My Eliud Story11th Oct, 2019
Twitter is an interesting place. Never before has a generation exposed and expressed itself to the T like KoT. There’s even a sort of social classism and let me just say, the fights and the shade plus the country-Vs country banter is really the content I signed up for.
Anyhu, I’m not here to talk about that rather to talk about something that happened on the platform so I’m gonna take my stab at it. A lady posted a childhood picture from a family vacation (so you know it’s not Kenyan because how many of us made it to the sandy beaches before that class 8 trip – The only gift that came from 8-4-4). In the picture were two lovely little girls – the lady and a friend she made and spent time with during the trip because their families were staying at the same hotel. She spoke so fondly and vividly about how much fun they had and how amazing their experience was. She then detailed how they lost touch and the numerous futile attempts to reach her that were to follow. So she said ‘Twitter do yuh thing.’ I’m not even making this up when I tell you that it hardly took a day to reunite the childhood besties – who were now living continents apart.
On that note, I’d like you guys to connect me with a childhood bestie of mine. This is a little trip down memory lane about the life and times of the dynamic duo that was me and him. My family was new to the neighbourhood. The kids had an amazing chemistry because the innocence of childhood has to be the most beautiful thing. As it were the 20+ kids welcomed me and we’d play foota on some dusty piece of land. Why was that a thing in every estate? With those tulittle pebbles that left us with badly scarred knees for which we roast each other on the Gram. The truth is we all have knees that would make eyes bleed – no 90s kid is an exception.
That aside, I became really tight with one kid. We were just about the same height. We were the same age and we had loads in common. We also went to the same school and our homes were smack next to each other so naturally we were inseparable. I spent most of my best days with him. He was a little rough around the edges but a cool lad that. Every duo has the loud one and the more reasonable. You’ll be surprised I was the calm one. My buddie would always make sure the ball was passed to me. He waded off the occasional older bullies. He helped me skip queues pale kwa Baba Ice. It sounds like a really lopsided relationship but my loyalty to him was high key!
We were so close hadi our moms became super close before they fought over a broken thermos. And if you are a 90s kid, you know what a priced possession a thermos flask was. Also, fun fact: Do you guys know that hizo vitu zinafaa kuitwa flask? Thermos is a brand. I have big big knowledge. Thank you for coming to my TED talk.
After that family feud, we were forbidden from hanging out but kids and mischief same wozzap so we found ways to make it work. We’d hang in school. After-school foota also facilitated our rendezvous. And we’d speak across the fence so hey. As long as we weren’t spotted together, we had a system that worked. Talk about true love, huh?
One time though, there was a public baraza. Our folks took those things so seriously and we knew that they’d stretch well into the night. So buddie and I decided to go on a long stroll after foota. This brilliant kiddo introduced me to tadpole fishing. Fascinating. Sijui ni mrogi mgani alituroga. Why was it that every time you were up to no good, it was guaranteed that you would lose track of time. Makosa!
Kidogo we spotted torches making their way towards us. Tukajua tumeisha. Small small scolding hapa na pale. But the tadpoles we’d put in the ‘chupa za maziwa’ that we’d both taken from our respective homes zilitupeana. Ile kichapo tulipata… I still… I just… *sigh*
Anyway, we resolved to being ‘more careful’ lol. One day, his mom came to school to get him well before home time. It was strange because we always walked ourselves home. He was confused but it’s mom so you go, right? I walked home solo that day – a thing I’d only done twice when my family was new to this hood.
I walked past their home and sat by the fence waiting for my buddie to come but he never did. I went into the house for the usual uji ya jioni and the bath that was followed with kilos upon kilos of petroleum jelly on the face. I still think about our help at the time and say a little prayer when I see the glow on my skin. I went back to the fence. Buddie was not there. So I took a panya route to their house kuchungulia tu. The door was ajar and the house was empty. I turned around to go back home only to find mom standing in the distance. She gave me a warm hug and that waru that comes to your throat when you’re about to burst into tears settled in. She said she was sorry but they had moved out coz the mom had been posted to another town. She said that she had tried to reach out to buddie’s mom even just for me to get a chance to say goodbye but she wouldn’t budge. Watu wengine huwa tu na kiburi. Inauma but… inabidi uzoee…
‘Out of sight out of mind’ is probably one of life’s hardest things to realize and live through. Days got easier as time went by. But I often think about him.
I can’t help but miss that dusty little boy. And wonder what life would have turned out if we were still in touch. The one that made it okay to walk around with gunky streaks of food and other things gloriously displayed across our faces. The one that stole banoz for me. The one with whom I exchanged snacks with across the fence. The one that shared with me in punishment. The one that taught me to make bold moves. The one that I shared my childhood with.
I hear he went on to become a big time head honcho. But that disheveled, dusty, scruffy boy mwenye alikuwa anatafunatafuna sweater yake later grew up to be Eliud. A runner… of multiple businesses pale kangemi na naskia pia anauzanga tuplot pale Ruai.
I’m looking for one Eliud W. Kamotho.
Speaking of Eliuds, I’m reminded to wish one Eliud Kipchoge all the best in beating his record. Atta boy! We’re a 100% behind you fam! Go break that record!
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