In Summary
  • My father Dan — but we always call him Caleb here — was proud of me then, for he still had hopes that I could end up being something.
  • I moved from my father's nest into my own state-of-the-art bungalow that will remain the talk of Mwisho wa Lami for years to come.

I grew up in Munyanza village, a small, evergreen hamlet in the small intestines of Kakamega County.

It's a lovely place, where once food is set on our tables, we wash hands in River Yala.

In the past few years, Munyanza has seen some development and that is why I call it Mwisho wa Lami; otherwise when I was growing up, it was Mwisho wa Dunia — literally.

I loved Munyanza. I still do. Growing up, other than herding cattle, committing juvenile mischief, and swimming in River Yala, I loved reading.

I read everything I could lay my hands on: school textbooks, the Bible, magazines, novels, and newspapers — the Sunday Nation in particular.

I literally consumed Wahome Mutahi’s "Whispers" column so much that I collected all Whispers articles I could get and filed them.

ROLE MODEL

While I enjoyed the stories from the slopes, where the Son of the Soil was born and bred, I always thought there were some interesting chronicles from Munyanza — sorry, Mwisho wa Lami — that; if I met Whispers, I would tell him to consider featuring in his acclaimed column.

Like the story of Ratiko, the village doctor whose only qualification was that he served as a messenger at Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) for long.

Or Hitler, whose many years of dedicated service to quench the throats of Mwisho wa Lami men and women is legendary.

There were the stories of the local primary school, and the teachers in particular.

There was this one who took 20 years to complete his house as he personally carried sand and koto on his bicycle; that other one who was always on interdiction, and yet another so mean he wouldn’t donate his saliva to a dying man …

Unfortunately, Whispers died before I could meet him, and share with him these stories that I thought were funny.

TEACHING

Six years after his demise, I convinced some friends of development at Sunday Nation that I had some interesting stories from Mwisho wa Lami.

When the first piece appeared, on March 28, 2009, I was a young teacher just two years into the Teacher Service Commission (TSC) job; I was ambitious and never thought I would still be teaching in three years.

There would be an opening for an Assistant Chief’s job in two years. Who knew? I could even contest for an MCA position.

My father Dan — but we always call him Caleb here — was proud of me then, for he still had hopes that I could end up being something.

My mother Agnetta loved me, just as she still does. I was still staying in my parents’ compound, eating from mother Agnetta’s kitchen like a calf sucks from the mother’s udder.

I had no plans to start a degree course, and only owned a bicycle! A Raleigh bicycle that I had acquired on hire purchase.

FAMILY MAN

I was yet to meet Fiolina, nor was Sospeter born. But I had met Catherina. I had known Catherina socially, professionally and biblically, although Branton would arrive two years later.

I had not yet met Bensouda, and I wish I had never met Kuya. Nzomo, Sella, Lena, Erick were just names.

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