By Dikembe Disembe
That Dickson Bogonko Bosire of Jackal News was a thorough man is beyond any iota of doubt. Indeed, he was a very thorough man. He took on media personalities, politicians, vulture capitalists in Kenyaâ€™s corporate sector and literally wrote President Uhuru Kenyatta to the presidency.
He sympathised with helpless people. He abhorred injustice and worker oppression. He seemed to draw strength from busting high-handed managers. He disliked mediocrity, ever pointing out sanctimonious errors by news editors and writers.
Poorly paid journalists inboxed him for juicy stories about their bosses, or colleagues. Government officials sent him their tribulations. Police officers earning peanuts called him. Leaked staff payroll of top media houses were delivered to him. In fact, sometimes, it appeared media owners contacted him to help fight their market wars!
He wrote sweetly about Julie Gichuru of Citizen TV and Nyatichi Nyasani. He worshipped Uhuru, just like he worshipped beer, guiness to be precise. He held Moses Kuria in high esteem, was personally known to Jeff Koinange and in this city, was like a twin brother to blogger-turned-government official, Dennis Itumbi.
Statehouse â€˜leaksâ€™ were treated as commands. He told us first about the pending demolition of of the office of the former hapless government spokesman. He accused the holder, Muthui Kariuki, of excessive alcoholism. It came to pass.
He disliked men who beat women just as he vilified men who allowed their wives to sleep with other men. He called Frank Shebesh a â€˜weakâ€™ man. He took on women who did not want men to have a peace of mind. On this, he haunted Caroline Mutoko. He wrote very juicy things about Sabina Chege, the women Rep from Murangâ€™a. Ooh, Bogonko Bosire had a soft spot for Jacky Maribe. When this writer told off one Julie Wangâ€™ombe, a lousy speech-writer who was being overrated for doing a low quality but oversold Uhuruâ€™s first victory speech; Bogonko descended on me hammer and tongs. . .he accused me of posting pictures of naked female students in my college room. He made sure he destroyed those who crossed Uhuruâ€™s many paths. He, I repeat again, worshipped Kenyatta.
Here was a man known in high society. Here was a man feared in high society. He busted Bob Collymore of Safaricom, accusing Kenyaâ€™s most taxed man of rocking a poor manâ€™s marriage. He had nothing to worry about, or so we thought.
He built an army of admirers, gullible thousands of youths whom he sold candidate Uhuru as a god. Told them to vote first and think later.
Bogonko did not gossip, much as his media empire, Jackal News, was filled with fleshy tidbits of official gossip. He wrote about social issues where a chaff of truth was covered in a basket of lies, innuendoes and half truths. He did not create a world; only espoused on a universe that already was existing.
Bogonko strove to find a paradise lost in this city of mean people.
Whether writing about love, politics, high society illicit sex escapades or other journalists and their grotesque shapes or mannerisms, Bogonko Bosire had a unique style and form. A towering figure above his colleagues, he knew his trade, held the grasp of issues which counted and formed his characters in such a manner that no one would doubt who the author was.
He build Jackal News at a time his peers were still fixated by mainstream media.
Bogonkoâ€™s news sources were every where. As I said, here was a man who owned news â€“ the rest were either sources or targets. During the last elections, Bogonko Bosire was the only blogger in â€˜western Kenyaâ€™ who openly stood by Uhuru. He worshipped the current president. Uhuruâ€™s enemies were Bogonkoâ€™s enemies. Uhuruâ€™s â€˜digital messageâ€™ was embodied in the person of Bogonko Bosire. He wrote Uhuru to the presidency, and then, he just disappeared.
Before he was gone, rumours had it that he had been operating from Statehouse. His loyalty had paid off. He was without doubt very competent. He deserved a role in a government which still had enemies and detractors â€“ real or imagined â€“ to deal with. If anything, Uhuruâ€™s government was won first on social media, and, if he ever will lose it; the first fall will be felt here â€“ on social media, on blogs and face book pages and groups and on twitter.
Then he disappeared. Just like that! High society kept queit. The police went silent. Jeff Koinange said Denis Itumbi knew his whereabouts. He assured that the man was not missing. Itumbi did not rebuff Jeffâ€™s assertions on national TV. Moses Kuria has not uttered a word. Eric Ngâ€™eno, the man whom Bogonko worked tireless under in some â€œDark Artsâ€ formation during elections and is currently in charge of speeches at Statehouse. . .this Ngâ€™eno whom Bosire was rumoured to be working under at Statehouse, has not said a word.
Mainstream media journalists â€“ those Bogonko loved and always talked of escaping to go fish with; those the man praised and adored, and yes, those he abhorred the mere mention of their souls; all these are silent. Jacky Maribe is silent. Carole Kimutai who wrote a very â€˜nostalgicâ€™ feature on Bogonko is quiet too. No candles, no vigil, no rant; just soulless quietude!
Uhuru Kenyatta! The man whose enemies spilled over to Bogonko Bosire. He worshipped you. The president has not â€˜particularlyâ€™ said a thing about this man. It is as if he was unknown to him; like us, struggling thanklessly for rulers of our time. Could it be that Uhuru has never heard the â€˜rumoursâ€™ that Bogonko Bosire is missing? Could it be that we are witnessing a prank that has pulled over the poor old forks of Bosire all the way from Kisii to come to capital FM to cry about a son they know his whereabouts?
Even as Jeff Koinange claimed that the man was not missing and that Itumbi was aware of his current whereabouts; in an ugly twist, Itumbi later denied, sparking all manner of accusations from other bloggers that he (Itumbi) murdered Bogonko.
Is Bogonko Bosire dead? What does the term â€˜disappearedâ€™ means? What is the police doing? Why the silence among friends â€˜who matteredâ€™? Why the spiral of silence? A friend asked: Had Bogonko Bosire been a son to some senior ambassador, or top politician, or a wealthy corporate magnet, or a relative, like the late Mbugua, of the president, would his fate be a matter of public conjecture?
â€œAhos!â€ another retorted, â€œhad he been all that you are mentioning, he would never have been a Bogonko Bosire in the first place!â€
Confounding, isnâ€™t it?