When Tragedy Strikes... A sad story from my past.


Village Elder
I was born and enjoyed most of my childhood somewhere on the Plainfields at the feet of the Ngong Hills.
That is Ocha for me and i have wonderful memories of grazing cattle,hunting for hares and antelopes,fishing and swimming in the very unpredictable seasonal rivers that run down the hill.
There was never a dull moment.

It seemed that alot of people from Nairobi and its environs had just discovered that the land was really cheap and that save for the lack of infrastructure, it wasn`t the worst place to raise a family

At the beginning it was just my family and extended family for miles but in time, land was traded and we soon had neighbors from Kiambu,Nairobi etc... All setting up home all around us and it would never be the same again.

Our neighbors across the "karia ria" and Kay Apple fence had just arrived from Umoja and they had kids my age.
Wamburu was 6 years old and we attended the same school.
His brother was a year younger and their youngest; a little girl called Wanja was only 2 or 3 when they became our neighbors.

We became inseperable me and Wamburu and if i wasn`t at their house,he would be at mine and it was playtime all day.

Wamburu`s mum and dad always intended to build a farm and so it wasn`t long before they got two dairy cows.
I must have been around 8 years old and i remember vividly spending more and more time at Wamburu`s place because being the first born boy, he was expected to now step up and basically help out more at home.

We still found time to cause mayhem and mischief but only as long as i helped him with his daily after school duties like feeding the animals etc...

The December school holidays that year couldn`t have been any different if Wamburu`s mboch hadn`t done a runner and left Wamburu`s mum no choice but to place all responsibilities on him while she looked for another mboch.
Afterall, she had a full time business in Nairobi to run and Wamburu`s dad had just got posted to Mombasa with his job.

It fell on Wamburu to look after the cows,clean the house,and most importantly, he had to look after his three year old sister.And all these with little help from his younger brother.

I would spend almost all my time at their place and so i was there on that fateful morning when Wamburu`s mum shouted the orders of what she needed done that day as she left for Nairobi.
She was a tough cookie her mum and i could see the fear in Wamburu`s eyes everytime her mum spoke to him.

As she left the house that day, she ordered Wamburu to clean the house, warm the food at lunch time for the kids and not to forget bathing his sister at 3 pm.
He had forgotten to bath her the previous day and for that mistake,Wamburu had recieved a thorough beating from her mum who looking back now must have been suffering from some sort of depression.
Her parting words on this morning were... "Nikikuta Wanja hajaoga utaniona"...

Kids will be kids i remember me and Wamburu playing well into the afternoon but i had to leave them to go into town with my mum at around 4pm.

At 6 pm me and my mum started our way back home and save for Wamburu`s mum who was driving an Peugot 504 we would have had to leg it the whole 6 kilometers.

So we arrive and we are just settling in when e hear a loud scream from across the fence.
It had to be Wamburu`s mum and so we all rushed to see what was happening.

What i saw is an image forever imprinted in my Memory.

Wamburu was lying unconcious in the store room a few yards away from the main house.
He had Foam coming out from his mouth and his eyes were wide open but fully rolled back and he wasn`t moving!

His younger brother was holding their youngest sister and he looked totally detached from what was unfolding.

In a very somber state he explained to us that he and Wamburu had continued playing late into the afternoon and that they had forgotten to not only feed their younger sister but that they had also forgotten to Bathe her.
Wamburu had been so terrified of getting another beating from her mother so he had decided to take some of the "Cow`s medicine" so that he would die instead of facing her mum!

Wamburu was pronounced dead two hours after arriving at the hospital.

I was too young to get my head around all these but i remember attending his funeral.He was buried in their own compound and for a long time his younger brother and sister would sit next to the grave and innocently include him in their games as we played.
Her sister was convinced that he was just sleeping and that one day he would wake up.

A few years later the whole family up and left to live in their old house in Umoja.

Wamburu`s grave still stands isolated and once in a while,someone tends to it.

I will never forget Wamburu.
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Village Elder
WTF, at that age the boy was so desperate that he even knew death? Those beatings must have terrified his life. Those are some experiences that make a kid say things like "I wish I was born in your family", referring to a friends family. @Ka-Buda Pole. Wamburu must have been looking at your family and thinking how your home ni paradise


Village Elder
sad story man... mamatha saa zengine wanabore sana!!! meffi nikipata wife wangu amefanyia mtoi hivo only God knows!! RIP WAMBURU
I think kitambo parents esp mothers believed so much in corporal punishment until they overdid it, ignorant of the psychological effects on kids. It was in fact fruitful but in some cases parents used it even to get back at their spouses or as a stress reliever. Can you imagine what would go through your mind if your mum told you, "Nkipata hujafanya hivo, utaniona!" then she comes back na hujafanya. Some of us literally spent the night in the cold when you imagined the beating that awaited you

joj mwad

Village Elder
reminds me once I hepad home and became a street boy for three days, dad had to travel from rwanda ati mtoi ame lost. I was reported missing pangani police and that marked the end of corporal punishment for me.