A TEACHER'S DIARY: Listening to Pius landed me in trouble

Tuesday January 8 2019


By Mwalimu Andrew

The year 2018 was such a successful one for me, or as they say when a new year begins, it was a prosperous one.

I emulated the President and summarised my resolutions into the Big Four. I am happy to report that I achieved all of them, except for the two that were not in my control: graduating from Kenyatta University and being promoted.

This year, like last year, although I have resolutions, summarised as the Big Six, I did not share them with anyone.

Then my brother Pius arrived on 27 December, two days after Christmas.

“This is the best time to arrive,” he said when I wondered. “You enjoy Christmas in Nairobi and New Year at home.” Ford and I were broke and Pius’ arrival saved us from our wives’ wrath.

While at Cosmas Bar and Rest (which was full to the brim) on 31 December last year, Pius asked me if I had any New Year resolutions.

“Yes I have, but I am keeping mine to myself. My resolutions are 10 years ahead of what everyone around here thinks,” I said. “So such people will return me behind. Let me do it alone.”

Pius insisted that it was a good idea, and went ahead to share some of his New Year resolutions. They were 15.

“Staying fit is very important,” Pius said. “I have already enrolled in a gym but I don’t want to wait till I return in Nairobi. I will start right away. I will be running at least thrice a week, whether in a gym or outside, and I want the two of you to join me starting tomorrow.”

The next morning, Pius was at my place at 6.30am ready to run. We went all the way past the market centre to the next village. We returned about an hour later, tired.

“That was quite something,” he said as we enjoyed a drink at Cosmas that evening. “I am feeling quite young. Let’s do it again tomorrow.”

The next morning I was at his place by 6.30am. Having returned home at 1am, we did not go very far. In fact, we walked rather than ran.

“Tomorrow let’s rest, and resume on Friday,” Pius said as we parted.

The sight of two men running after nothing attracted so many people in Mwisho wa Lami, and we were the talk of the village. People could not believe it, and we kept being stopped by everyone. We had no option but to stop and greet them.

“We have to do it very early, from 6am if we want minimal disruption,” Pius had suggested.

So come Friday, I woke up early ready to run. I was up by 5.50am as I wanted to be at Pius place at 6am sharp.

It turned out they had washed my track suit the evening before.

I wore my short, the one we call athlete, and vest and left my place at 6am on my way to Pius’s place. I had not gone far when I was stopped by two people.

“Ndio huyu,” said one of them. “Simama wewe!” I was not worried as these were people I knew.

“Ni ni jirani wetu anataka kutumaliza,” said Tom when he realised it was me, as he called the father to join us. “Leo utatujua haujui.”

“Siamini ni wewe Dre unatumaliza,” said an agitated Alphayo when he arrived. I did not understand what they were talking about.

“On Wednesday, we woke to find our chicken dead,” Tom said when I asked. “We were told it’s a jealous neighbour and were asked to blame the first person who passes at our gate if such happens again. Tonight one of the cows died, and you are the first person who has passed here.”

“No Tom, I am just running to keep fit,” I said laughingly, as I was amused.

“Sisi sio wajinga,” said Alphayo. “Wachawi pekee ndio wanakimbia uchi usiku,” he said. Before I could respond, the two of them had wrestled me to the ground and Tom started tying my hands. The commotion attracted a few neighbours who left their houses to come and see what was happening. Among them was Fiolina and Alphayos’s wife, and Pius.