|The goofy smile...when you finally learn how to use graphic tools to make your own graphics!|
“Wah!!!! While others were busy feeling remorseful, making things right with the respectful complainants in their cases if they could, telling themselves that if they got out they’d never come back? Others were busy ruining their lives further…” that was the thought that went through my mind as he spoke…
“She was a really old lady I tell you guyz!” the stranger was explaining, and my siblings and I were according his every word the courteous ear.
“…carrying a small infant,” He continued,
“The police checked, and there was nothing on that old lady. They tried to check the baby though…and ai! That baby was making some weird facial expressions…”he said, making some faces himself,
“So the prison officers decided to trust their instincts, and do a full check on the baby. The old lady had hidden some drugs next to the baby’s genitals, ready to sneak them in!!!”
“…and guess what she told the police when they found those drugs. She said, ‘aki officer sijui hata nani aliweka hizo hapo! (Not sure who put those drugs there)’!” he finally concluded his story, pointing out how the officers then roughed up that old lady, kicking her and pushing her around. She was in fact then, under on-going interrogation.
My siblings and I were baffled, and saddened by that story. Using infants to sneak drugs, into a prison? and hiding the drugs there? Wueh! Talk about some serious guts, and distorted morality…distorted humanity! Humanity is truly broken in this day and age.
He was now telling us another story. Our faces were now turned toward him. Stranger? Yes! But with some really fascinating stories. We were intrigued, by this friendly stranger’s stories…
“But prison officers can be cruel…”
“Very cruel!” we all nodded in agreement as some trauma-packed memories presented themselves in our minds, about how we’ve been treated before at this very same place, while coming to visit our Uncle.
“Some time ago I’d been walking in the streets, minding my business I tell you guyz.” He was saying,
“Some prison officer walked up to me, he started harassing me, beating me!!! I was mad, very mad! I bit off his genitals! I bit them so hard, he bled to death…nilimuua! (I killed him!!!)” he concluded his story, with zero emotion on his face. In fact, there might have been a look of proud accomplishment in there.
He was saying something about him getting the prison officers during his jail time to treat him with uttermost respect… to treat him as royalty despite his incarceration status, but were we listening? We were astounded, and scared (I know I was very, very scared of that man)!
My siblings and I were looking at each other…two or three seconds of uncomfortable stolen glances, just to confirm that we heard what he said right. Zero remorse? He killed someone, got convicted, served jail time, and yet he had no tinge of remorse as he talked about his crime? He talked about it with such passion and pride?
“Nilimuua! Alikufa!” I almost heard him add to that, the evil laugh; it was all in my mind though. We were taking slow but purposeful steps away from him either way…a twisted world it is, a very twisted world I tell you!!!
This was a family fun day…a day for prisoners to have fun with their families. We had been waiting outside for a while. Prisons in Kenya you see, are like little governments of their own; they operate by their own strict rules; comply, or take a walk! You often feel roughed up, when you’re anywhere in such premises. Understandably so though, it is a prison…a place where people have been forced by circumstances to change…good change, or bad change, only they know!
A couple of rough searches, and we were finally in…there had been a list, of “visitable remandees” and there were as well, those who would not be enjoying such privileges. The latter were lurking around, like scary shadows in the background. At this point again? I promise you, I felt very scared…but I was in safe company (father and brother…I moved therefore, to stand right in front of my safe company, just in case). I tried as hard as I could also, not to focus on the shadows lurking in the background.
We saw him, and he saw us! He was happy, and we were extra, super happy!! We followed him to the pavilion…sitting in a pavilion? While the rest of the kawaida wananchi were getting scorched in the sun? We enjoyed little, pretty privileges that day…courtesy of him…yes, it was all on him…
Why, you ask? Back to my opening thoughts; while others were busy ruining their lives in the stop-over? In their waiting time? In the prison? Others were picking up the pieces of their shattered lives, and promising themselves that upon release? they’d never ever come back to prison.
A stop-over is a place of strategy, not a place of surrender, or of self-destruction.
We sat down and we were chatting intimately. He spoke, he advised, and we listened.
He said prison for him is a school. His life was open to learning what he was meant to learn in this school. He said so many profound things that day. He was talking about life in prison, and I received his words. They got to me, and knelt before me. They smiled at me, and sat beside me. They looked up at me, and I looked back, and loved them so much. I loved them instantly! I loved them so much; my eyes were welling up at some point.
He didn’t know that they spoke to me directly, for I am in a prison of my own, wanting so badly to remember my dream despite it all; to remember my dream, and keep it alive…
“Many people despise the process so much. They Murmur, complain, vent, cause chaos, because the process hurts. We complain too much, too much that we are finally allowed to walk out of the prison, to walk out of the process. We go out there and life is too hard. People shun you and despise you as soon as they hear that you are an ex-convict. They are afraid of you! You fail to get a job, who will hire a criminal? You fail to get food and money…fail to even get acceptance from your own people, and so very soon? You’re back to your life of crime…because you need to survive. You are caught, and put back into the prison.” *Sad sigh*
“See the process was necessary all along. The prison was good for such a person, no? You might have learned your lesson already, but you needed to be a bit more patient, as He (God) prepared things out there for you, so that when you got out? You’d not have to struggle…you’d have everything set up, you’d not have to be so much in want that you’d end up going back to the very thing that had first caused your incarceration.” He said something along those lines (paraphrased).
Trust the process, and believe that it is good for you. Even when you do not understand why things have happened in your life the way they have? Always choose gratitude, over bitterness and complain. Things happen in our life, and they hurt like hell; delayed promises, impossible problems, undeserved criticism, senseless tragedies, it’s all part of being human, and in it all, I challenge you to trust the process. See when morning comes? Sunrise is inevitable, no? And when you’re finally at rock bottom, there’s nowhere left to go but up…trust the process.
He asked how everyone was doing…he always does that. Every single member of the family mentioned individually, and then he accorded a keen and genuine ear to the answer given. I have always loved his attitude…so much hope, so much faith, so much sunshine.
“You know I’m always praying for you…you’ll get sorted, it will work out, and it will be okay…” he says that quite often, and it always baffles me, but it brings sunshine into my own life…
A person with so much on his plate…a person in a place of limbo…awaiting a resolution…unfair delay with the court process, yet he has time to pray for the needs of others? He has words to uplift “the seemingly free”? He has enough sunshine to light the lives of others? When everything that I relied on to identify myself…maybe it’s my dignity, my family, my job…heck my life as I knew it, as I had imagined it to be in the future, is placed on a speeding see-saw, and sent spiraling into oblivion, whatever remains, is it able to inspire enough courage, hope and strength in me, to help me live today…and live it the best way I know how. To help me cling desperately to hope, and keep on keeping on? To help me remember my dream, remember where I wanted to be at, and trust that that will happen some day? To help me be a blessing, not only to self, but to others around me as well? Who am I? Who are you? What is your identity? Where, (in what, or in whom) have you placed your identity?
The stopover is a bitter pill to swallow…while undergoing the process? You feel incarcerated, like you’re in shackles, in chains…and you’re stuck, and confused, and in pain. There’s uncertainty, and where you are headed to is not quite clear. The future seems oblique and messed up…it feels that way, but in reality, it is not that way.
Being in a place of limbo: a place of uncertainty…an unknown amount of waiting…
In that prison? Some indulge in obscenities, and ruin their lives forever, others murmur, complain and vent, throughout the process, and so they are released, while still half-baked, only to be back a few years down the line, to re-do that class…others though decide that it is a school, and they open up their lives, willing to take the pain of allowing the process to mold character and their very person. This much is true, both for the person in a physical prison, and the person in a life prison…I can tell you that from my own experience.
Which of these am I? Which one are you?
I purposed that day that once I get out of this prison, out of the prison of life? I would never be back here again…inspired by a remandee, in a real, physical, state prison
The day went by too fast, and soon we were saying our
Sow wisely as well…with every decision that you make in your life every day. Guard, your heart, guard your soul, and guard your mind. Garbage in, garbage out. The young people of our time are busy filing their souls with garbage…you sit there every day and allow the crap that is going around social media, movies and TV series into your life? All in the name of entertainment, huh? You are caught in a crisis and inside you all that can be found is crap? You are unable to rely on that crap to keep your soul steady…I challenge you today, be selective with what you allow into your soul, and your mind. In fact, I’d advice; be selfish with what you allow into your soul! Everyone else is doing it? It’s alright, you are not every one! Choose to be different! Never be deceived, what you sow, you will reap bountifully, and you will reap personally…alone! You sit there and judge a prisoner who was convicted for rape? But your mind is so messed up you’re doing the very same thing that the convict did physically with your thoughts? You call him a pervert, and wonder how he got to the point of doing such a disgusting act? Fellow young person I challenge you today…guard your heart…guard your soul, and guard your mind.
My main aim of doing the Blaugust challenge was to write about life as I am experiencing it, to share what I have been learning of late, and I truly appreciate every support that I have received with my posts.
It has been so overwhelming; the joy that I have found from your responses to my posts! With every +1, and every share, every comment, and every read…my posts have been shared to so many other social platforms, and your kindness has brought smiles to my eyes. Some people whom I have met personally have told me that they read faithfully, and that my words are loved by them? I am truly humbled, am grateful!
I started out this blaugust challenge, believing that the pen is mightier than the sword…and so I wanted to speak out whether there was an audience or not…it really didn’t matter…not having an audience did not matter. But I’m glad and grateful that there was an audience either way, and I appreciate that deeply…I appreciate your support deeply!
I hope most importantly though, that my words this month have challenged you, to remember your dream, and to keep it alive…trust at all times that when you are going through a certain struggle, you are not alone, it is not permanent, and your life (or dream) is not over. Let your life be open to the lessons of the process, and believe at all times that the Orchestrator of your life is always in control.
I learned from one genius Mr. (please follow his whacko group of blogs), how to make it easier for my readers to access my posts. I agreed with him last year that I’d always steal this genius idea of his as often as is possible. So here goes my theft; I made especially for you, a collection of all my blaugust posts…it is a blogger’s job to make sure that all posts are read, no? Well, do stop by this space of mine, as often as you can, even beyond the blaugust.
Have a fabulous day, have a great month! Goodbye August, hello September. Make it a good one!