Bokimori Village, Bomwagamo in North Kisii, now part of Nyamira County is a place very very close to my heart. Even with the rising crimewave and senselessness among our jobless desprairing youth, I still feel very much at home there. I grew up there – from that splendind plain I would be spoilt with views stretching to the highest Gusii point – Nyaramba – then Mageri and a little to my far right Gekomoni – beautiful green hills and valleys gently sharing the plenteous flow of fresh air while grandees told stories of old as sat on the ever fertile soils bringing forth the ever greenest grass!
The whole village was one large family – the love flowed just like the air. When the largest tree was cut down along the Ntana-Etono route at Itibo, everyone mourned. It had been a point of reference – a meeting point, a shed and home for the robins that sang beautifully every morning to usher in a new day!
Gradually Bokimori has changed. I felt the loss when the oldest lady in the village died – she was so old, the reference was always “as old as Geteri’s mother” then Mzee Simeon died – he was a pioneer of the Bokimori Adventist Church – a respectable humble eldlely man- must have been 15 or so years now – then Isoe, Mecha, Manoa, Meni, Turungi, moka’Matunda, Omon’gina Kemunto O’Omogeni, Ototi – the list is endless – before us there were even Mogeni, Kongo, Nyakangi, Mouti and so fort – eventually my grandfather was the oldest man standing – but then he also gave way at exactly 100- Ogwora is now the oldest man standing! It is incredible the number of giants we’ve lost!
The economic progress has remined stagnant – with a few of us leaving and the rest completely forgotten by every successful government. Young people have given in to temptation, some to a life of drunkness and uselessness – some to a life of crime. I still go and sleep quite comfortable in the village despite many warnings – I can eat anywhere, sleep anywhere and just about relate with anybody! It’s my home. With the passing of grandma though, it is a larger than life giant fallen – one of the most prolific social workers in the village – basically ALL women congregated at her feet to learn about natural medicine, farming, relationships, food preparation and to study the Bible with her. Grandma read her Bible till her eyes refused literally!
At some point I was thinking, there’s nothing more left for me in Bokimori however in reflection, there is a huge heritage of legends fallen by the way side – all the wisest men and women are burried there! My whole history is first written there! My first love – The Church is there – standing right on a piece of land my grand[parents donated – My whole family originate there! I grew up there and even though I cannot make it a home – it is a place I cannot detach from my heart!
I am gonna build a monument, a stone for a remembrance – for my children, and my children’s children, to always remember – some of the greatest men and women in my life were born there – and all lie there! Everytime am home, I have to be home – and what a place, if only that Church would be built – have a place for the young people to learn a trade – a small clininc to handle to HIV mini-epidemic and a community hall for us to document and celebrate the lives of our great people! Our heritage and enjoy as we regain our rich hospitality and community spirit!
When I create the monument, grandma’s name shall not be written in dull colours – but brighter – with shining sapphire – she stood out. She stands out! She’s definitely one of the greatest women who ever lived in Bokimori!