By Nkirote Makarius
I Am seated with a friend on a round table some weeks ago. We were eating some local fruit commonly known as ‘Matotomoko‘ in my native dialect. He is very easy to be with a guy despite his high end professional. He is among those who call themselves “learned friend”
Now, this friend of mine tells me he was brought up in a very local setting when the family was inclusive of nuclear, extended, and extra extended relatives. (You know the kind that told you they are relatives by the virtue that their grandparents grazed with your grandparents. Those that tell you they went through the initiation rites same day, the same place, and used the same “Knife”. Those that claim they courted the same girl but both lost to some educated fool…you know those kinds of relatives) This bond joined them so strong and made them the larger Extra Extended Family.
According to my friend, those are safe family members…He tells me the problem he has faced in this life comes from this extended family and direct family members. Very close blood bond people. He gives me a narrative of how he was accused by a brother to his father of stealing his Cow. Now the scenario was like this…he clears his throat!
“Nkirote, I was called to Chogoria boys, my parents, and I did not have a single possible way I could go to school. We had nothing except ourselves. Schools were opened and those who were to report to form one did and I was left in the village. My extended family could have helped me but they decided; “Let us see where they can do with their bright son” …Of cause I was a bright one. I decided to go back to class eight and just be in school.
Two days in the same primary school and I felt frustrated. Some of my cousins had caught up with me in the same class. I had no textbooks as they had and they teased me. Two years in the same class and I couldn’t afford the basic textbooks was a symbol of sick poverty! My cousins mocked me in class. At home, it was worse since we lived in the same compound.
On my way home the 3rd day I was met by a group of pupils who sung mocking songs of a boy who is overgrown but not gone through the rite of passage. I felt defeated. I decided to go see my auntie who was a bit well up to help me raise some fees for the rite. She sent me away with a lot of abuse. I went home to my parents and we all looked at each other and broke down. The following morning I woke up and on my way to school, I met the Catholic priest. He stopped his car and asked me why I had not reported to the school. He knew me very well but did not know how poverty was my companion. I explained to him my situation and he told me to get into his car. I went with him to Chuka town where he did all my shopping and drove straight to Chogoria boys. I was admitted since I had my admission letter but I couldn’t go to class without the rite of passage. I refused…he asked for two weeks off school and he drove me to Chogoria Hospital where I stayed for two weeks and left to School a man…when the school closed I went home and I was arrested on the second day by the local chief having been accused by my uncle of stealing his cow to raise fees to take me to school.
Rumor had it that when they got to know I was in school there was a family gathering where my parents were accused of collaborating with me to steal…Irene, I was heartbroken. The chief took me to the local police station and funny enough I met the same Catholic priest at the gate of the station delivering bibles to the station. He asked the chief what I had done and the whole story shocked him. He knew he had taken me to school without the knowledge of even my parents until I was settled then he notified my parents. I was in pain… emotional pain. The priest requested the chief to go with me to that uncle of mine so he can be paid back the cow that I “stole”… We got into the priest’s car and went to my uncle who shockingly received 10,000/= from the priest for a cow that never existed. Anyway, I went packed the little things that I had and went to Chogoria boys where I stayed even over the holidays I never visited my home village for 10 years until I was done with the campus. I only communicated with the priest to my parents and sisters. Each time I spoke to them my soul was wounded. But I requested the priest to see them thorough primary school and help me fight the poverty that was in my family. By the time I was done with campus one of my sisters was in form 3, another in form 2 and the last born sister was in class eight. This was the priest’s effort. After graduation, I got a job in a law firm and I only went home after the 3rd born was on campus. My parents had decided to live a low profile life and just pray for us. All the same, Irene we are well with my sisters and my parents are well taken care of. The extended family got disconnected from us and they only point at us from a distance but you know they still won’t let us be…Some say I joined devil-worshiping, some say my sisters live with sponsors yet others say we use witchcraft”
End of Narrative!!!!
As I listened to this guy friend of mine, I laughed at the end of it…He too laughed…
Then he told me to accompany him to the Catholic priest in his village to deliver some stuff. I did and when these people met, tears came out. They are a family, the kind that is not found anywhere, a tight embrace that lasted almost 5 minutes between two Great men… I watched them embrace each other and I felt love!! I watched from a distance and yes I experienced great intense love.
We then went together with the priest to my friend’s home which is now a Haven of fortunes to visit his parents and love is so full in that home. Things have changed. The stench of poverty packed and left. The family is doing well and I witnessed touchable God’s grace
Anyway, my friend is now a senior learned friend, one of his sisters an advocate, and two of the last born sister are high school teachers.
The uncle who received 10,000 for a cow that never was is now the village Daily Drinking Officer and a chicken thief…
His wife left him. His children work on my friend’s farm.
A tale of a twisted fortune…so is life…
Don’t you devalue the little ones in any society!!! Life is full of surprises!!! God is final! Don’t you belittle anyone!!