Always came in second place. Mumo was always applauded because, “Atleast you tried and put yourself out there. Someday you will be noticed.” People always said that, whether it was a competition or an application for a free training opportunity. He constantly felt that he just wasn’t good enough and couldn’t make the cut.
It’s been 10 years since he completed his university education, walked out with that Degree with a bounce in his step. The world was his ‘oyster’. He should have noticed the signs. When Mumo walked out after the graduation ceremony, Mumo was almost hit by a car and a bodaboda and was insulted by an overzealous parent who showed up to pick one of the numerous graduates.
The world wasn’t going to be an oyster; it was going to be a pain in the ass. And he had to break the world to fit his mould. 10 years later reunions came calling, he had seen people’s lives on Facebook. Anthony the geeky guy was now running his own financial consultancy firm, he was recently awarded as one of the country’s most promising financial start ups. Then there was Heather, she was ‘Miss Campus’ the final year of Uni. She was now a happy stay-at-home mum running a succesful blog for mothers, giving insight on motherhood and products around it. She was recenty featured on CNN, BBC and Aljazeera.
Then there was Anto, he was the party guy, who barely graduated. Anto never took school serious and now, he was a Creative Director at the country’s hugest Advertising agency. What in the world happened? Mumo was lost for words; he replayed campus over and over again in his head and in no way, in the scheme of things, was he the ‘loser’ of campus.
Yes, there were others who ended up living average lives but they compensated by being married and having children. Mumo didn’t even have a girlfriend, let alone married. What was it about him that nothing seemed to work? Mumo got so desperate he agreed to take a construction job, not as chief architect, but as a labourer on a megre wage, hauling cement and plastering walls without protetive gear.
Mumo knew he was different, he was better than his circumstances but noting ever came through. He had tried everything, sales, marketing, customer service, lab technician. He enjoyed that for sometime, up and till he realized the lab he was working for used to alter people’s HIV results to compel them to take ARVs. He later discovered that they did this, to inflate their HIV statistics to donors to get more funding. Mumo was involved in exposing them. That should count for something; the biggest investigative news piece in the country in a decade was because he was the new sexy, whistle blower in town. Nope! Not at all.
Weeks turned into months and the reunion drew near. Mumo was no longer a mjengo guy, he was now a receptionist at a law firm were he spent more time educating himself on the legal system. He was considering going back to school to study law. That was going to be his bragging right,or was it?