By Guest Writer
Yesterday morning, I found a body of a man mutilated in the corridors of Kayole. I was on my way to work but I stopped to look. I took a long look at this hopeless soul that had been left for the dogs and smiled. “You look beautiful son,” I thought. Then I jumped over whatever was left of this hopeless fool and made my way to work. Do not judge me. I was not always like this. Life has taught me that it is all vanity and I cannot think about anything for too long. Before you wonder why I was not gutted to see the dead body; before you curse at why I was not afraid to look at a dead body of some stranger from wherever he was picked; before you call me a monster for jumping over him and going my way; before you ask why I did not call the police; just hear me out.
I have lived in Kayole for thirteen years. I was not born here. I was born in Kapenguria, Rift Valley, in 1985. My parents were loving people and harmless at worst. I remember my father, a tall, dark, and muscled man, who cared for everything around him so much. He showed me what a man should be; caring, loving, a listener, considerate, and charming. I loved that man to death. Then there was my mother. She was the true definition of a housewife; submissive, loving, hardworking, and charming. My father worked in Posta in Kapenguria while my mother did nothing except take care of the home and myself. My father and mother were true lovebirds. They shared kisses and hugs and planned everything together. I never knew violence for the entirety of my childhood, except that my childhood did not last very long. On the Friday of November 1 1991, I was woken up by commotion and cries from my mother. What sounded like a slap extinguished her voice in a flash. I did not bother to look for my koroboi. I slowly opened the door to my room and attempted to crawl out. That did not take me anywhere as what felt like a frying pan of a palm grabbed me by the neck and dragged me to the living room. My parents were tied up and made to sit on a sofa in the room, naked. In no time, I was bound and gagged just like my parents. “Who are they,” I wondered. After what sounded like a decade of searching through the house, two other men joined the three in the room.
“It is not here,” one of them said.
There was a long moment of silence and frustration in the room. A man who had been with us in the room the whole time lowered his trousers and forced himself on my mother as my father and I watched helplessly. They wanted us to see it. One after the other, they raped my mother. I cried until I could not cry any more. After what felt like hell, the last man zipped his trouser and laughed. I looked at the clock on the wall. 2:27 Am. Then my eyes landed back on the man zipping his trousers and I saw a scar on his left arm, one that would remain a permanent picture in my head. I thought the ordeal was over but it wasn’t. One of the men slit my mum’s throat before my eyes. I screamed but none of it was heard because of the gag. The man with a scar on the left arm then stabbed my father right through the heart and then ordered the rest to make their way out. My parents were killed before my eyes in one night.
That night was as long as any I have ever had. I stayed with two dead bodies for hours before the sun rose and Susan, my cousin whose house was metres from ours, came calling my name as she normally did every morning that we went to school together. She turned and ran back to her house when she saw the scene. A week later, I was a total orphan adopted into the family of my paternal uncle. He was good to me and a father figure. He treated me like he did my cousins. I should have felt lucky to have him except that he had a scar on his left arm. Before you ask it, it was the exact scar I had seen on the night of November 1, 1991. I heard that they never found the killers of my parents and motive of the murder. Every day that I lived in Uncle Patrick’s house, the image of the last man who raped my mother and the man who stabbed my father right through the heart flashed through my face. And hey, do not even imagine it. I never saw their faces. They were all covered.
On May 13 1994, my cousin (Uncle Patrick’s elder son) was hit by a car on a busy market day and died on the spot. I remember that night when the body was brought home. I was so happy because I felt that a power stronger than me was fighting my battles. I looked at his body and felt nothing; no pain, no grief, no fear, no anxiety; Nothing. In 1997, my uncle got ill and was nearing his last days when I took food to him one day and posed the tough question to him: why? Why did you have to kill my father? He never answered that question. A day later, he died a natural death. I was so furious that I took the five litres of kerosene that had been bought for lighting for that night and poured it on his coffin then set it ablaze. I do not remember much about that day except for the fact that I woke up in police custody and was admitted to a mental hospital days later.
So forgive me if my actions yesterday do not tie well into your normal way of thinking because mine is not a normal life. I cannot think normal or act normal because I am not normal. May be they were right to lock me up with the mentally ill because my life was changed forever in 1991. However old I grow, I will never be able to shake off the image of how the man I should call my uncle had all the pleasure as he raped my mother. I cannot shake off the image of my mother choking on her own blood after her throat was slit. I cannot get over the image of my father trying to stay alive after a knife was drilled through his heart. Worst of all, I cannot shake off the years I lived and imaginations of all the possible ways I could kill my uncle to avenge my parents’ deaths.
My mind is haunted. My childhood was not one to admire. I need help but not the help you are thinking of. Help me by helping the children to not turn out like I did. The childhood of many children is being messed up by actions of adults that can be controlled. Children are raped. Children are sodomized. Children are violated in ways you cannot imagine. You know what is more painful? Most of these atrocities are committed by people that the children trust.