“Son, I was misled by the world. I was misinformed by my pastors. My teachers deceived me. My parents fed my ears with fiction. The books I read had the sweet words that lured Eve to the snake’s bed. I wish I knew. I would have saved you the pain. Listen, Son.
My religion teacher was a devoted man of God. He defended the scripture. He was categorical that it’s God who gives life, doctors can only give health. He taught my naïve mind that the deity has the key to a man’s existence. He can lengthen a man’s life, shorten it, twist it, straighten it or even leave it to the gods of the earth to run it their way. That’s what I learnt.
But it’s all lies, son. Ask your mum. She will tell you that truth lies on the other side of the story. I believed the word of God. I listened to the teacher and his theological concepts. In my small quiet world, I practised his teachings. I was convinced I would live forever. That I will father and school you. How stupid was I!
Another liar was my constitutional law lecturer at the University of Nairobi. Do you know what he did to my soul (and by extension, your happiness?) He killed it. How? He used to over-quote the constitution. In particular, his lying mouth was a frequent visitor of Article 26. In the morning, ‘you all have a right to life’, in the afternoon, ‘no one can arbitrarily take your life away’, and in the evening, ‘the government must protect you’.
Your youthful father listened. He did not question the professor. He did not have any doubts on what the teacher of law said. A professor of law, son, is to law students what Jesus is to Christians. He is all-knowing – bright, learned, educated, and schooled. In his words, I found a shield for my life. I knew I would be safe, safe from everything except the hotness of the sun. The professor made me believe that the spirit of the law is the second most powerful force after the Holy Spirit and that the letter of the law is the second in command of emotions after the love letters. But look at what became of my views. I wish I knew. I could have saved you the agony.
Son, another idiot is the government. They promised you a mountain but delivered a small heap of soil underneath which I am sending you this dream. Don’t forgive them. Don’t listen to them unless my death is not a lesson enough. That police officer, that police spokesman, that Inspector General, they are human liars.
Jacob Juma’s chest stopped their bullet, remember. We complained, yes, but only on social media. They shot a school boy in Kisumu. We did not arrest them. They killed demonstrators. We did not bother. If anything, we thought the rioters were a nuisance. Then they came for me together with my client and a taxi driver. Do you know what came to my mind before I had my last breath? Bob Marley. Sing along, son:
How long shall they kill our prophets,
while we stand aside and look.
Some say it’s just a part of it,
we’ve got to fulfil the book.
Won’t you sing the song. Another song of freedom.