By Omondi Jakano via FB
THE LATE MARIOUS ‘MARIO’ MARIGA MAGONGA :
The Late Marious Mariga Magonga was an elusive rugby winger.Sometimes as a midfielder he would dodge his way out of a near scrum,the speed and agility was unbelievable.Personally,i didn’t have time for rugby just like many don’t really care about tennis which i enjoyed.
There was a terrible accident in high school where one of the rugby players,a smallish guy,can’t remember his name,died after a collision in the rugby pitch when our school was playing against Kisii High School. Hard to recall if the likes of Mario,Kiki Onyonka,John Mark Mangana,Sigwe were in that team. Henry Otiende any memories here?
As far as i can remember Marious,he didn’t have much patience for football,he rarely kicked at primary, St.Mary’s Mosocho Boy’s Boarding School.In primary,he was an encyclopedia of Western classics and other boy adventure books. Mario, Paul Oeri and Nicholas Ombuna? if am not wrong, always came into a conversation with some Hardy Boys literature,the fictional gang who dismantled the egos of evil boy criminals. I think i only read two Hardy Boys books and couldn’t wait to return them to the school Boarding Master,the Dutchman Vincent.
Vincent was one of those Catholic Christian Brothers who came to Africa to supposedly continue from where their early 20th century comrades left, civilising us,let me laugh.But i remember the serious and comical Ve Vait(the nickname the pupils had given Bro.Vincent).He spoke touristic english,very basic and funny. “Use knife,spoon,folk Godverdomme! Kut! Stomme kut!-goddamn,daft c**t). He hated seeing the school children squeezing that Omokima, posho, ugali with their bare hands.
Mario used to test Bro.Vincent’s patience. I remember the day when many of us got really pissed off with the Dutchman because he found loaves of bread,bottles of Treetop orange juice and other edibles in our boxes. I was in Stam dormitory,the boarding facility nearest to Vincent’s office and the administration building. He took the snacks away for the pigs in the school’s pigsty,what you get when you crossed his line. I remember the calm, articulate and fast speaking Mario answered him back.His next day punishment was to wash the pigs in the school farm.What he didn’t know was that the students preferred to use the hosepipe to wash the fat pigs rather taking the jembes to remove the weeds in the school crop farm.
Another thing we all disliked was the morning duty of washing and cutting matoke(cooking bananas),using some paraffin stuff to wash off the sticky bits before class was messy.
One day,Mario’s father flew into the school compound football pitch.Hilarious!!He came to visit his son.Kids were running into the flying machine just about to land,madness.Then the other Christian Bro.Lambert Nissink saw what was happening and to avoid any fatality from the chopper’s blades he kicked and shouted at the little things,yes they were small kids.We were lucky Brigadier Dennis Magonga of the then Kenya Army and his pilot did a clever manoeuvre that made safe landing.For nearly all students,this was the closest we would have been to seeing a chopper in real life. Onyinkwa Onyakundi has a tale or two of how close he was to the thing. I stood between a big tree and Doyle dormitory, a safe distance.
All these dormitories had some Dutch ancestry name.
Across the fence in high school,Cardinal Otunga High, Mosocho, to be a first team player in rugby,hockey or basketball was an achievement. You earned your respect and colour because back then our school was still high up there in the elite provincial and national sports league. I started this story by telling you about Mario’s thunder in sports, basketball too was his other leisure activity.
Capt.Marious Mariga Magonga, we will remember you as a strong man in mind and spirit, a specimen of intellect and a great sports fanatic in school.
Kevin Mecha some tragedy here my friend!!