What Goes Around Comes Around




The dew formed on the grass blade shone brightly. This was with aid of the yellow flickering rays of the morning sun. The grass appeared greener showing how the day was ready to take off brightly. The river waters could be heard from a far as its water cascaded smoothly carrying the alluvial soil beneath. Okello and his parents just moved in ‘Kaikai’ village some 3 months ago. The village which appeared to be the only solace place they could relocate to at that time. The post-election violence that occurred rendered them homeless for a while. Okello being the only son with his two younger siblings were partial orphans. His father was a victim of the skirmishes and was no more. The only hope Okello’s mother had was for Okello to study and unchain them from the shackles of poverty. The grass thatched house they had moved in could not be much different from the one they stayed in the refugee camp. They had to pull out of the camp because there was nothing close to hope. Okello had been the top student in his class in the previous school. He had it well both with the students and teachers. Whenever exams were approaching Okello’s name was turned into the national anthem by teachers. They all sang in unison the song of “I want you to be like Okello….” From the ugly to the most beautiful girl, were surrounding Okello awaiting consultation of that “find Y sum” Hell broke loose after the election when things did not auger well with nature. Politicians had done there thing and so the civilians were left killing each other. Okello’s dad sacrificed himself and kept his family safe. They narrowly escaped death. Okello his mum and siblings had been hidden in the maize plantation. The attackers could not even think that humans can hide in such a place. This is how rough life had played its card with Okello. They were nearby town but they had to move away near a police camp where refugees were taken by the so called government. This thought daily formed in Okello’s mind whenever he woke up. On seeing the green grass shinning with dew it gave him hope of future. He did not know what was awaiting him. He needed someone who would tell him that all will be well. His sick mother relied on him to take care of her and his other siblings too.
Moving to Kaikai village marked a new life for them. He was not so much acquainted with the neighbours. The neighbourhood though seemed friendly. The village had not succumbed to any sort of violence during its darkest days. It was known for peace with a few elites who tried to bring civilization in the village. They were countable elites and they helped each other. Schooling was an option in Kaikai and that explained why the elites were countable. The only known schools were Kaikai primary and Kaikai secondary school. The secondary was the crème de la crème in the village. Once you were in secondary the villagers would praise you like a small god. They could see some genius genes in you. This way the whole village would sing your name from corner to corner. Okello had tried to enrol but they refused. He had nothing to show for a student. He had to prove to them that he really deserved a chance to be in school. He decided to work as a grounds man for a week. He went and pleaded with the head teacher if he can allow him in class. “Please Mwalimu, just allow me in class…PLEASE, PLEASE” The tears had already wet his visage. The head teacher pitied him and allowed him in school. Okello was to officially begin school the following day. The resource was nowhere to be found. Okello’s mother was already bed ridden and she was the only source of hope Okello had. Fate was in his side when the only uniform he was to buy was the shirt. The grey trouser was similar to the one in the former school. It was patched everywhere and the shirt he found something close to the required one.
The first day in a class of about 12 students Okello looked ready to learn. His mother always reminded him the phrase of ‘education is the key to life’. He never knew what this phrase meant but he had theorised it to mean that education is important. Mr. Kip the class teacher liked Okello for his hard work. However, kip’s reputation in school was wanting. A mixed school where female students would partly be turned to wives by their teachers could not go well with Okello. The culture was at its peak and no one even bothered. This culture had spread in the village like bush fire. Mr. Kip had taken the advantage of this and almost every girl in his class had once been his wife except one. Chebet had refused Mr. Kips advances despite Kip trying to persuade her mother. Chebet was the only girl in her class who knew what she wanted in life. Many boys tried their lack but all was in vain. Kip gave up and decided to go slow on her.
Kaikai Village ruled by the chief and a council of elders amicably welcomed Okello. Okello’s siblings had forgotten how a school compound looked like. All they did was to remain back home and wait for Okello to come back from school from school. They even thought Okello was working at the school. Okello had the responsibility of his family. His mother’s health kept on deteriorating day by day. Every day he had to pass by the market and try and find something to eat for his family and her mother’s medication. The only nearby dispensary needed finance and that was the last thing Okello wanted to think about. Herbal medicine worked well for him to at least keep her mother kicking. Though not stable, it just kept her alive. She had grown thinner with gouged eyes and so fable. Okello was losing hope already every day as she looked at his mother. The villagers had started spreading rumours on Okello’s mum. The news in the village was that she had the deadly disease. This made Okello with his siblings to be stigmatised. This family was viewed as a cursed family. The whole village was at Okello’s neck as to why they moved in that village. Some could not even dare come close to their compound. Her mother had heard about these rumours and her only friends were her siblings. However, Okello was not shaken with anything. The river which was the only source of water was polluted whenever he went to fetch water. The several attacks he encountered while in the woods fetching firewood were too much. He returned home with bruises which suggested that he had gotten in a brawl with some people. Her mother would slowly try nursing the wound while shading tears.” My son, they did this to you I know, please just be strong, all will be well” she would mention this. This statement has turned to a sonorous tune in his ears. The villagers saw that it was growing worst till one evening when they summoned him. He found the council of elders ready to pin him down on the condition of his mother. One by one they started with the accusations. They all tried nailing him down. “Why is your mother so thin and emaciated, is she positive?” the eldest of them asked. “My mother just has Tuberculosis” Okello replied back. They all looked at him in awe as if Okello had just landed from the moon. They kept on asking what Tuberculosis is. The village had only three doctors. The three doctors who had just built a well furbished house then they had moved to the city. They could only be seen whenever the festive season was approaching. Most of the treatment was still dependent on medicinal herbs. Okello’s mother asked one of the siblings to try and locate him that evening. The younger one over heard one of the villagers’ mention that it was a day of reckoning for their family because Okello will be standing in the council of elders and the chief. She could not allow that to happen despite her condition. She collected herself and in a turtles pace she headed towards the meeting.
One of the elders suggested banishment of Okello’s family. Another one who appeared to be wise said that the sick lady can stay as she was almost to die after all. These words pierced Okello’s ears like a knife cutting through cheese. It was hurting hearing the elders speak ill of his mother. He remained calmed as they started ridiculing how his mother had brought misfortune to the community. They blamed this family for famine that had hard hit the village. His mother gave them a surprise visit.  “Why are you frustrating us?” they all looked down in shame. No one dared to talk. Okello’s mother threatened them of death and telling their ancestors. One of the elders rudely replied that we want you banished. He was backed up by the other elders before they were interrupted by Okello’s mother, “well, we are not moving anywhere unless you will uproot us from this village” she was rude defending her son. This was a blow to the elders in terms of respect. She tightly supported herself to Okello as they walked home.
The whole village turned against them viciously after that occurrence. The only person that stood firm with him was Chebet. Chebet and Okello were outstanding students in their class. The good neighbours they thought they had found were filled with rage and malice. The only friend he found comfort and he confided in was Chebet. The two became great friend which turned to be lovers thereafter. Chebet would sometimes come in the middle of the night to see if Okello was doing okay. She went ahead and even sometimes brought food for Okello and his family whenever the day did not go well with them. They motivated each other and positively challenged each other. Their conversation revolved around real life issues. The optimism could be seen in their eyes. Stories in school started circulating of the two being love birds. This awakened the lying ‘love’ that was buried in Kips heart for a long time. Okello’s mother knew that there was a tough road for her son.
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…. (PART 2 CONTINUES)


Today's guest writer is Emmanuel, a student at University of Nairobi and an avid blogger. Check out his blog Mamadiemmanuel.

Wacera Kieha

Wacera Kieha is a Lifestyle Content Creator based in Nairobi, Kenya.

2 comments:

  1. In this age, finding writers who have the guts to even have such vivid yet deeply relatable wording as well as properly arrayed chronological happening of events is simply intriguing to me. I love it.

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