Ngai, this past or so has been crazy. My cuzo M has been HIV+ for some time. I feel close to M because we were in high school at the same time, and would always hang out during the holidays, and he had a sense of humour that I really enjoyed. He’s been + for at least 2 years, but in denial for the most part. In fact, I doubt he has acknowledged his situation, and what I know is from my relatives. M has been getting quite sick and may be going downhill already. I haven’t seen him since getting back in September last year (my bad) but we’ve been talking on the phone quite often. He kinda feels lonely and deserted. So on Saturday 11th April (Easter weekend) I called my mum and told her that M feels lonely, she needs visit him etc etc. At that point she told me that even his sister is really sick. Where, I asked? Same disease. The following day, mum called to say that S, the sister, had passed away. Her body was laid to rest on Saturday the 18th. I wasn’t really close to her since she married a widower (connect the dots) when she was really young so we had no time together. But still—-it made me think how short –and difficult-her life was. She was 28.
Now that M is sick and I’ve been thinking of all the few years we shared growing up, I’ve been finding myself thinking about my late cousin named M as well. Agikuyu (Kikuyus) name all the first sons after the husband’s father, and among all my grandmother’s 12 kids, only the boys (5 of them) lived to be old enough to have kids. So we have a lot of Ms. My brother is the 5th M. The sick M is the third one, and the late M was the fourth one. He was a year ahead of me in high school, and we shared similar ambitions. We were so close that after he had passed away, my mum told me that when we were in high school, she always worried that we may ‘get married’ (read have sex). M didn’t actually pass away- he was brutally murdered by the Mungiki on the night/morning of 6th January 2003 when they terrorized Nakuru. He was 27, married with 2 kids, and lots of aspirations.
I was raised in a village in Nyeri, but we moved to Nyandarua the year I went college. I feel a bigger sense of belonging to my Nyeri village than the Nyandarua one, partly because I’ve never spent more than a month in our Nyandarua one. But that’s where my mum now lives. Mum called me this morning saying she wanted to go Nyeri because “andu ni moragirwo muno” –people have been killed too much. What, I ask? It’s the Mungiki. Mum told me that they killed M the son of G, his brother M, W the son of N, and even T the father of W, and W himself. Even K, a boy whose mother married by neighbour when K was about 4. He finished form four last year. W the son of N was in the same class as my young uncle who is two years older than me, and was married to P, my standard six best friends. Basically, all are family friends. My uncle J is moving to Nairobi to stay with my uncle K for a while.Not sure where my aunt and her young son will sleep tonight. You can read the story here and some a bit here.
I am devastated, my tribal pride hurt. Death, your sting hurts bad.
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