Wounds of a Man
By Agufa Kivuya (Kenya)
Just a rumor struck his ears, and the greatly alarmed Hamisi launched a secret investigation as he obviously doubted the veracity of the rumor. So he chose to do it himself and not to involve an outsider in family matters. Lest an outsider whispers to another outsider Things were moving too fast and his official duties as the president impended his clandestine investigations. Akinyi had just done her A level examination and was waiting for the results when rumors started speeding like bush fire and the whole statehouse was saturated with the rumors and unfortunately Hamisi was the last person in the vicinity to hear about it. This greatly displeased Hamisi somebody had to pay it. Akinyi his most beloved daughter was pregnant and Chitu the Gardner was responsible. The world was so unfair to him. It was true Akinyi was pregnant as the pregnant test turned positive. And when asked who was responsible Akinyi proudly confirmed it was Chitu and she was adamant, Chitu was the man of her dreams. Chitu the most reckless worker at statehouse, Hamisi could not understand what really attracted Akinyi to him. Chitu of all the people
Hamisi gazed as his future dreams of raising Akinyi to become the nationís first woman president become shreds. Truly disembodied forces had conspired against his family. Why him of all the presidents on earth? He thought himself the most unfortunate president. Chitu the Gardner? No. he could have accepted it had it been someone else of his caliber but not a Gardner. This was demeaning. In his mind he could already catch a glimpse of newspaper headline; The Gardner weds the president beautiful daughter. He pictured the humiliation he was to be subjected to by friends and opponents alike. The taunts and the ridicule.
Hamisi cried, Akinyi was one of his most treasured possessions and he loved to show her off and extol her before men. No, never would Chitu marry her daughter whatever the cost. Hamisi had
to act and with speed before things jumped from frying pan to fire. Within a week Akinyi bulging tummy had disappeared and Chitu was speedily sent behind bars for ten years for rape. Akinyi threats of committing suicide mattered not to the president. He had heard of more fatal threats.
Akinyi loved Chitu and his absence could only make her heart grow fonder. Even after learning of Chituís imprisonment, her love for Chitu only grew wider. She still hopes and the seven years were enough to allow her plan a watertight plan to marry Chitu. Whatever it would take she would marry Chitu.
After a forty night Akinyi disappeared from the statehouse with his fatherís millions without leaving behind major footsteps that would assist in tracing her. The last footstep was on the western outskirts of the city just next to the dreaded, crocodile infested river. The river was combed, houses ransacked, mortuaries visited and a few arrests made here and there but all was in vain. After three years of frantic search, Hamisi gave up and was forced to swallow the bitter conjectures of a suicide, Hamisi cried. All workers in the statehouse were ordered to bring her a live or never to be seen anywhere near lest the president would lay his hands on them.
It seemed Hamisi troubles were far from over. Almost all his dreams of a tranquil future were collapsing like a tsunami attacked town. So Hamisi just resorted to his bottle as he had no other comforter in life. As a president all who came to him wanted assistance and only flattered him, but him who would assist? Whom did people think he was? A god? Just like them he also had problems as a human being. Paradoxically he loathed the presidency even though he could not give it up. He had achieved his childhood dream of occupying the summit of the top mountain but he had lost his childhood livelihood and joy. He ruefully reminisced over his friendsí common
adage when excited, man strive to get what you donít have but also struggle to never let loose what you already have. Hamisi painfully wagged his head as he tarried on strong drinks to the extent that he started defecating in his clothes. Slowly and steadily Hamisi slipped into slough of despond, nothing excited him on earth. For the first time he thought death was better off than life, even though he cringed at the reality of death. Life was so unfair to him. What option was there for him?
All this had a great effect on Hamisi personal life. He tossed and abused everyone who crossed his way. Even Adisa was never spared, three strong women whom you could mistake for boxers were employed to make sure Adisa was never a lone even whom going to the latrine.
Hamisi remembered the words he had relentlessly repeated in the ears of his friends: The wounds of a man. When a man has sore wounds, he only weeps and caresses them when locked inside his bedroom and in toilets. But afterwards he wipes his eyes dry and clean., before leaving the house with a designer suit to conceal them from external forces and a feigned smile to draw a way suspicion. Hamisi cried. His wounds were too painful to allow a smile and too hurtful to be kept within his heart and bedroom.
Amazingly in politics Hamisi was having a sterling performance. The number of his staunch supporters was on a steady rise. His tribulations had turned him into an enigma. Hamisi had turned into unbelievable philanthropists. By use of his money he started building decent houses in slums without hiking rental fees, delivered clean water to the door step of those who used to experience water shortage in the city and always thinking and taking appropriate steps towards subsidizing basic commodities. This behavior caught the opposition un aware, they had nothing tangible to say against him and his supporters were already talking of amending the constitution
to do away with the two term limit for the president. His family woes and tribulations had impacted positively on his generosity in a peculiar manner. Hamisi went as far as selling his properties abroad and using the money to pay medical bills for the poor and using much more on hand outs. The people adored him, the nations praised him. What a leader Hamisi was? With an overwhelming majority he was to trounce his opponents in the elections that were a few years away.