7

A letter to Me

Everyday I awake I see the regret that I have constantly said that I wouldn’t have in my life. With age I have come to understand where it comes from. Giving up. For months I pondered on what was wrong with me wrestling with emotions that were annoyingly overbearing only to realize that I had done what people before me had done. They gave up. The last full time job I had I walked in with endless zeal, and a fighting spirit. 2 years in; I had a battered spirit and couldn’t fight anymore, nothing was worth it. There wasn’t any job satisfaction and most of all I just hated people. I threw in the towel gleefully kissed employment away thinking that the a-wipes were gone, stuck in a building were they belonged. The free spirited independent, self employed folks were more straightforward and less complicated. What a lie I told myself. All.A.Lie.

The romance of the first one and a half years of working for myself came to a grand halt with a diagnose of fatigue. I was on compulsory two-week bed rest. I had made money, I was out of debt, I was saving again, I was happy. As I lay in my bed with the occasional 5 minute shift from my bed to the bathroom right outside my room, I realized how thankless my job was. Thankless to the core.

You write people read, they are moved by the objectivity of the piece, but nothing happens. After months of immersion into a new world, new perspective, new individual, different problem and resolution the story is edited, printed or posted, comments slew in,and  it ends with a discussion. I know Jeff Koinange says that we need to “keep talking so that we don’t start fighting”. But I always felt that something needed to be done with each story I wrote but nothing was happening. Not to my liking.

I initially blamed it on writing to an international audience with a publication my audience at home was not acquainted with. But even when I provide local publications with my news pieces they butcher the story and water it down or worse over sensationalize. I also get paid less, disparately less. With time the enthusiasm to work on a new story soon dwindled. I only took simpleton stories for magazines that I used to think wasn’t real journalism. Hey! The writer needs to pay their bills.

Then friends, their awards, the accolades, and there I was with nothing, once again the fat kid in school who no one wanted to play with again. There I was asking myself what was the point? There was no reward in my world. No social change, no monetary benefit. What for? I read Seli Sayan and Robert Kinda every week in the papers and I ask myself what keeps them going.

Susan Nirima, in every other newspaper and magazine, a columnist for almost a decade, what in the world kept her going all this time? I never have mustered the courage to ask her. I guess it is time to sow my royal copy to any bidder, despite doing this for four years; my inconsistency has left me in the bottom of the barrel wondering when, if at all I would ever get that big break.

Writing is my muse, yet it also is my handicap. I gave up. But now I want to start a fresh before like Nerea and Sospeter before me, I give up on life and achieving what I once aspired for. It is nerve raking once again. But I can make it right before it is too late. So World! Here I come…Again!

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0

Death to Government

Things were thick! Really thick! The ‘Government’ had walked in and there was no saving grace. She had walked in through the door soaking wet and stinking. It was flooded outside and we had forgot the clothes on the washing line which were now completely drenched.

“What have you been doing all day Akinyi?” the Government summoned. I really didn’t have anything to say, the rain came gushing down at one go, and there was nothing I could do to save the clothes, she didn’t care.

She shoved me into the house as she dripped onto the carpet. She peeled off her wet shoes. As I rushed to get her some towels to dab off, she yanked me by my dress.
“Where do you think you are going Akinyi?” she had that look on her face. That look that said, I would wake up tomorrow with a limp and blemished with scars. She yanked me to her and she smothered me with a hug. She was so soaked, my clothes mopped it all up and I was now shivering and drenched. The Government laughed. Then from the side of my eye I could see her reaching for something at shoulder height. It was the switch. I knew that this wasn’t going to end well.

I was soaked and she pulls out a long rubbery tree branch. I couldn’t face the pain, as her wrist flicked steadily easing toward my wet back, I stepped back, breaking away from her hug and I stopped the switch from hitting me. It hurt my hand. But I held firm. She tried to push down I felt as if my wrist was going to break. But it didn’t I was strong. She wasn’t going to hurt me anymore.

She threw me to the ground; she was judge, jury, and executioner. My aunt was mean, lethal, merciless, cold and calculated. That is why we called her the government. She was the law and there was nothing that you could do that would outdo her. Not any given day, save for that day.
As I writhed on the floor trying to shake off her grip on my ankles; my cousin emerged.
“Mum! What are you…?”

Before she finished her statement I heard a blood curdling scream and my cousin was on the ground next to me, blood oozing from her ear. I didn’t want to know what had happened…I probably should stop there…

I thought I would have pleasant memories of Aunty, but it seems I have none. Would I say ‘May the Lord rest her soul in eternal peace? No! Not really!

Burn in Hell Aunty! You deserved what you got! Annie sorry I had to be this disrespectful at your mother’s funeral. But you all should have known better when you asked me to speak. God speed.