The news of Nyakoni’s death was received with a mixture of joy, relief, and a little sorrow. Facebook pages like Keroka Town Youth were awash with both celebratory and satirical comments directed at the departed. Some even engaged in what literary scholars would call apostrophe. No death has ever created such precedence in my home town of Keroka.
Nyakoni created both security and insecurity in equal measure. Those who faced his form of justice would live to remember both the physical and psychological scars he meted on them. What started as a noble initiative to arrest the escalating insecurity in the town soon degenerated into a form of terror that had hitherto never been witnessed. While some suffered in silence others cried out aloud.
The authorities seemingly excited with the ruthless nature the Nyakoni vigilante group operated cheered him on and it is still a wonder how he acquired the handcuffs he flushed around with total abandon. Personally, I encountered Nyakoni a number of times but since I presume since he was a number of classes behind me and a classmate to my younger brother Nyambega, he never tried to harrass me. However, we differed on a number of occasion on how he handled other people especially those that went to Steko for Bambua keg as well as Helkon and to Mbisi for Moonwalker, Naps, Legend and related spirits.
Despite the group’s intense nocturnal activities, there were several cases of muggings and brutal beatings. Soon fingers were pointed in the direction of the vigilante as being more of an extortionist terror gang as opposed to a custodian of the town people’s welfare. Several complaints were made to both the police and local administration for action in vain. Young men feared watching their favourite football matches at night because they would be hunted down and beaten like gazelles. The situation was fast getting out of hand.
People started whispering(because no one dared say it aloud) that Nyakoni must go. Some wished him death through various forms lynching being one of them and someone even went ahead to post on Keroka Youth Group Facebook page a derogatory picture of Nyakoni hanging himself to a banana plant using a neck scarf. People were tired.
The culmination of it all was when a Kikuyu businessman was brutally murdered near ‘Avocado’ and his body left lying in a pool of blood. Enough was enough. The people could take no more. An urgent security meeting was convened.Businesses were all closed and Keroka congregated at the most notorious criminal site (Avocado) for a common course: to disband Nyakoni’s group and form a more reasonable one.
Village headmen, sub-chiefs and the area MCA all addressed the residents. A solution was arrived at to form an all inclusive group drawn from various stakeholders in the town. I will preserve the story of the new group for another day.
So just the other day Nyakoni’s lifeless body was discovered dangling from the roof of his house with a bedsheet wrapped around his neck. The news took the town by storm and comments came fast and furious including from as far as the USA. Most of the comments dwelt on the cruelty with which the group he headed handled people ranging from boda-boda operators, mama Pima’s, mboga sellers, school children, suspected criminals and so on.
As his burial arrangements are ongoing the big question is: what has Keroka learnt from his short life?