Freedom from Slavery

Photo: Kengeleni “The place of the bell” in 1955
Philemon 10-19

It was a hot humid morning so I was thankful for the sea breeze that wafted through the palms. Things were quiet, just a few kids calling to the vervet monkeys in a nearby acacia. Three wildebeest seemed to be keeping an eye on them a few meters away. Suddenly the tranquil scene was broken by distant shouting. The kids turned and the wildebeest bolted as a lone figure appeared running down the twisting footpath from the sea. He headed straight for me and then stopped perspiring and out of breath. It was Charo, one of the Giriama watchmen who had just sprinted two kilometres from the beach. “Ninaona majahazi ya waarabu yanakuja!” (I can see Arab boats coming!) he panted pointing back to where he had come from. Everyone knew the procedure. I turned to Katana beside me and nodded. Eager as ever he jogged over to the bell and soon I heard the clang, clang, clang pounding through the trees. As usual faces started appearing at the doors of all the huts. People grabbed their kids and a few belongings and disappeared into the bush. More