of dirty dished and asked for water, the cup was cleaned, wiped and he was served water in that same cup.

“Not again,” he said. “Isn’t there a glass or a tumbler in this house?” He asked. “Yes there is. But I  prefer your favorite cup which you’ve had under the bed all this while. This magical cup with your sweetheart which only shows your until death does us part when I pour hot stuff into it. Must be some hot love I see. Your lovely cup from under the bed,” said the lady of the house. He was furious but also remorseful. He went and poured out the water into the sink, took his woman by the hand and went outside. The cup was put on top of a stone and without being asked for any last words crushed into pieces with the help of another stone.

“Don’t keep the past under your bed. But we still do the cups. We can make two for you so long as they don’t end up under the bed,” I said jokingly. 

We both laughed at the late cup which was found under the bed. 

Grab yours today and surprise your special someone. Call us on 0708 634 612 or email us via to have yours made and delivered to you. 

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