Celebrating East African Writing!

LO DEBAR by Alex Mutua

The playgrounds we turned into a battle field smell of blood. They can not play ball anymore for we wrote a historical hymn that resounds on a cry of foul. We turned the playing ground into a war field were soldiers did not fall but left thousands of patriotic Kenyans with their blemish, less their lives. Beneath there is a story of two young men…and a cost they are paying for revolution….oh MORENO OCAMPO!  A desperate nation.

Hell broke out suddenly in Kuresoi and children, chicken, goats, cows, dogs and people scrambled for a breath of safety, bows, guns kept on vomiting deadly products and some fellas fell down on the ground, the arrow passed past her a few millimeter from her head and hit the unlucky victim. Lesoi turned and heard the groan it was her father crumbling down and sprinkles of blood welted the mesmerized grounds, the second arrow flew and she knew the next victim.

Motheeeer.. but she was too late, it hit her undoing the walls that kept her physical. Kuresoi, the wails went beyond sad, their neighbor was out possessed by a blood thirst need to kill. Their best friend, they had known  him for the passed eighteen years, they shared, water place, borrowed sugar and salt their own playing ground was cast in a mist and dust of fear, blood and a smell of despair spiced with death and assaults; just because of a mere outburst.

Precisely four hours before, everything was cool and quiet until the devil broke in: came in the name of Sabaot Lead Reformation Army.


I was among the over 26- million eyes that stood like vigilantes to watch the fall of a new dawn, among the throng that sang revolutionary hymns that night full of expectations and longing but now with a scar.

I sit down thinking about the headline in an IDP camp seeping Waragi, a foreign beer in foreign land slowly. Local tribunal for me is a small shit, and in it I see evil and Satan, everywhere in my homeland. Mostly in every political trick every commission of inquiry, in every crisis, in each situation, in every fear, every humiliation and hopelessness, in every mired Kenyan pride, then I see God in some places, in justice painted haque… Then I remember, in Kenya justice has a price tag which a few can afford, again, I see Lucifer in justice everywhere, everything, everyday, every time, every cabinet proceedings, the police , the army and parliament… what happened? After 27: that make me have no trust in voting, the thing that makes this nation stink like foul bowl full of shit? Collision? Simply corruption impurity in a calabash of tribal politics and prominence hypocrisy… Kenyan sunk in a self greed, Kenyans keep on groping in delusion and darkness of their own minds; wounded.

Some sit in darkness of heart and deepest gloom, prisoners of suffering on iron chains of bitterness heaping losses, in tranquil of who they have lost, what they have missed and perhaps things they might never get- back; Am tired, perhaps its boredom by litany of cliches that keeps on trying to raise, Resurrect some memories that need to rest in peace; God! Move on, and me I won’t give up,… I won’t … because… I believe… I know…and am a Kenyan.

Often  I attend some churches where worship songs are done in ohangla, praises in mugithi, fused vocalsand the pastors in a kililimbi product, the ushers are a blend of Igoko lovers and morans and realize the Kenya we are in was given tribes as a culture power house to manifest tolerance spirit… unity… but I can’t forget Kuresoi…and the play ground that is deserted for good…I know judgment is coming because we mumble our prayers in 42 different tongues to one God and he hears …I won’t forget.

Land policies were written in the year 1922 by a white man called Sir Macknon with other bunch of white fellas. It stated that any man African ,white or Afro American could own land or stay any where so as  long as he was a legal citizen of this nation. About Loopholes, somebody dug them or may be Macknon was too holy or too careless to think of them, Loopholes like civil war and land reformist armies, perhaps those days some animals were too equal and others equal, or perhaps from since 1922 to the date they realized it, that would be the age of agony. For the first time in the year 2007. About many decades gone people in mount Elgon were re-checking their identity card and beginning to group them selves in two, Am a soy and he is Ndorobo no larger ready to live together, what happened? About the outsiders?

Early in the morning in the year 1980 a boy was born. That year the breeze in Molo town was so innocent and valleys of Mt. Elgon gave potatoes, corn to every soul habitat-ed in. There were no borders , and Molo town was as quite and peaceful as the blues of the sky. Four years down the cine 3 miles from serut’s home, a girl was born and when he and the mother visited he fell in love at first sight and at the age of four.

They grew beneath the canopies of the Elgon forest schooled together in Molo primary school and they had this weired dream of going  abroad together, for eighteen good years they did not know the tribe they were stemmed from eighteen good years! That is how old she is.

The first day Lorna knew she was Soy and Serut Ndorobo, was the day they applied for their identity cards but that was not an issue it lasted two seconds and they went on with life.

‘Lorna, I really feel like we are made for each other.’

‘Really Serut… hope its true…’

‘I feel it, I know it … here in my heart.

‘One …day we will grow up… and may be go different ways.’

‘Why… I intend to marry you… soon after school.’

‘ Stop kidding, what about the dream…’

‘You are a part of my dream…’

‘You making me shy… I’m flattered.’

‘I’m not flattering you… I’m just saying the truth.’

They shared good moments and they grew in it all without regrets or shame. Their families knew it, it was in their heart and they new nothing about land policy. In fact nothing could go wrong.,When Serut was 22 , Lorna was  18 and that year that same year he would sit for his final exam. She had still two years of school.

The artifact that brought Serut and Lesoi together was a bicycle. An old green Avon ride given to Serut by his grand. Father when he got to class four. That same year Lorna transferred from Elgon Primary to Molo primary school which was nearer. He, Serut carried her to school. Two day, four day a year and it became a part of their closeness. The bicycle she believed in him for eighteen good years.


It was a rumor and it spread fast. Somebody called  Scheme, another a settlement and someone added chebyuk. The chebyuk settlement scheme.  t

The scheme was good ,with good intention but it came in the wrong season. Election year and somebody decided to use it as a tool of popularity. He lifted his finger pointed and made and out burst too strong.

‘The soy and outsiders are being favored… no one took him  serious.’

A mile away in Makutano bar a wield looking man was getting drunk and he stood at the door , drunk to the brim, ,He made same outburst and this time twenty people took him seriously…

‘The Chebyuk scheme is favoring the soy and strangers. We here are getting drunk…’

‘What are you saying…’

‘Can’t you see, we are being moved slowly away…’

‘I think you are right…’


That night, twenty houses were burnt down by arsonists calling themselves Saboat land reformist army, two days later these hooligans had Ak- 47s, and more surprising knew how to load , aim and pull the trigger. Where did they get money to buy these guns, from neighboring Uganda?

Seruts father was among the saboat reformist a rebels, they were planning to attack Kapsolt village: it was a secret and Serut never new  anything to warn his girl Lesoi. He was preparing for an examination or may be a dream of his life: Serut wanted a brighter future.


Matakwei let go the arrow towards a defenseless victim and Lorna lesoi Leaned on the pawpaw tree terrified there were no place to run to. As the arrow pieced through her shoulder she groaned in pain ,she was fixed to the pawpaw tree like a plastic bowl.

As Matakwei pulled the next arrow from the quiver he felt dizzy staggered and fell his war mask flying five yards from where he was , his face was exposed to Lesoi and she made a wailing so loud ,not from pain but from unbelief.

‘Serut’s father!’ she pulled the arrow and managed to free herself from the pawpaw tree, but the arrow stuck hard on her . She began to walk towards Molo town ,,blood oozing from the shot and feeling no pain. Lorna ,Lesoi did not make it five hundred yards, she fell and blacked out on a dry crying soil.


Day of recompense came, Serut heard it and peddled  the Avon to Molo hospital he found Lorna, her mother and father all admitted and in bad condition, and Lorna seemed not to care her eyes were hard opened with a sign of fears , she felt the pain but could not cry. Like others she watched Serut come from eye angle and each step was a stair deeper into thickets of waste then a fog of waste, with nothing to reckon.

He sat beside her, but her eyes were hard on the ceiling.

‘ Lesoi darling am here…’

‘Serut don’t say anything, may be… are wrong.’

‘What are you saying…’

‘Nothing ever happened between us… don’t need to be here…’

‘We had…’

‘Nothing Serut…’

‘Learn to, because… love will never be enough in this nation.’

‘The dream-Lesoi.’

‘Its over, about dream, about Kuresoi its gone.’

‘Why do this?’

When Lesoi kept on looking to the ceiling it made Serut more sad, she was drained of feeling and her face a desert without emotions. Serut kept on cursing who did this to her.

‘Dammed politician… why us?’

‘By the way, Serut, your father did this to my family.’


He shot my mother, my dad and me.

‘But…how…where…when…I can’t live knowing this and you beside… maybe… I… am…’ words got lost.

Serut looked around, these were relatives and friends, and family, brothers and sisters, walked out of the hospital half dead and took the Avon. He began to peddle towards the Elgon border, He kept on peddling hard-harder. The army truck hit him from behind and he fell down but he kept on pushing, peddling until he woke up, and found himself in the hospital. When he looked outside he saw big words inscribed ‘Kampala Memorial hospital.

‘How did I get into Uganda?’ There was no one to answer that question and he did not care he pulled the sheet and covered his head, lost and dying unforgiven. About dream that would be unnecessary evil, a waste of effort and voices unforeseen kept on pushing him towards Nam. There was no need some place in hell.

Like God’s Tears

Am tired of listening

to an endless litany of cliches

lets stop tribal politics!

Lets have peace, lets leave mau’…

Am proud to be Kenyan:

and this nation keeps of going to dogs

outside I hear rumbles of thunders

it carrying some cries of wounded,

and echoes of despairs, in memories,

Funny like the starts of a drizzle…like God’s tears

The reality of an horrible nightmare

Okey and we keep writing and telling

be proud to be Kenyans to over 10 million;

who walk in delusion of their own mind

© Alex Mutua 2010

If you would like this piece to be the Story of the Week, please vote below on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being weak, and 10 being excellent. The numbers will be tallied on Friday and the story with the highest figure shall be Crowned Story of the Week. Be sure to fill in your name and verifiable email. You can include your critique/comment after the vote.


3 comments on “LO DEBAR by Alex Mutua

  1. Christine
    March 1, 2010

    the story is relevant, but the flow was disturbed by spelling errors and lack of adequate punctuatiion. A 6


  2. roundsquare
    March 1, 2010

    ‘bel bunyondet’ (burn the enemy) but here the ‘bunyondet’ is your own brother!!

    you have a good story Alex. & an apt poem. the kony believe the ‘red bird’ that starts God’s Tears lives somewhere in a kapsoti cave! what’s lo debar? is it (nyo kebar? come let’s kill?).

    you need to work with the lousy narration with if you want it to flow, or is it the waragi you’re sippin’? correct sabaot, Sir Mackinnon, & obvious grammar errors. polish it, by talking to ‘chitaab koreet’. you’d get more points from me..



  3. antony chambira
    March 2, 2010

    ….Lorna was 18 and that year that same year he would sit for his final exam…

    …The artifact that brought Serut and Lesoi together was a bicycle…

    What’s the name of the girl lorna or Lesoi or Lorna Lesoi?

    Something sureley is wrong with the Lorna was 18 line captured above.

    However,There is a story somewhere in there…

    The ideas above can be woven into a powerful and beautiful piece.

    Alex do follow the advice of Christine and Roundsquare…my advice? Read, read and read some more.

    Vote. 5


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