It was just the other day

Days melt away so quickly that you would think the world is racing to a definite edge and soon it will be an end. Our towns and cities are bustling with activities; everyone is busy and it seems that there are no busybodies. Each person is trying to get someplace either through fair means or by hook or crook. And this progress is happening in leaps and bounds, so it appears.

Not so long ago

I remember it was just the other day when the Government of Kenya introduced stringent regulations to govern road transport, and they were observed to the letter even by the incorrigible matatu operators, thanks to the then no-nonsense Transport Minister John Njoroge Michuki. Previously, travelling on Kenyan road was a risky affair and a luckless number failed to cheat the ugly dragon called death. Some managed to survive by the skin of their teeth. Unfortunately, the kind of behaviour that was being fought by these timely road rules seems to have crept back.  This has been made worse with the arrival of bodabodas. These are guys who hear no rules, see no rules and say no rules. A majority are a law unto themselves, and they spare no time when dispensing ‘justice’ to a seeming lawbreaker of their ‘rules’. Some even have elaborate kangaroo courts where they dish punishment as read from their jungle rules.

I remember it was just the other day – late 90s and early 2000s to be precise – when I strolled the corridors of Chavakali High School, Chava,  and ate Muduya with a morsel of Ugali as supper, maize porridge as breakfast and several grains of rice as lunch. One teacher would tell us that the food provided by the school was only meant to keep us alive. And for sure we pulled through. Nowadays I pass around Chavakali market (We used to call it Mako) and marvel at the magnificent blocks of Chavakali High School and the splendid Kisumu-Kakamega Road that is under construction. I always get tempted to drive at 180km/hr from Chavakali Market to Mbale Market. That is not a calculated risk.

I remember it was just the other day when I came to Nyeri. The sight of Mt. Kanya used to marvel me and excite the adventurism in me. The natural inclination of most introverts is imagination, and the sight of Mount Kenya not just awakens imaginations but ignites the fire of love for fantasy too.

It was just the other day when Nairobi came under devastating terrorist bombings.  The depraved men were targeting the United States Embassy and more than two hundred souls lost their lives. Our mettle and resilience as a nation caused us to bounce back. Our resolve is as stubborn as a mule.

I remember it was just the other day when we used to have the Safari Rally. Names such as Patrick Njiru, Ian Duncan, Azar Anwar, Carl Tundo, Collin McRae, Richard Burns, Carlos Sainz, Juha Kankkunen and Tommi Makinen became household signatures.

It was just the other day when Kenya Premier League had teams with names such as Re-Union FC, Shabana FC, Rivatex FC, Bandari FC, Bata Bullets, Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards. Now we only hear of Gor Mahia. Time flies like a ballistic missile.

I remember it was just another day when Kenya got Independence from Britain. The journey to economic, social and political freedom has been protracted and perilous, but our steps have been consistent and persistent.

It is only nine years ago when fire tragedy struck Sachangwan like a hawk. If you are reading this, then you made it, and you have a reason to lift your hands, open your mouth and yell out a thank-you to the Most High.

It was just the other day when some few people elected to butcher each other courtesy of politics of the belly. We must decide ‘never again’. It beats logic to fight – whether in word or deed – for a politician. It is sheer imbecility.

It was just the other day when Kenya was economically at per with the now Asian Tigers – Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Taiwan and South Korea. Do we really know when the rain started to pound on us? We may have been wrecked, but we are on our route there.

I remember it was recently when the Retired President Moi took over the reins after Mzee Kenyatta’s passing on. We have a history!

Just lately we cut down all trees in our forests and decided bora uhai. The ecological interactions won’t allow us to cut all tress and still have uhai. In fact, we do not need bora uhai. What we need is uhai bora.

Three decades have hardly passed since Nelson Mandela was freed from prison and Namibia got independence. Mobutu Seseseko was deposed the other day. Osama bin Laden was exterminated a few years ago. Uncle Sam and her Allies decided to teach Sadam Hussein a lesson twice; that he should show some respect to the big boys. Sadam Hussein flanked in both lessons and, in fact, got an E in the second one.

It is not long since Israel withdrew from Lebanon, the Concorde was decommissioned by Air France and British Airways, Russia annexed Crimea, India and Pakistan tested their nuclear arsenals and Somalia government collapsed like a pack of cards.

It is by God’s mercy

That we are alive is not by luck. If you have ever witnessed or heard any of these events take place, then you should be grateful to God, that you are here. It is upon us to thank God for the far He has brought us. Being alive is a sign that your mission here on earth is not over. You have made it through thick and thin, twists and turns, ups and downs. You have seen great days and sorry days, gloomy days and sunny days, promising years and depressing years, but you are still here. There are days you have been sick and weak. And there are days you have been healthy and strong.

Do not dwell on the past, but let it be a reminder that God is Ebenezer and He alone deserves Thanksgiving. Look back and thank God, look forward and trust Him.

“Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.”

Ephesians 5:15-17 (NIV)

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