By Hon Jim Bonnie
In Luo, there is something called ong’ora. Ong’ora is where a man goes to pick a lady from their home at night then escort her back before dawn or at times, sleep with her in their home, only if the lady isn’t noisy during sex. So the previous night, mzee Peter Abich, the father to a beautiful lady called Anyango, spotted a man in his compound who had undoubtedly come for a slice of her daughter. The following day, infuriated mzee Abich reported the matter to the community and asked for a commission of inquiry to identify the bastard who want to destroying her daughter.
You got to know this lady Anyango. She was beautifully endowed and her huge buttocks were her strongholds. Some argued that God placed excessive meat on her buttocks as a way to punish men in my village. Her pointed nose, small eyes and succulent lips complicated the situation for us. In our class, where we were arranged like goats, each desk would’ve three occupants. However, due to Anyango’s size, she could only share a desk with one person.
During allocation of sitting positions, I unsuccessful lobbied to be her seatmate but due to jealousy from fellow classmates, I missed the slot despite having bribed few friends to support me. The bribe composed of boiled sweet potatoes, roasted maize and njugu karanga, which I actually embezzled from my mom’s kitchen, my mom would later blame our dog after she found her food reservoir depleted and I was at the forefront inciting her to insult the dog. Never mind there isn’t any dog on earth that can eat the above mentioned goodies.
I also suspect that teachers conspired against my ambitions. I can’t tell why but after careful analysis of the situation then, I think they were motivated by malice. I can’t also rule out witch-hunt and jealousy though they gave flimsy excuses for their decisions which cost me a lifetime opportunity. The buffoon who ended up sitting next to Anyango did not deserve the placement. His only qualification to occupy that Prime position, which I was eyeing, was that he was related to one of the teachers in the school.
Now back to the commission of inquiry. The commission came up with names and details of possible offenders. Five people made it to the list and having been in the bad books of mzee Ochanda, a village rogue, and after spotting his name among the commissioners, I was certain my name won’t miss. So my name was fraudulently inserted in the list of the five indictees in what I can call, “Ochanda 5” and I can say without iota of doubt that Ochanda personally lobbied for my name to be in the list of shame.
The commission then set a date for the hearing. Anyango was present and despite the uncertainty of the moment, I kept on admiring her. Sitting in front of the congregation, she looked innocent and unperturbed. Attendees included who and who in our village. We, the Ochanda 5, were paraded in front of the gathering. I was the smallest and shortest.
Among the indictees were Otieno, an ugly mason who only bathed twice a month; then there was Oluoch, a bully who failed his O level terribly because of ladies. He would mercilessly beat you if you told him this fact. Frank was another suspect. He was a tall idiot with abnormally huge cheekbones with long fingers. He didn’t know how to read and write. In fact, I was the author of many of his love letters.
Ochieng was number four on the list. He was a braggart and a stammered with annoying oratory techniques. He had very poor sense of fashion too. Yours truly was closing the list. I was the exact opposite of Ochieng as far as fashion is concerned. Considering my dress code those days, if dressing to kill was an offense, I would now be serving a life sentence at Kodiaga maximum prison.
We were asked questions and given time to defend ourselves. Of course we all denied. We were allocated ten minutes each to present our counter narratives that could exonerate us. Ochieng was given one hour instead of the standard ten minutes. This was due to the fact that he was a stammerer. The guy would use nearly five minutes to pronounce one word. He was an idiot. We laughed all through his presentation.
After our presentations, it was time for the commission to pronounce it’s verdict. Never mind if we were all innocent. One of us had to be found guilty. Mzee Ochanda stood up, cleared his voice and first thing he said was to order me not to look at him. I knew a compromised decision was about to be read. He didn’t waste time. The question was, who will be the last man standing?
He started with Otieno and declared him free of blemish. One man down, we were now four. I thought I would be the second to be exonerated. Oops! Oluoch was the second lucky guy. Ochanda specifically said that he knew Oluoch as an upright member of the society who couldn’t engage in those childish behaviours. Then I thought my name would be next only for the idiot to call out Ochieng and declare him innocent. It was now me and Frank, two men standing.
I listened pensively to hear whose goose is cooked. Ochanda looked at us, then the crowd. It was a tense moment. My heart was pumping so fast that I held my chest in case the organ wanted to bulge out. My legs started wobbling. Frank on the other side was blinking his eyes at a frequency never seen before in our area since the days of our ancestors. Then mzee Ochanda said, “after carefully considering the evidence presented before us plus witnesses testimonies, we are satisfied, beyond no reasonable doubt, that the fool who was spotted at mzee Peter Abich’s compound last night is……….
You reading this post must be having a clue now who the bastard was. Hehe