By Silas Nyanchwani
On Louis Otieno.
Too bad I’m on the road, and will not make it to watch the KTN exclusive on him.
My friend and mentor once told me over a casual chat when I turned 30,
“Silas, you are now an adult, very soon you will be seeing your friends doing impossible (if improbable things): Some will make it to parliament, a president may be, some will do bad stuff, like murder and such and you will watch on TV and wonder what happened…”
Not long afterwards, I saw on TV a friend from campus being beaten in Ngong’ when he was found in a some house with a married woman, naked. Man, that was some beating.
I joined campus when Louis Otieno was the shit. He was the biggest journalist that we all aspired to be. He was super eloquent, always sharply dressed, and every media housr always paid top dollar. Back then Kibaki had expanded the economy and TV anchors were pocketing obscene salaries.
Louis Otieno used to host this talk show that everyone tuned in to watch him host politicians and ask them some tough questions. He gave my friend David Osiany a couple of chances to appear on the show and that is young Dave built his profile. We used to attend and man, Louis was so disciplined on the show. Used to inspire the fear of God for those who attended for he would never hestate to shut you down, if you were were on of those greedy guys who ask senseless questions when the time for questions come. Louis was good. Every station tried to replicate his show on KTN and later Citizen they always failed. Because Louis was so good. You could not imitate him. Louis was Louis.
Down the line, he didake a couple of bad moves. Fate.
Fate scares me. You never know what tomorrow will bring. You can win a jackpot, your crush can give you. You can kill someone. You will die. Fate.
I remember watching an earlier Naija movie where Ramsey Noah goes with a woman to his crib (was it my love Genevive Nnaji), who dies overnight, from an apparent overdose. Only that she was a daughter of a an Attorney General. Man.
What Louis has gone through in thenlast few days has been painful. Having a murder charge on you and a wasting disease at the same time is not easy. I read somewhere thatvthe cancer is so debilitating he may have lost his sense of hearing. Man.
I will not judge or condemn him, because as a journalist he enriched our lives. I have seen somewhere that he is complaining that his big friends are not picking his call to offset his medical bill.
When I was younger I learnt something. I once tried a fundraiser for mu sister’s school fees. I knocked on so many doora of big men, some promised, some comitted but mone showed up. The few college friends I had overlooked gathered in a room at Norwich Towers and raised all the money I needed and my sister was able to finish school.
I have had two fundraisers since then and it is mostly my pool of friends who help. Only two waheshimwas have been good.
I don’t want to judge politicians for I know somet they have bigger obligations that can overwhelm them.
But listen to me folks. Don’t be too busy for your ordinary friends. Find time, grab drinks even if it is a Sh 50 uji. Eat together, pray together. Don’t let capitaism swallow your soul.
The government is crappy if you became sick or died, the bill is yours and your kin. The better to have a better relationship with the average guys.
There Sh 500, 1000, 2000, always goes a long way than the sh 50,000 from a mheshimiwa.
Young people learn that. Also treat your wife right, live modestly. Sometimes it is the only fallback you got, man.
Finally, if we got a paybill, send something.
Louis Otieno was good and still has so much to give.