The Beautiful Clay Water Pot


In most traditional African homes, a water pot sits at a corner.

The beautifully shaped clay pot is an old queen that holds and cools the families’ drinking water.

Rarely, is this pot moved, and rarely is it taken outside to bask in the sunshine.

In fact, this queen pot, encounters the streaks of sunshine from her throne when the windows are opened.

Every so often, a respected female member of the family, who has good mannerisms, will be sent to refill the pot with new waters.

The pot enjoys the attention and the presence of the members of this home and her guests.

She can tell the secrets and the faces that have been here and drunk of her waters.

But, have you ever thought of the silent waters that lie so low?

The waters that always feel the touch of new waters as they are poured into the pot?

These are waters that never leave the pot.

Yes, these waters remind me of our vulnerability as an African people.

We have remained for far too long on one spot, albeit our celebrated continent.

New waters are poured into our continent; other waters leave the pot, or are they carried away from the continent through a brain drain.

But there are waters which remain in the pot, quiet and almost morbid.

They are waters that have seen one too many, fought one too many, these waters are Wanjiku.

A generation before them led a revolution that changed slightly how the pot engaged with other pots.

But, these waters were schooled to abandon their belief systems, their cultures and even their food systems.

The waters softened and the revolutionary spirit waned as globalization took toll on them, the misconception that the pot needed other pots to thrive.

The false narrative has made these waters subservient to those that their forefathers fought with vigor.

The waters are chained and they won’t struggle to leave the pot, for what more is out there if everything seems to be decided for them, no matter how loud their voices are?

Why leave the morbid state, if the pot still stands queenly at that corner of the house, hasn’t the diet of the home simply changed almost effortless from healthy to chemical-ed or genetically modified?

Why would any water desire to leave the pot, when the new waters poured from the rivers and other pots no longer pride in their freshness?

Would you leave the pot, when whatever the leadership predicates becomes real no matter what you dreamed or desired?

The water pot in our traditional homes has been replaced with water dispensers, the life and value in the beautiful clay pots has diminished, and the freshness of the new waters has been redefined with a purifier because the rivers no longer stream from the spring.

The new waters in the water dispensers stand not in a queenly state, not anymore in large jovial homesteads – not anymore.

They now stand on concrete spaces in nuclear homes, whose joys are not evident in the walls.

There is no reverence to whoever replenishes the dispensers with the plastic water bottle refills.

The new waters are no longer life-giving, neither are the waters producing values and the familial warmth due to the infection triggered by the modern and material revolution around them.

Vanity indeed for in becoming, the beautiful clay pots have lost not only their glamour but also their soul, just like the waters within, and so have the families that drink from them.

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