“You see, the Swahili at the coast saw the White man arriving in a dhow.” Here is where you act surprised like you are about to learn something new. “One of the sailors remained at the coast, probably the lazy one. Uncertain about when his fellows would return, he dragged himself to eat, to talk, to walk, to work and to life. So when the Swahili man saw him, the native mimicked the idle man. That is why life at the coast is tardy.” (Say wow!)
“When the adventurer reached the Eastern area, he had run out of supplies. The Kamba man saw how miserable the lost creature was. In his generosity, the bowman man suggested that he knew a friend who could help. And they do help, but on condition that they get some ‘butter for their bread.’ The Kamba man discovered demand and supply and since then he has been the intermediary.” (Say, this is new.)
“The white man did not stay long in the hot and dry place though he almost gave up. But his adventurous spirit could not just let away. So he climbed the hills and arrived at the cool Highlands. The temperatures almost took after what he experienced at home. Finally, he had a place to stay and continue life like he did in Europe. He tried farming. Turnips, no they were not working! Beetroots, not quite. Rye, no! Sugar beets wasted in the ground. Oats, couldn’t just work. Barley gave up on the soil and wheat didn’t like the rainfall. He tried so many crops, they just didn’t work. The aggressiveness had him work. The Gikuyu watched him and loved him. They saw him work, and he charmed them. Their curiosity threw them into the white man’s business. To date, no one outmatches their industry.” (Say, interesting….)
“An adventurous soul is no one to stay at one place. So he went down the valley. The journey was different here, he met the not-so-accomodative nilotes. A people of pride. Black warriors who had seen the dark side of pleasure. And their blood did not like the white man. The white man’s naivety often ran into the black men’s pride, and they clashed. And the Kalenjin and Maasai remained adamant to date. The white man went up the escarpment on the west and sighed.” (Act surprised, really surprised!)
“A stranger who escapes the wrath of the locals never looks back. So the red stranger ran up the Nyika and met another black skin down the lake. The man was dark and shining. Another Nilote. He had the pride of valley people, but he was much accommodative. He was naive and loud, but curious. So the musungu went down the shores, unfolded his chair and pulled out his book. He lit his pipe and blew it to the face of the setting sun, Infront of him, bowed the lake, Nam Lolwe. After the long and striking adventure, he deserved a rest. So the Luo men saw the White man take rest. He was so much anticipated, thanks to jobilo (seers) who also warned them in prophecy against resistance. Men of the community went to his bossom to listen to the stories. They went back to their huts and narrated to their families. And they loved to learn. That is why the lakeside people love rest and are knowledgeable.” (Act like it’s absolutely true and grateful.)
If she seats her heavy ass on that table another minute, we’ll have no table left in this house. She stares at me like she knows what I’m thinking. “Come on, it’s a joke. It’s too early to pour your oestrogens.” I probably should have sold her off for a tiny ass when I had the chance. Too bad she has all my stuff and secrets. But that doesn’t give her the right to spread her thickness on my dining table. If she had the least manners to have her seated on the chair like any other person, I would have married her. Her bottoms were made for my laps but she hardly sits on them. Because she loves to sit on the table and wait for me to draw her close to my chest as if I had a short sight. Of course I have a bad sight, but having me pull her this close to my face, seriously…
She is frowning again, come on… There’s a picture of a desk in her mind, it’s her favourite. I’ll work harder and get her the table. This girl, she likes to sit at the edge of the table whenever sit on my stool ready to do my work. She knows so well how her face drives me crazy. She likes it when I have her close enough. She stretches her legs in her grey skirt and invites me to run my fingers over her thighs. When I opened her wide and press the little button at her “meeting point”, she makes a sudden, sharp squicky sound then shakes. So naughty! When she calms down and I tap the tip of my fingers on her thighs, she screams to every button I tap. I am struggling mastering her keys. I already know what keys blow off her mind the most.
Music flows in her nerves like Madonna. She literally sings all songs to the letter. Flawless. Ask her any, from Andy to Zahara. And now we are singing Tetu and Kendi Nkonge’s “Chemistry.” Don’t try to listen to that piece! You’ll be miserable…I adore her and she holds me so dearly. I carry her around like a sick bird. Sometimes because I want to, while sometimes, because she has my sins and my pleasures.
I have a plan for us. Now we live in a cave whose rooms are divided by common sense (you can practically set fire and cook while laying on bed?). But I aspire to move into a house with her favourite desk in her personal room. I intend to spoil her with heart-melting vibes and mind-blowing touches. I’ll buy a beautiful dress for her, in her favourite colours, black and white. Her taste is masculine. She will be an envy of many. But now, she has to get her shitty ass off my damn table! Look, she still stares at me much worse than cooked omena (sardines).
(This picture is solely for the ninja on my baby’s background.)
Do stay safe, your life and health is more important, to me at least… Wash hands, maintain social distance, wear your mask and avoid as much as possible going out. Good night Africa, good evening Europe, good afternoon & morning USA & Asia (Saania hi).
JP(the director) has travelled out of the country this afternoon. Before he left, he said, “You’re going back to school?” “Yes Sir,” “Alright. It was nice having you around and thanks for your service. You’ve been doing a great job. All the best in the remaining part of your studies, I hope to have you back soon.” Just like that. And he went. He is a straightforward man.
“Bossess” (the F.O.) and “Chief” (the accountant) too said their goodbyes, giving pieces of advice. Yes, I am still a child and I adore the words of the elders and relish in the rebuke, they make me better. While I offer my back to the kitchen, I don’t want to look back. I wave Mr. Onyando, a grey haired barman who never hesitated to teach me how to prepare a bill, where to place the tip, explaining why the cash is less by a hundred shillings, or sometimes tapping the letter ‘X’ while I struggled for it. He mixes great cocktails by the way. Try to drop by Tin Tin. He gave a hug, the first of a kind, “pressed my palm” and announced to Mr. Kimani the news I hated mentioning. Disappointed, he asked why I didn’t tell him earlier. No words came out of my lips. I strode across the redbrick floor not wanting to look back. Tables seemed to be bowing me out. I knew some people would hate me for that, like my sutler, Nancy, a pretty smiley woman, and a few maybe. It’s the way of life. When it’s heavy, we don’t announce, but we do, in light times.
At the exit, I saluted the steward, Mr. Kamau, the short man with a sagging belly. He had taken the place of my favourite old man, Mr. Njoroge. You’ll often notice the smile on the wrinkled face with chink eyes before you realize his well pressed suit. His suits love him. They adore every moment on the a little-bent frame of his body. They embalm him like a mummy, like he was designed for them. His “Good morning, Mr Okungu’s” and “Good evening Mr. Okungu’s” crowned my days and evenings. Such a lovely old man he was. Until he retired. When he retired, the place almost lost its footing, but he had prepared us for it. And I missed him. Now it was me. I could hear my footsteps like drops of water through the glass door.
A step out and the slow Chinese strings from the overhead speakers turned to running engines, hootings and a swarm of people moving downtown. I heaved with a tonne hanging on my breath. I was out now, in the care of the universe. Seated on the train back to my residence, Anne, my new friend asked what next for me. “Sitting.” That was my reply. I had nothing in mind. I would have done better, like saying I want to marry. Through the rail, I dissolved my thoughts in the conversation…
Tin Tin Restaurant, lower ground floor KICC, I hope to be back!
Hey, this place looks familiar. Smells like where I post boring stuff. I’ve been working on my typing skills, letter still disappears from my keyboard while I type. See, it disappeared again! I’ll get used to these streets, pretty soon. Here’s a little something. It’s boring though, but thank you for reading it.
Nature is a perfect teacher. I spent some time today watching a housefly that perched on my window. Black with a prominent brown abdomen and shades of grey. I thought he was a boy until another fly perched on it and did whatever they do. Maybe they were simply playing. Let’s assume they were playing. No, don’t ask about the game. Let’s say, ‘Ni uchokozi tu.‘ My boy got back to the same spot, after apparently “chasing away the intruder.” It washed it’s hands on landing. It did this repeatedly, as if reminding me about 970. Well, I paid my due diligence, washed my hands and stuck back at it. It kept rubbing it’s skinny front legs. What if these creatures had been warning humans about Corona all along? The thing never stopped washing its hands, so I thought it found a playmate. So hard to believe I was the playmate! Obviously, it had won the #Handwashing Challenge. Like a modest competitor, I thought a pat on the back would be kind enough. Only that I did with “Umoja gloves” and a little more effort, just like my mother’s slap. The thing never got up… #MorteinDoom kills 99.9% #Umoja Handles 100%
NB: Umoja is Swahili word for unity. But in my country, it means rubber flipflops. Besides being designed for the feet, African mothers have extra uses for them. Ask Trevor Noah. See you soon.
“Wacha mum aingie ndio niingie, wacha Tu aingie…” Domestic conflict is real. It is worse when an eight year old kid is involved and you are reduced to a witness, peering through the window at midnight. Helpless.
I watch the kid wrap herself on her mother’s thighs. The woman, dressed in a white pyjama gown, stretched out forward with a ripe pregnancy stands at the door opened to the size of a goat’s head. Inside, an unknown figure bellows, “Wachana naye, ingia ulale.” She responds amid tears, “Please, wacha tu aingie, atasikia baridi. (Please let her in, she, it’s cold)” The man locks the door and the ‘three’ head back to an empty room right opposite, thanks to the bite of Covid, which sent the tenant away.
The kid goes back and knocks at the door. Dressed in a full dress, crotched polo neck sweater, socks and crocks. If anything, that is how she might spend the night. She begs at the door, “Fungua Tu aingie. Kesho ataenda. (Just let her in. She will leave tomorrow)” It hits me, another family is breaking apart. And this is how it happens. The knob clicks and she runs back to the empty room. She reappears pulling a white duvet like it’s a tug of war, her mother on the other side. The woman commands her to go and sleep but she insists, “Mum tunaenda na wewe. Sikuwachi. (Mum I am going with you)” Her words, mingled with a little whine like a cry, draws another neighbor to the window.
The woman gives up and the girl collects the thick duvet from the ground. She marches to their door, now locked. She knocks pleading for her sake. When the door opens, she runs back to her mother, grabs her and drags her to their house. After about twenty minutes pleading, the man finally opens as the girl promises her mother would leave in the morning.
Five minutes later, I hang at the window deep in thought.
You have just made me feel too small. I even want to hide under this small table. But big boys don’t do that. So I’ll just sit here and hide my face behind this short clear glass of water. I am only a small boy hiding in a big frame. I wonder how you saw me. The girl with the peyote bands.
For a moment, I thought it was one of my comments on your post so I had to go back to the beginning of your post, letter by letter, I have reread it. I wonder how anyone could spot this small boy lost at the shores with a whole sea spread out before him waiting to be discovered. But you did, dear, you lady with promise rings. And I feel smaller, I could hide in my shoes.
You amaze me with your calm wildness. The fire that burns within you awes me. It wakes me with a clicking tone of my phone, early in the night while I plead with sleep to drink me now that it can’t drown me. And I indulge in your awesome rhymes like I was meant for that, you lady in maasai sandals. And I give you a star for what’s worth it.
You girl of the A-Z, your consistency in writing wows me, I can’t describe. I’d love to meet you someday and listen to how you do it. But till then, you girl with a turban on her head and an anklet strung on her feet, keep writing. And write about how you write. I’ll be waiting to read, in my small cabin at the corner of this plot in the middle of nowhere.
Nyowinyo merga Ka roya…” (Daughter of the bird drinks like a calf) It’s 4:30 in the morning and I’m magically listening to Jabali Afrika’s Magunga song. It’s quite something for one with kinky tastes as I am. I’m not an early riser, but I’m awake because I got up to take my night lunch; that girl’s tail, you remember her from the other post? Good food is eaten in bits and yes, I’m African, we always save a little for tomorrow. My maternal grandmother would always watch the bowls as they came to the table and protest, “Mm! To michwideno kiny wadhi chamo ang’o?” (Now that you scrapped the whole food, what shall we eat tomorrow?) And that worry has never left me.
It’s dawn and my thought should be on Mt Olives dimensions but I’m not there because this whole reality series of Covid Season 19 has laid my faith onto its palm, tossed it, rubbed it, clenched it, soaked the feeble belief, squeezed it and literally clapped that thing on the wall just where I can see it day and night. What’s left of me is only life; and I hold onto it so dearly. What stays between us is a thin strand of a thread called hope. The hope that there’s still some thickness in my head that could be useful, a muscle that can hold onto something and the mouth. Yes, mouth! The part that always wants and it’s diligence in insatiaty always motivates me to tighten my ass for an extra coin. Despite all that, my adamant spirit doesn’t stop to think about the tough life.
My thoughts are drawn to the good man above. And I imagine, because that’s the least I could do, this good person crafted existence in seven days. I sketch him seated on a glittering throne like a Chinese Shifu. Probably white haired due to old age- he existed long before existence occurred. Like the white man taught us, the good man is as white as snow, and magnificent in appearance. I am thrilled by the creation story.
Someday, my good person decides to build his home and another house, for an eternity plan. You can tell my liking for Him begins here. It was simply a house, a structure, ‘darkness’ dark (the kind of darkness that describes darkness, much more than pitch), empty, shapeless or atleast it couldn’t be described. Then he decides to sigh, “Let there be light.” Instantly, the house lit up! He must have been surprised by this first discovery. Then He snapped his right fingers, “night!” and there was darkness. Snapped the left, “day!” And he called them night and day.
Day 2. He realised the whole house was flooded so he decided to craft a hanging tank! Beautiful… Probably Gabriel was wondering what the old man was doing. But I like the old man. He called the hanging sea heaven, His home. Instantly, I recall a good preacher who once said that it was the water of life that he divided. If it’s true then the good old man must be so generous that he divided awesomeness by half for his plan.
Day 3 Our old person came back to his structure and gathered the awesomeness together and was amazed, “See, this is good! Really good!” He named it sea. Then he turned to the dry land and wondered if something to eat could come out of it. He tried His charm, “Let the earth bring forth grass, crops and fruits.” And it worked! I imagine the puzzle on His face after realising stuff working out. “Pretty cool!” He said.
Day 4 He figured out he could fix the lighting a bit, designating bodies to candiscence. He collected most of it and rolled it into a ball. That was the sun. He splashed the rest of the dust to roof and wiped his hands on a ball. The ball glowed. He celebrated in awe! That was the moon. He loved his work. It pushed Him further. That night, He stayed up admiring the dust of stars and the ball of the moon. He fell for them.
Day 5 He must have thought the oceans and lakes were too plain and calm and considered a little turbulence. Pap! Whales appeared from zone 34. Then tilapia and sharks, dolphins, seals and finally the slippery omena! This must have hyped my good guy. Immediately, He realized a few wings on the sky would do. What an awe! It happened. Doves, swallows, sparrows, cranes, vultures, eagles and parrots, all came out of His mouth. His plan for eternity included the threat extra-creatures like me would pose to the tilapia and chicken, so He commanded them to multiply and fill their territories. What a relief knowing fish and hens will not be depleted anytime soon!
Day 6 Having called forth the food, it was now time for the eaters. He summoned the beasts and land animals, “Behold, your food is ready. Grass and fruits, come forth! Like a hurricane over a curry, they poured into the fields. Then the last one, He had to consult His guys, Jay the Son and HS the lords of diligence; just so He couldn’t make a mistake. To affirm His position, He said, “My g’s NOW LET US…” And my person dedicated His time to create his own incarnate so he would eat! And I know a few friends and I who never disappoint! So ninja Adam was the first candidate to be created. A tough bulky man. Tall dark whose frame is lined with heavy muscles negotiating impeccably like yams on him. I imagine his first sight, naked, firmly planted on the ground, bare feet, tough but fair skin, hair sticking out like cacti spikes, veins flowing through his body like buttress roots, his macho significance standing docile at the center of his body, naturally protruded square jaws, strong nose muzzle, deep fierce eyes and smooth forehead. What a thing, Adam!
On the seventh day, having seen the work of His hand, perhaps He had no more words nor awe left to delight Himself.
There’s never such a beautiful story that raises the spirit higher than any ceiling! It returns me to form in spite of the bite of Corona.
These days, news of death has become so common that a small crack of the joint whispers to your soul, “It’s time, this is what kills you…” So you begin writing your own eulogy in your head, how you want to be remembered. You feel heroically vulnerable. Seated on the bench at the lobby of the pharmacy, with other patients, the clueless toddlers, teen-agers looking feeble, women hanging their heads wincing in pain, men imbibed into politics, the elderly who sit as if suggesting they had been to the place before, hanging on the hope of recovery. On the lobby, one thing never lacks; the talk of how badly the service are provided. I wondered if this is not their hope. I consider it cursing the womb that should bear them.
However, all eyes seemed to avoid contact with a woman whose face was scribbled with embarrassment. She must have been in her early 20’s. Noticing elusive eyes glancing and straying away from her, she mounted her baby higher on her laps – the genesis of her misery- here where her hope lies and sank down the seat. The cause of her embarrassment was the child innocently saddled on her laps. She tried to hide it but she couldn’t hide the wound for too long.
The kid was fair, dark, handsome, no less than two years old, not too puny, and perfect but for the thing on its nose. A mountain of cream and yellow tissue, grew right on the hump of the nose- a ripe boil. Its slopes flowed up to the nasal bone, perfectly all round. The base was so red that you could spot the vein endings. Then the pink at the foot upwards, cream, and converged in plain yellow and a black tip. I wonder how it was going to be removed because I couldn’t try to imagine of the kid crying. Anyway that’s why doctors exist, right?
The kid stretched it’s fingers pointing at our seat, just across the alley. Everyone else around turned to each other then settled on me. What…?! I looked back at them as the corridor suddenly felt smaller. I turned to the kid and smiled then threw my flat cap back on wearing a more serious face. The air became hotter in there but the kid still pointed our direction. Since the dice settled on me, I felt the responsibility that all the eyes put on me- to attend to the kid.
I stretched a smile like the joker hoping it would scare the kid. Instead, it beckoned on the mother and showed her to me. I pulled the cap to cover my face looking away. I turned to them as the mother looked away. It pointed again and I take off the flat cap. I stretched my face farther perhaps my lips did not touch my ears but it laughed more. The child enjoyed “the game” while I intended to scare it away. So I made a stern look on the kid yet it laughed again inviting it’s mother along . I made a serious face. When I turned the next time, it stretched out its hand. I made gestures and it giggled inviting it’s mother a third time. The woman put the child on its feet and scolded it, “Enda uone hiyo kitu inakufurahisha. Unanisumbua.”
Half way across the floor, walking doubtfully, the patient before me left the counter. I got up, grabbed my painkillers and turned along the corridor. I felt it’s stare trailing after me with a hundred words to say yet nothing coming out of its mouth. Along with it were the eyes of the patients, perhaps wondering why I did that, and I wondered too.
She sits on the other side of the nice black plate like a boss at the edge of a swimming pool barking orders. She is brown with anger, at me and everyone around. If she talked, probably I would have found out why. But here, she is, mad because this is not the life she ever wanted. Her mouth has been gapped since she entered the room. It’s even hard to tell if she’s just angry or screaming. She’s definitely ripe for a fight. With who anyway? But imagine if fish could rise from the cooking…
Her feet warm under lush green collards (sukuma wiki) beautifully topped with scarlet tomatoes and soaked onions. The greens seem to be having a moment of life up there. And I worry, what if this was a “man-fish” and not a woman as I thought. Then I imagine my kid, a zillion years to come, asking what differentiates a male fish from a female one. Unconsciously, I imagine answering them, “a male fish has closed mouth while the females’ jaws are always stretched.” Then one day at a dinner table I realize the kid’s plate of omena (sardines) divided such that one side has four creatures while the other has the other thousand. And when I ask why he’s playing with food he says he’s preserving the mother fishes to bear more fish. True to his words, the four things cooked with closed mouths.
Police sirens screamed in the slum in an expedition to smoke out one of the most notorious criminals. Heavy fire exchange popped like cooking popcorns. Curious crowds gathered on the sides shouting, “Mwizii! Mwizii!” The area of exchange was deserted as the residents in the area locked themselves indoors. Live bullets flew across. Otii panicked as he ran out of bullets. His only way to stay alive was to flee. He leaned behind a mud walled house, shooting back. Bullets riped the edge of the house like drills. He jumped onto the roof and crawled over about four houses and dropped into a narrow corridor. He got up and paced through the narrow paths minding the least about plunging into horribly stinking trenches, navigated a few turns and ran into one of the houses.
“Nimesare! Haki nisaidieni! Wananiua!” The family was in the middle of it’s lunch, oblivious of what was going on except distant popping sounds and police sirens. It knew the incident was too far and being that occurrences of criminals being arrested happened frequently in the hood, it distanced itself and lived with the new norm.
That afternoon, a vicious takedown was underway, and at their doorstep. Otii shut the door and peered through a tiny space between the doorframe and the generously rusted ironsheet. Coach looked at him in disbelief. Restless Otii turned to the sight of this man who now had his mouth wide-open and recognised him instantly.
Coach! The guilt and fear had him kneel down begging for help. “Coach, nisaidie. Nakufa leo.” Coach’s wife turned to his blood-soaked arm then the pistol in his hand and turned to her husband dumbfounded and scared to her spirit. “Oti!” Coach exclaimed, “Ni wewe!” Otii 17, was one of his former players. He had dropped out of the football club citing football didn’t pay so sought an alternative. In 7 months, he did so well in his new venture that everyone began to think he finally landed his call. He even moved away from the neighborhood. Little known to them what he had been engaging in, Otii joined a gang involved in carjacking, robberies, muggings, pickpocketing just to mention a few. His D day would find him here, where he grew up. “Coach tafadhali…” Otii pleaded. “Umefanya nini na unafanya nini hapa?” “Wallahi Coach nasare!” Coach glanced at his arm; that is when Otii realized his right arm had been wrecked with bullets and immediately began feeling pain. “Ishia usare kwao kwangu hakuna karao! Toka!” Coach became angrier pointing at the door. Otii fell to his knee and raised his left hand struggling to lift his right in excruciating agony. “Toka ama nikung’oe!” The man with the shallow voice threatened.
Coach’s wife took their two children to the bedroom, separated by a heavy sheet of clothing. The little one, 4, scared, hid at the corner between the wall and suitcases piled with laundries. He pulled clothes over his head and remained still but scared. His mother hushed the elder one about 7 years, terrified to the bone, his eyes widely opened. On the bed, lay the puny one, about 2 months old, awakened by the noise of grownups, tore in frantic cries. Her mother lulled her back to sleep but she was persistent.
“Hizi ni nini, Otii?” Coach bitterly scorned, “Unafanya blunder alafu unashow up kwa keja yangu na gun ukibleed na watoi wako hapa! Kwanza gun ulipata wapi? Tangu lini umekuwa mwizi?” “Coach sikujua, tafadhali, pole sana, niokolee tu sai, Please” Coach, as ever, a father figure, thought for a second. “Sa mi nikusaidiaje? Ndio hao makarao wanakusaka.” Coach explains. “Wacall washow nimesare…” The fatherly man gives a brief suspicious stare at him before making up his mind. Eventually, his compassion arose. As he reached out for his phone, he reprimanded, “Nyi vijana shida yenu ni nini siku hizi? Sasa wewe…” He ran out of words in terror and anger. He trembles spitting anger while dialing the 999.
“Hello, napiga kutoka Kibra, Olympic. Kuna situation imeoccur area yetu na suspect amekuja kwa kejangu akasema amesare. Anataka kujileta.” The agent asked for details of his location and tells Coach she is sending officers. Coach seeks assurance that the officers will not shoot and the agent promises. Meanwhile, officers on the ground were trailing drops of blood and were closing in fast. In a couple of minutes, voices filled with rage arose from outside.
“Haezikuwa amefika mbali” Another, “leo ni leo! Hii paka imekuwa ikitusumbua sana.” A third one a few metres past the house, “Shhhh!” The officer signalled the others that ‘he is here.’ They quickly took positions and one knocked on the door. Coach responded, “Ni nani?” “Fungua!” The officer knocking commanded, “Unauliza mama yako ni nani! Tokeni nje!”
Otii, then, lying on the floor on his back in pain panics even more. Coach was too terrified to speak, only persuaded them to relax. That angered officers more. “We ni nani unatuambia turelax?” They kick the door mercilessly. Coach reached out for his phone again and called one of the radio stations pleading with the station to inform the police the suspect had surrendered. At the station, the host insisted on hearing the whole story. Coach lost cool and begged that there was no time. They were breaking in. The host, confused, and had never encountered such as situation buys time a bit before reporting to the director.
Meanwhile, hell was raining at Coach’s house. His wife stuffed socks in the two children’s mouths. Coach took to Twitter and posted the occurrence tagging everyone who came to mind. The tweet read, “ANYONE IN POSITION TO HELP SUSPECT INJURED WILLING TO SURRENDER. TELL POLICE NO SHOOT! PLEEEEASE! RT” No response came in the next five minutes including the post on Facebook which instead had one like in the next five minutes. Later that day, insensitive comments would trend criticizing the language and the situation.Five minutes later, while Coach pleaded with the police that the suspect had surrendered, the door split in the middle straight down.
Coach fell on his knees with hands high. A team of officers stormed in. “Mikono juu! Lala chini!” One kicked the empty gun from Otii’s hand. They pinned Otii to the ground with heavy black leather boots unforgivingly crushing him. “Wewe ndio umetukosesha usingizi ukisumbua watu!” Pa! They kicked. His head, legs, thighs, stomach, chest, wounded arms, everywhere. One broke his nose in a kick.
Defenceless Otii lay in his own pool of blood. Languishing in unbearable pain, eyes and the corner of the mouth were swollen. All front teeth were broken and hang loosely on the gum. His head was swollen as if three horns were coming out. His muscles were completely dysfunctional. He was rendered immobile and perhaps infertile for his balls were overly tampered with. But that was not even close to what his calvary got. Meanwhile, in addition to what Otii got, coach’s limps were broken, ribs fractured and neck snapped. “Hii nyang’au ndio inatuambia turelax… Unadeal na mwizi na unatuambia turelax… We ndio unatufunza kazi yetu, mbwa!” The assault reinforced the insults. Coach screamed and pleaded till he could no longer give a sound. Behind the curtain, one officer had captured the wife, slid into her and left her sobbing vehemently with his juices settling in her. Another pulled her out of the room and lay her together with Otii and Coach.
The officers finished the job, reporting that the suspects resisted arrest therefore officers were forced to shoot. However, the female suspect pulled a minor about 7 years old into the crossfire. Therefore 4 bodies reported. The other suspect, a man is believed to be the head of the organised cartel which disguised itself as a football team.
Kanjo remembers the twenty-year old event like it is still happening. One officer had heard a baby crying from under the bed. When he reached out with his torch, he met the face of the 7 year old, Ayodo. He went back to the rest of the officers and announced, “I think we have a problem.” He brought out the boy and left the youngest toddler, sticking a sucker to it’s mouth. Kanjo stayed under the clothes haunted till evening as the yellow tape trembled in the wind. He pulled his baby sister from under the bed. Just as he went to pick her up, the door opened and he leapt back to the corner. The figure went straight to the bed, picked the yelp and left. Kanjo crawled out and trailed them to the road. He saw the man enter a car and drove away. That was the last time he saw his sister.
He left what had been home, clueless of where he was heading to. He fell dumb. He could not talk when street children attacked him two nights later. His voice abandoned him when he borrowed food a year later. When he was short-changed at the dumpsite after diligently collecting enough metals and plastics, his lips abandoned him. He never uttered a word when he could have. Never cried when he should have. Not even a smile when had all reasons to.
At 24, he stared at the person in the mirror and wondered who he was. His face, plain and bland, his brain hot as coal, deep in his bones pained with bitterness.