The big story in Kenya right now is on the Ocampo Six, the four confirmed and the 2 dropped! ICC, the Hague, William Ruto, Uhuru Kenyatta, Francis Muthaura and Joshua Sang are the present newsmakers in Kenya and the world at large. I am not writing about it for now; I am just watching it as it unfolds. “No comment? Coward girl!” said one of my friends.
I am writing an update of my earlier blog post. Death is painful. I am accepting the reality that when we say, we are not mourning, instead we are celebrating his or her life, it is easier said than done. Who really understands the fragility of life? Who?
Last Saturday, as we headed to Wote in Kathonzweni District to bid farewell to our former colleague John Mutunga Muli, I felt very miserable. Trying to understand what life is all about and why certain things happen as they do. With many questions unanswered, I finally managed to get the guts to share my misery when I posted this on my Facebook page.
“Sitting on this bus to Wote, I feel miserable. I am not mad at God, but I feel very sad. 1. Why did He allow that fateful accident? 2. Why didn’t He give a chance to Mutunga to see his unborn baby? (With only a month to go?) 3. Why would Marion (Mutunga’s wife) become a widow at such a tender age? 4. What happens to all the dreams and aspirations that the two had together?”
What is life?
“There is one thing that God has hidden from us: our future. To me life is still a mystery and so precious. May the good Lord give us all wisdom to tackle life,” wrote Inger Johanne Jupta, 71. Her comment even confused me further. At her age, I imagined she has massive wisdom to understand life better than some of us do. Then it dawned on me, really, even age does not translate to a deeper understanding of what life is all about, it is indeed a mystery!
Memories of John crossed my mind as we drove through the dusty, dry and deserted land of the Akamba people. I did a flash back during their wedding in April 2009, they were ready to start a future together. The mood then was so sweet and jovial, and dancing we did. In less than 3 years, I am attending his burial; the mood this time round is very different, sad and somber with shuttered dreams!
“I fell in love with John in 2004 while at Maseno University where we both schooled. His smile did the trick. On our first date, he proposed and we decided we will get married after our campus years.” Said a strong Marion. I shed tears as she read her 2 paged speech and I wondered, where did she get all the strength from? I tried putting myself in her shoe and I failed miserably. She challenged me big-time.
“We were a perfect match and John was a perfect husband. No man can ever replace him, at least not in my heart. He was my best friend and we did most of the things together.” Narrated Marion. There was pin drop silence as she took long pauses and I thought at some point she will break down, but I was mistaken.
“Marrying him was the best decision I ever made. But even today, I do not regret it, because I wouldn’t replace him for any prince- charming and handsome man. He treated me like a queen and our marriage was still on honeymoon.”
Save yourself first
She then narrated how selfless John was and gave an example of how he let his life so as to save her and their unborn baby. That was deep! Last year alone, I made over 20 flights and all the time I got into the flight, the cabin crew will run through the safety measures and they will always insist. “In case of emergency, save your life first before helping someone else.” This message always rings in my head and I have it clearly, in case of emergency, I will save my life first before anyone else. It only takes a great man like John to save his wife and let himself undergo pain through death.
Sitting with Johns colleagues, we looked at each other and said…This was a typical case of marriage made and sealed in heaven that has actually stood the taste of time and rooted on their marriage vows, “Until death do us part”. We also made fun, while many men will tell ladies, “I will cross the ocean for you, I will fire the grenades for you,” only rare species like John will do so. Cases of wife-beating and killed spouses continue to make news in Kenya despite great campaign to end gender violence.
“He was a perfect cook. He loved the kitchen and when I refused, he took offense. You know as a typical African woman, I know African men, but John will say, Marion, I want to cook, I want to serve you, to serve you as my wife.” Added Marion.
Indeed his death and their marriage was a challenge to all of us. “I know for sure, through Mutunga’s death, there is going to be a serious rebirth, I see a serious rebirth,” remarked Esther Ingolo who urged people to borrow a leaf from the kind of life Mutunga lived, a true example of what Christ requires of us.
It was evident that many men felt challenged. Some of his colleagues immediately formed a small kamkunji (meeting) and they were all in agreement that they were touched by the kind of a husband that John was. “I thought I knew how to love, but now I realize, I haven’t been anywhere close to where John was. No wonder they keep coming and going all the time. I am changing, na Mwaka ndio huu (This is the year)!” Retorted one of his colleagues.
“When you begin to realize that your past does not necessarily dictate the outcome of your future, then you release the hurt. It is impossible to inhale new air until you excel the old.”