Untimely Departure

Someone woke up today alive, kicking and with a mission. He has a cause worth dying for. It could be a she but the odds are it will be a ninja. Well, mostly because men are dumb, naturally. We lead, yes, but we are dumb. Nothing you can do about such acts of God.

Probably he has a wife a daughter and a landlord. His daughter knows he is a hero. Young as she is, she clings to his ideologies and arguments. I bet she boasts to her friends of his seemingly infallibility in judging and predicting the outcome of every situation. She knows names, places, people, policies and laws that she would probably learn of from a teacher 5 years to come.. His landlord does not like him though. But again, who lives for the landlord’s approval!

His wife backs him up, even though reluctantly. Isn’t that what good women do? Supporting their husbands in everything? Chances are she tried dissuading him but a man with a wounded spirit with an impotent feeling of helplessness and hopelessness is the worst listener. What does she know anyways? She won’t stand up against these tyrants. It is not her wont. Not her responsibility. He has to. And so he will.

Last night he didn’t sleep. He hang out with his boys- fellow fighters- and talked about the events likely to transpire today. ‘Our Commander-in-Chief will be in office tomorrow. Come rain, come sunshine.’

It is Tuesday, the 30th day of January, 2018. A really bonhomous day indeed: the sun is out, CBD birds are chirping what sounds like Willy Paul’s ‘Digrii’, oblivious of what might befall them in the day. It seems like an easy day for everyone except the police who are tense and ready for action. (Does an officer get goosebumps at the thought that he might be another statistic for officers dead in line of duty  or it’s just part of his JD?) Anyways, for an outsider, except for the many uniformed forces in town and the unusual calmness, there is nothing to give out the potential nefarious activities looming on this day.

My guy leaves home at six in the morning. His ninjas come pick him up, their faces radiating freedom and from their voices, you could tell their adrenaline, testosterone levels- the recipes for all irrational decisions in men -were on a lethal high, unafraid of anything but Baba not being sworn in. The good wife smiles at them deadpanned. He leaves, giving his daughter a high-five and saying a casual tuonane jioni  to the young wife and mother, who is secretly haunted his decision but is helpless. With him a botlle of clean water, to match his friends. Except for their rugged, manly looks, you’d mistake them for these metro-sexual men who walk in malls with water bottles in hand and never shut their mouths on all this ‘living healthy’ hullabaloo. But these are ninjas.  A man must live or die for what he truly believes in. Denying him that chance dethrones him of any manliness left in him. However he chooses to fight his battle, all she can do is support him.

 

Time: 1400hrs.

Location: Uhuru Highway/University Way junction.

My guy, who has been receiving calls every thirty minutes from his emotionally tormented wife, is engaged in running battles with the police. The supposedly peaceful meeting has gone south. The police interrupted the meeting threw the situation into a limbo. Teargas. Stones. Wails. Blood. More blood. No CBD birds chirping to Digrii anymore. Actually, no chirping at all. My guy’s friends are nowhere to be seen. It has become the Tower of Babel. The People’s President has been whisked away together with the other dignitaries. No hard feelings though. I mean, if he dies unnecessarily who will be arrsted for treason and fuel the struggle for electoral justice?

She calls. He does not answer this time round. She calls again, her palms wet and pits sweaty. No answer. Her knees become feeble and unable to support her now heavy heart and body.

He lay there, with a life bullet lodged in his left thoracic skeleton, after irreparably shuttering his blood pump. As people jumped over him running for their dear lives, and as his sight together with the simmering pain together receded to a point of non-existence, he felt proud. Or maybe  remorse. But it does not matter for now.

His daughter will cry a river. His wife will miss him every day she has to fix that leaking sink, or carry that jerrycan of water for kilometers in the new dry Nairobi. Human Rights activists and will use his death as a statistic in ‘Police Brutality in Kenya’ report. And boy, more funds from donors will come through. The government will use acts of arson committed by other people to justify his death. The opposition will not even know his name but will stretch and squeeze his death for any juice to fuel their political journey to the last drop. Then he will be gone. Forgotten. Except to his wife- now a widow- and his daughter, now fatherless.

Who knew that his humble beginning would be capped with such an untimely and, in retrospect, uneventful departure.

 

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