Header Ads




We began hearing some rumors that it was either “Myselefu” or “Ali Milo” who had scooped number one in the Madrasa exams and that a rich Muslim guy had said that he will give the winner a shopping voucher to go shop NEW clothes at Martha’s Clothings, the shop located near city General Stores that was among the very few shops that would sell new clothes in Thika town alongside Fashion Centre (Kwa Muhindi).  

Wearing new clothes for us during Eidd Festivities or any other festival was as rare as meeting a Majengo resident going to shower with a Cussons Imperial Leather Soap.

So, if one had new clothes you would have both bragging rights and as lucky as Jonathan Igwebu. Who is Jonathan Igwebu you might ask me? Jonathan Igwebu was one of the lucky survivors after the Biafran war in Nigeria, according to Chinua Achebe; He not only survived alone but with his wife and three out of his four children. To crown it all his bicycle also survived. He used it as “taxi” opened a small business made some money until thieves came to his place one night and stole his money but spared his life. 

If you want to know more about Igwebu read Chinua Achebe’s story tittled “Civil Peace”.

Anyway the rumors also said that the winner will also get a wrist watch (saa ya alarm). Now I don’t know about you but I kept dreaming with that watch even though I had not seen it. The closest I had come to a watch was when I tried to repair an old Quartz wrist watch that belonged to my father using home tools such as kitchen knives, safety pins and spoons. 

Let’s just  say that my attempt of becoming a “watch Engineer” the first one from Majengo and North of Kenyatta Highway died with the beating that I received from the owner of the watch. Later on I came to learn from reliable sources (my mum) that the watch wasn’t really old and spoilt but “ilikuwa imeisha Majira”. How was I to know that? By that time, I decided that “myselefu” and any engineering career, couldn't travel in the same direction.

The day came and what was a rumor was finally confirmed, yours truly had scooped position one and had scored highly in the various subjects that included Reciting the Koran, language, Islamic history, and Arabic writing.

 The competition was very tough and the difference in marks between “myselefu” and “Ali Milo” (a nickname we gave him for the love of Milo) was only two points. The Muslim Rich guy who had pledged the shopping voucher was present and after noticing the narrow differences in points, he decided to give number one and two the same prizes.

The vouchers indicated Shirt, Trousers, socks and shoes. There was something else wrapped in a small gift pack (zile karatasi za kushine shine). All eyes were on us to unveil what was in those packs. When we were done with the gift wrappers that we had to remove carefully since we would need to use those papers again for some things we did not even know, I carefully removed “saa ya Gold” and tried it on to everyone’s  amazement and envy. 

For the next few days I would sleep and wake up every two hours to check whether the watch was still under my pillow and to set the alarm to wake me up again after two hours. That watch had a very irritating sound to everyone else but me. And their feelings didn’t matter. Any of my friends who wanted to touch the watch had to wash their hands first and I would remove the watch every two hours and put it into my pocket and hold it firmly. I would say that I was told that the watch shouldn’t be exposed to the sun for too long.

Saturday came and it was time to go “Kadim dim ka Sheki” for a swim. For those who don’t know “kadim dim ka sheiki” was a place where water would stagnate over a large surface and used to be near where the Kenya Mpya buses station in Section 9 Thika is located. So if you live around that area and you did not know why water keeps flooding in your houses during rainy season, now you know. You are living in our “kadim dim”.

The excitement I had with the wrist watch could not allow me to wear a long sleeved shirt; even if I did, I had to fold it for all haters and naysayers, fans and supporters and “others” who couldn’t be categorized, to notice, the “Son of Majengo” has a golden watch. 

We had walked walked past where St. Davids Academy is today located, when some slightly limping older guy asked to see my watch and wanted to know if it had an alarm. I braggingly removed to show him as I caution him to be careful because it was delicate. He took it and kept it in his pocket and started limping away. It took us a few minutes to know that we (read I) had just been robbed, our attempts to shout at him and try to follow him were met by stones that he started throwing at us as he chased our terrified bodies away.

One week later I saw him limping around Majengo Centre very calmly, I gave him the eye that suggested that “I Know What You Did Last Week”. He responded with a weird looking smile, that had some teeth missing that seemed to suggest “say one word and I would dispatch you to your maker”. I realized that I was robbed by an older homeboy from Majengo. Thieves have no honour.

I told my terrified self that “of importance is life”, and just like Jonathan Igwebu who told his sympathizers after he was robbed, “let it go where everything else has gone. Nothing Puzzles God”. 

And that is how a “good thief” took my wrist watch.

…….indeed Nothing Puzzles God.

Juma Hemedi

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.