It Has Been Left For Nobody.
Ever wondered or thought how a parent can feel recieving news about the death of a son or a daughter completing the 8-4-4? Well if you haven’t, then think about it today. Life brings us many opportunities it’s by luck when one is born but as you step into the world you are guaranteed of death whether you like it or not. Most of us probably fear death cause it’s compared to an uninvited guest in many households- KU Dean school of education. Death knows no mercy and doesn’t really care about nothing.
A Saturday morning in the busy streets of one of the prestigious universities in Kenya. Reports reaching comrades that one of their colleagues has lost his life the previous night. Being a Friday night I believe many of us understand what such nights mean to the comrades. It’s a night to happen as they say, ni siku ya kujiachulia na kulenga stress and all that.
Marca is a fifth year student in the school of engineering. Such a prestigious course after medicine as perceived by many households. Bright future it seems until this Friday night when together with his fellas decided to go and have some fun as they usher in the weekend. “Msee we utalipa fare ya kuenda me ntalipa ya kurudi”- biggest scam than NYS and NCPB combined. So Marca together with his four friends board Neo Kenya headed for the capital. One of the clubs downtown along Moi Avenue is their preferred destination. Surprisingly they even have a chill spot. They happen to find a middle aged man enjoying his mug shot of Tusker…. Sisi ndio hukaa hapa mzae hebu inua joh. the old folk without complaining finds another chill spot and continues enjoying the serene environment accompanied with some good rhumba music. The language these guys speak is almost similar to Kiswahili but far away to the the northpole of English. It’s neither a pidgin nor a creole but something just in between.
This group appears to be rich and it’s popularity is well spread within the campus. It looks rich anyway. They start the party with some tequila shots. Marca is incharge of the shots. mnakuanga na lipa na mpesa hapa? I don’t have cash to settle this. Chapchap attendata anacome through na playbill number. Nigga realizes the bill is surpassing the depth of his pockets. Pale mshwari na tala ni machos tu. He’s already on CRB.
He takes a break- kiasi narudi wasee. He goes to a quiet place preferably to the washroom to do some fundraising. Mum aki leo nwlala njaa sina kakitu and it’s almost supper time. The humble caring loving mother as they usually are drops him 530 Bob. Na ya kutoa that is. He comes back and settles the bill as they wait for mizinga. Kuchafua tu as the saying goes comrades must enjoy.
They purchase some three 750 ml bitter liquor. Bitter than the local brew “chang’aa“. It should be noted that these three bottles combined are cheaper than the pair of shoes the oldy they chased away from the chill spot. The party goes on well at around 11 pm the mother calls to confirm if his son has taken supper. The phone goes unanswered. Si utamchapia uko library akipiga tena. After a few minutes the call comes through again. Without consent of kwangwaru hitting in the background yaani huyu boys anaamua kuwhisper “mum niko library” and hangs up almost immediately. It’s followed by a laughter and a weird question kwani msee lib yenyu sikuhizi mnaskiza kwangwaru? He realizes he didn’t go to the washroom as usual. They decide to switch off their phones and the party continues.
Sip after sip, it’s now two in the night they have to get back to their hostels. Lakini ile kulipuka wamelipuka it is only God that knows. The crew can’t afford a cab home so slowly they stagger to the nearest bus stop. Howling like people possessed by demons. The scam continues msee ako na cash alipe tutarudisha kesho morning. They board successfully and alight too well however two of them including Marca are dead asleep. Wasee amkeni tumefika joh. It’s a battle for crossing over the ever busy superhighway. Marca”mazee siwezi panda hio footbridge nyi pandeni I’ll take the shortcut na nifike before nyinyi. Drunk thoughts they laugh out and let him cross the road solo as they take the footbridge. The unexpected happens. A car at 120 km per hour probably being driven by a man rushing home to avoid questions Jana usiku ulilala wapi? Hits the guy. Life cut short, son lost, investment brought down to shambles, Degree unfinished, boyfriend, brother and best friend lost in less than a minute. A lifeless body collected and the four friends can’t believe it happened they even joke about it somehow. Come morning it’s when they are hit by the reality Marca is no more. As a routine of comrades the group icon is changed to honour the dead. Classmates even those who disliked him update statuses to let the world know they are mourning a comrade. Candles are lit to commemorate on the person you used to be. Everything good will be remembered at thIs point.
The most difficult part is calling the parents and letting them know that their son has passed on. They gather at the dean’s office probably consoling each other. The hugs of course. The parent however is told the son was involved in an accident and is in a critical condition. She has to rush to see the son and contact the relatives in Nairobi to confirm how the son is. It’s a sad day in the household the uninvited guest has arrived. News reach home that the son is no more.
Funeral arrangements are made as usual the comrades will have to bury one of their own. Branded t-shirts are availed at a cost bearing the photo and a few comforting words. The university offers a bus to convey the comrades to the burial. Deep in the village without electricity nor piped water. Along the way they start asking themselves questions about how the nigga looked sharp and smart from such a village. Maze huku ndio huyu msee alikua anatoka I can’t believe it. Some make jokes about it.
The learned friends alight heads raised straight. Swag check, selfie stick check, tinted goggles check. You look at them you’d think they’ve come for a birthday party or something related to that. The entire event they are seen giggling at some point, selfies are being taken like nothing else. Slayqueens are present the event might even be covered live on Instagram but the network 🙄. Hii net ya huku iko down. A photographer has been hired to capture every moment so as they get something to post online. Speeches are given the known ‘widow’ by the comrades is also given an opportunity to eulogize the potential husband. The mother is too weak to even say anything about the son. She says the last thing she heard from her son was that he was in the library. He had promised heaven to the family as soon as he graduated. The younger brother probably heading for highschool barely knows how to eulogize only thanks the mourners for coming. The father on the other hand is probably too drunk to eulogize his son. “My son was a very good boy. Na ametuwacha bila hata degree hata bila mbegu yoyote nyuma.” He believes that a son to be complete has to have atleast a kid accompanied by the degree.
The comrades take over the funeral like nobody’s business. They assign themselves roles including overthrowing the MC. From dust to dust as they always quote the holy book. The incomplete degree is lowered slowly as the church choir sing all the dirges. It’s not only sad but it’s remembered that the son was smart and the A grades parading on his transcript will be a waste. The school fees was a waste. Hope has been tarnished and the family has to wait for other 10 plus years to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Lumps of soil are thrown one after another. The local community looks at how the comrades carry themselves. This will remain the talk of the village for the next couple of weeks.
As the remains are being covered, watch out there’s always this guy called “I am here for you”. Very busy hugging and consoling the ‘widow’. It’s not just because of the death but he’s a potential candidate to inherit the one left behind. As the burial draws to a close a group of comrades is seen carrying twigs and heard wailing and making funny noises approaching the grave. However, they appear drunk but they are here to mourn the comrade anyway. They cover themselves in dust. This is the moment where photographers make alot of money. Shots are taken from every possible angle.
The degree is incomplete, the hopes are tarnished, a brother, a son, the future, the spotlight of probably the country if not the village has gone off at a young age. Nothing has been achieved. All lost. The replacement on the other hand has been found however, the family shall never find a replacement. Education as an investment has brought back a lifeless output.
Choices have consequences. However, fate can’t be evaded.