Photo Courtesy of tisdalestudio

Bottomline: Satan talks to all women equally; whispering instructions which some women follow fully with immediate effect, others implement in installments and hire purchase…

The 6:30 am train was about to depart Syokimau Railway Station for the city centre, with the departure horn alerting all the persons’ that hadn’t boarded that they should get on board immediately whereas the security personnel should barricade the boarding area not allowing anyone into the boarding area even if you were a minute late.

Being a Monday after a seemingly long weekend occasioned by a public holiday on Friday, the train was barely half full at 7:00 am but the time schedule couldn’t allow for any more delays. En route to the city centre we stopped by Imara Daima Railway station to pick some commuters, who doubled or even tripled the number of those who were on board from Syokimau.

Here I was having to hold my backpack after I thought the backpack will be ‘seated’ all the way to town for the first time since I started using these colonial time automotive. I reluctantly picked up my backpack placing it on my thighs as I created space for the guy who came in giving me that long staring ‘use common sense’ look of are you not using your eyes to see that the train is full yet your backpack is important compared to the human beings standing on board.

So he took my backpack seat, I had to remove my earphones change the location of my phone and wallet from the right pocket to the left pocket which neighbored the window. In this city we don’t take chances especially when seated next to strangers in these public transport vessels,more so strangers in suits.

“Good morning, thanks for the seat, today the train has delayed at what time did you guys leave Syokimau or has this train developed mechanical issues?” He asked as he was sitting down

“We left 30 minutes late the train was waiting for passengers who never showed up,” I jumped in the conversation with my reply. He wasn’t like any ordinary Kenyan who is always complaining about everything not working in this country be it the Arror-Kimwarer-Itare dam scandals to how Ruto will ‘never’ be president in this country. Furthermore, he thanked me for the seat who does that in this country where everyone has a false sense of entitlement.

“I have been waiting here for the last hour, how does public transport systems in this country work nowadays.In the UK (United Kingdom not Uko Kinoo) someone can reside in Liverpool yet he works in Manchester a 50 Kilometre distance, the commuter train takes less than 40 minutes.” He lamented..

Here I was thinking Manchester and Liverpool were just football clubs, they are huge cities distance apart. His English was too polished a clear indication he was had been away for sometime, a good duration of time to not speak our ‘interview only English’.

“Are you on vacation.” I asked

“No I’m not on vacation, I came to see the progress of my retirement home.”

Am tempted to insert the ‘Kwani’ in the  ‘how long have you been away?” question the I realize he is a returnee thus beginning with ‘Kwani’ would sound rude so I asked ‘ How Long have you been away?”

“19 years,” he replied

“You just left after high school?” I asked as I tried to approximate his age bracket.

“Nope I went there for my masters immediately after clearing my undergraduate in medicine and surgery thanks to a scholarship programme I applied online.” He replied

Brain cell 2 was busy calculating his age, assuming he cleared high school at 18 years spent 2 years after high school hustling awaiting placement by the Joint Admissions, pursue an undergraduate in Medicine & Surgery for 6 years thus he left when he was 18+2+6+1=27 years and he has been abroad for 19 years thus he is about 46 years.

“So you will be coming back after your retirement aren’t you a citizen yet?” I asked

“Of course am a citizen, after all those years I have stayed there working as an oncologist at King George Hospital? I just want to come back home after a long absence, after I clear my doctorate studies in a years time I will come back to help in the betterment of the health sector in the country with the experience I have amassed over time. Who doesn’t miss their home anyway.” He replied

Why would you come back to to such a miserable country with all these self indicted problems thanks to corruption and tribalism. Whereas 1 million of us are busy applying for the Green Card to leave this country there is one ‘stupid’ oncologists who after being granted British citizenship wants to come back?

Personally I can’t comeback to this shit hole of a country even if I move to Rwanda, yes Rwanda that country bordering war torn Eastern Congo where systems are working or at least we are made to know they are working. Does he have any idea about the flotilla of Kenyans who are lifetime green card applicants blockading U.S Citizenship & Immigration Services department year in year out with the hope of living the American Dream……

“Is your retirement home complete?” I asked

After a long uncomfortable silence, I thought I had asked the question wrongly so I was preparing an apology he answered…. My friend “Satan talks to all women equally; whispering instructions which some women follow fully with immediate effect, others implement in installments and hire purchase…”

Which woman had Satan spoken to whispering instructions concerning his retirement home, we are fond of blaming Satan for all of our mistakes come to think of it…

There was this retirement home I was building or I thought I had been building for the past two years after I had made the decision to come back and settle down here either as a lecturer or engage in private practice. Having channeled close to 20 million back home to be channeled to this project I came back to see the progress after being sent suspect photos of different houses by my mother who was spearheading the project.

I never had any doubt having raised the five of us for the better part of our lives as a single mother,she was the most straightforward woman I knew or so I thought. Most of the cash channeled towards this project were savings I had accumulated overtime through sheer hard-work.

Read part two on

The suspect photos made me to come back to view the house personally,without any warning I landed in Nairobi. Calling my mother informing her of my surprise arrival in the country thus I wanted to physically view the house so that I could come up with the appropriate furnishing. She was very cold towards me over the phone, she has never been that cold scolding me on how I should have informed her of my visit in advance so that she can make the requisite arrangements.

After 19 years of not seeing each other she wasn’t happy that I was back. How can a mother not be happy to see her son who had been away for such a lengthy time. Initially I thought it was just a nostalgic feeling until she asked me when was I going back since my job abroad was ‘demanding’ thus I should not prolong my stay over here.

Two days after my arrival she was hesitant every time I raised the question of when I was supposed to see my house. Always coming up with ridiculous excuses which I wasn’t willing to buy, not today not tomorrow. After close to two weeks of push and pull I grew impatient of her senseless mind games thus she decided to take me to the location of my retirement home.

We drove for close to an hour along the Nairobi-Namanga highway without speaking to each other in the car as my younger brother drove. There was some tension between us no one wanted to break the ice after what had transpired between us having literally ‘hounding’ her to the vehicle. Three kilometres past Isinya town towards Namanga we branched off into some murram road.

After about a kilometre we stopped on some fenced half acre plot with a poorly constructed structure positioned at the centre of the plot. “This is your retirement home.” she said as she handed me a brown envelope with land sale agreement papers and title deed. Twenty million had just been washed down the drain I had no words for her, I just took pictures of the structure as I sat down thinking of where will I start from now that my family has already packed up their belongings ready to relocate back here.

How will I explain to my wife and children about their home which was supposedly being built back here now that they had photos mum had sent me. I went back to where mum was standing alongside my younger brother giving them marching orders. I felt betrayed to the extent I wasn’t willing to be in the same vehicle with her. She offered me a long list of explanations of how the money was used to take care of ‘family problems’ which came up over the past two years when my house was being constructed which she couldn’t tell me about.

“So what did you do?” I asked

“Nothing,I did nothing my anger told her to forget about me from that day henceforth. I was no longer her son and she was no longer my mum.” He replied

I am headed to Nairobi Hospital to see a longtime campus friend who hooked me up with a job at the facility am set  to report next week though am very depressed will my family fully settle down in the squeezed three bedroom mansionette at Imara Daima. What will I tell them about their home when they come back next week? Will I tell them that their grandmother, my mother misused the funds I entrusted her with? I just hope relatives of returnees invest monies sent to them appropriately

The train arrived at the city station, we parted ways as I wished him all the best as he hoped to settle in our messed up country


I never even asked his name………..





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