I have mentioned Ogi in one of my stories before, but I feel like I might have left some people hanging. ‘Who is Ogi?’ I imagine I can hear people ask across the internet. ‘What does he do?’ ‘Where did he come from?’
So, I take this opportunity to explain all I can about Ogi.
First some back story: At about 1 month old, we started to notice that Kendi behaved like a hippo when she was sleepy. She would grab onto whatever was covering her and pull in up to her face until only her eyes were showing. She would do this while sucking her lip until she fell asleep. It didn’t matter where we were or what she was holding. One time, I noticed her doing that with the sweater I was wearing. Another time, I gave her a napkin because we were sitting in a restaurant. Anything worked, as long as it covered her face in just that way.
This is the reason why Mich and Tawi (my younger sisters) still call her hippo sometimes.
Then one day, we went to visit mum and she comes running out to meet us with what looked like a little green face flannel. She gave it to me and said, ‘here you go, for Kendi.’ And I asked, ‘what is it?’ ‘It’s that thing Kendi is always holding when she needs to sleep’. We laughed so hard, the neighbors probably thought there was something going on at our house. Why were we laughing? I don’t know, but it was funny somehow, that mum actually found this thing in the market for 5 shillings. She’s like that, mum, she finds things in the market for 5 shillings.
‘What shall we call it?’, she asked.
I didn’t even skip a beat, ‘Ogi’ I replied, ‘you know why?’
‘It’s short for ogwal‘
Ogwal means frog in Dholuo and the little green flannel had a happy frog face on it. It was perfect and we laughed some more.
Now, when we pack Kendi’s diaper bag, Ogi is the first thing in. God forbid this child needs to sleep and Ogi isn’t around. We might have created a monster.
So, to fix our “problem”, mum asks me what we need to do to replicate Ogi and make maybe 5 more of him. The whole family can then just carry one in their bag and we’re home free. Hopefully.