In his quest to survive in a world which saw him as an outcast, Atoti Koko commonly known as Akoki toto– a derogatory that suggested how childish he was or spoilt, and this obviously sparked a lot of harshness in his heart, never impressed him but the amusement in the hearts of the kids who unaware of the damage such derogatory caused him fumed his innermost heart with a certain desire to beat the hell out of those complacent smiles written all over their faces, their deafening laughter calling for an even quicker action to prove the point that he did not like it, but in the instances he gave in to this burning desire and acted accordingly, all his action in defiance ended up doing was somehow driving their narrative ”of how spoilt he was” to even greater heights, this he despised, perhaps even hated! For some like myself, i think this is a kick ass dude but for most, all they saw was an asshole in daylight,one who would spoil their idea of a wonderful moment, a joke they could have enjoyed and like plus complaints! Well, but that’s a story for another day, perhaps better suited when the weather is better and the sun shines, so for today lets talk some mango story before man goes down.
It was around the month of February, one of the hottest months in Ekot or what they commonly referred to us the land of the mountain gods, but people lived there, not that anybody saw the mountain god, and most of them peasants and a few masters who lived beyond what comfort prescribed, luxury if you like! As fate would have it, not only did Atoti Koko, who from now will humbly be referred to as Atoti or just koko to save space-and also energy as i type so please understand, its a free read after all huh? So not only did Atoti get to be born in a peasant family, he was also raised by a single mother, his father’s whereabouts unknown and to make it worse from his looks, more darker and taller than the normal Ekot size and features made the people question from which ethnicity his dad, who he’d not seen in life, came from. Ekot was a very conservative society where family values were ”highly honored”, by family values i mean a complete nuclear family-father mother and children, unlike his,single mother living with her two kids from different fathers in her native mother’s house, and this was cause for unending gossip.
So having understood the background will hopefully make one understand why some derogatives hurt this young boy even more, and Atoti had to live as man must, and to leave in order to go on with his life, as man goes to enjoy the good free things that life somewhere out there provided, not that he knew where to or what to expect but he was hopeful and this was his driver at such a moment, it had been his great plan for a long time, 14 years in this life was long enough for him, it was all the years he had known under the sun.
But as fate had it, ideas beyond the young man he was had created this complicated world where being as old as he was would not permit him to survive and live in dignity by himself, he agreed to join the secondary school to further enhance his abilities to break free from judgement that Ekot had somehow passed on him since birth. He had kept up with sayings that suggested he was as tall and straight like a blue-gum tree which apparently was so infamous for consuming a lot of water( Munyua Mai) and thereby leaving Ekot so dry as people suffered in their searh for dear water, that he had a good appetite suggested he ate more than the world could afford him to-not that anybody cared to comment on how hardworking he was than most of his peers and how energetic he was, the complaint was always on how much he liked the bowl, that he sung at night instead of reading pissed the old drunk men who wished to sleep, nobody cared to compliment his soothing voice and skill in playing his home made Wandindi. And that’s not the story either!
So February was the mango season month and Atoti had just joined his high school in Masomo,the neighbouring ridge, by neighboring i mean a certain more than one hour walk from his grandmother’s house, and this was a day school so he had to walk everyday down the hills, cross the streams and up the hills on the other side on his way to and from school, plus there were no Matatus heading there so on foot he had to ferry there plus even if there were Matatus, peasants like him would not afford the fares. Did i mention he had to curry packed lunch and young men of his age had it in their own manlike mentality that packed lunch was a sign of weakness? well, there you have it.
On that fateful Tuesday, as he and a group of other young boys strolled around in school waiting for the bell to go home, Atoti developed this great idea that would somehow mutually benefit all this hungry at 1600 boys, they had stuck to their wanting to be men all day and having eaten nothing had left them checking their watches every 3 to 4 minutes that passed before 1700, and all they had succeeded by now was up to 1623, still more than half an hour to go with this hunger and with one fantastic idea from Atoti? well, wait first you hear the idea.
Adjacent to the school’s large compound, there was a Shamba owned by one Bwana Mapesa, a well up chuck whose Shamba was full of Mango trees, so Atoti’s hunger and curiosity had him devise this good idea, So dudes, i have a way we could all sneak out of school and sneak in the Shamba. he posed Why? Kimani asked. Are you stupid, replied the now obviously agitated Atoti, i am thinking of eating some mangoes…..What? eating some mangoes? Kamau’s shock …Yeah!..Atoti……But what if we get caught…scared Kimani….To hell with getting caught, you can go back to class and read some books if you like, all i know, i miss some juicy ripe mangoes..Atoti’s final answer as he got in to the bushy live fence which separated the school and Mapesa’s Shamba, Kamau and Kiman would soon follow as it became clear for the two that this was actually a worth while idea.
The mangoes were ripe and plenty, in fact after having this juicy bite Kamau wondered why this was’n his idea in the first place as Kimani climbed up to the peak of the tree dreaming of how sweet the mangoes up there would be, meanwhile in another theater, a maasai watch man who Bwana Mapesa had hired to keep out intruders from his shamba was patrolling the farm, as this was his duty. Normally, there would be no incidences for a Maasai manning a property means all intruders run scared of those arrows, joras and rungus that they normally carry. and so it is for this reason that Mapesa had hired one to scare away intruders even without requiring action, but Atoti and the gang, clueless of this had somehow intruded and soon would find out what it means to be hunted by a moran.
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” You are a criminal right from birth!” Mr Kimondo addrressing Atoti at 1645 in a special parade while the three unlucky dudes had been made to kneel down in front of the whole school to make an example of what would befall anyone who got caught on the wrong side of the rules, Two plastic bags full of mangoes standing next to the culprits turned victims would be used as evidence and soon the boys would be made to eat all this mangoes as they knelt shouting the words, I am a stupid glutton, i am a stupid glutton, i am a stupid glutton!!! all this while facing east, the direction of the mountain of the punishment gods. The Maasai guard and Bwana Mapesa, with the help of the schools discipline master would later whip their backs and bottoms to their satisfaction.
On understanding how dire the situation was, Atoti, after eating mangoes to his satisfaction, and before receiving the first whipping by the three men standing in waiting, and amid a scared parade of his schoolmates shouted AAAAh TIKIO THURUARI as he jumped to his feet, running away like wind with the maasai trying to catch up behind him but Atoti as fast as a true Kenyan marathoner would not be caught for in the distance he would jump over fences and rivers as the maasai gave up the chase, his two accomplices would face the wrath of the now agitated trio, the whole school was a buzz with laughter and stories of what a great escape this was.
for those who might not understand,Tikio thuruari means education is not like your pants, that you need it, though you need it, your pants come first and being humiliated is like taking your pants off in public( understand the culture where this is set, thank you)
I am looking for a talented person who can drAW CARTOONS , anybody out there, lets make this comic idea a reality, just imagine how fascinating a story can be while illustrations are incooporated in telling a story, i miss the days when i could draw better than i can now…if you know someone or if that someone you know is you, please feel free to contact me