Living to tell the story.

Lock down and curfews are the new normal. In time though, we shall triumph and live to tell the story years to come. Photo courtesy of NBC News.

The first time I had a big story to tell was in the mid to late 90’s when the then minister of education Joseph Kamotho visited my area. Teacher politics were high and temperatures unsustainable. In a bid to cool them down, Kamotho decided to do it using the bottom-up approach.

Unlike the current CS of education, one Prof. Magoha, Kamotho was politician cum administrator. He understood that some wisdom and wit needed to be used to spice things up. But let it be known that it always doesn’t work like it turned out this day.

Wit must have been served several times on the teachers’ platers and they were obese with it. As soon as he had landed in the nearby town, word went round that he must be booed. Just like that, we all left to stand in solidarity with our fathers, uncles, villagers and anybody we knew as a teacher irrespective of relations or associations.

We chanted a song of ‘Kamotho must go’ at the loudest of our mouths while carrying twigs in a proverbial contrast to the welcoming of the messiah celebrations in Jerusalem. In so doing, we wanted our voices to be heard in the capital city of Nairobi.

Unlike today when a displeasure can be registered and the ‘social media’ propagate it immediately, back then somebody could sleep over the heist and the head of state or whoever was the recipient be instructed or decide to ignore that anything ever happened.

On being called to the courts of public justice, the same could play innocent that he/she never heard anything of that short. And in the process, we branded ourselves the unofficial media people of the village ripe with raw information.

We struggled by all means to live so that we could tell that story one day if nobody was going to tell it then. In other words, living to tell the story was the thing. We had seen it all. We had heard it all. We had said it all and we had indeed taken part in the making it all happen.

And as you can ascertain, I have lived to tell the story superficially today. The colorful citation of the story can wait for another day when I will purely be writing about the history. That day I will also add more details on the day Moi visited my home town a few year later after the Kamotho incident and how I changed my name.

For today, I am however interested about living to tell the story. I am very sure that in about 25 years from today also, I will live to tell the story of curfews and Covid-19 and lockdowns and bad economies and brutalities and struggles.

But I will most importantly live to tell the story of how amidst it all, we triumphed by the power of God. When all people wanted was to see us of the face of the earth, and we ended up winning. And that it is not us who won, but our God.

In the Kamotho story, I carried twigs and sang. I wasn’t sure that about 25 years later, a pandemic from nowhere would come and strike our country and reduce us down to our knees. I didn’t know that unlike then, a lockdown could find me in the heart of Nairobi and that there I would remain without any choice till the indefinite would turn out to some definite.

Nevertheless, I grew to tell very many other stories about the bad politics and politicians, the terrorist attacks, the floods, the demolitions and very many other unexpected happenings. Interestingly enough, I grew to tell of curfews in other areas like kapedo and baringo.

Then I woke up one day last year and a virus had come closer home. At first the Wuhan virus looked so far but sooner it started sounding closer and then pap! It was in Nairobi. We became stronger and said in solidarity that we would overcome.

The stronger we became, the closer we neared to what we had heard in Kapedo and Baringo and North Eastern areas. Curfews started looking very real. Cessation of movement came in close succession. It then turned out that this too was another story we were experiencing to tell in future.

As a matter of truth, 25 years later after we shouted Kamotho must go, many of my village people have been dead. But again, many are living and more have been born. To the many that are still alive like me today, we carry the history along.

And as this pandemic ravage on, I pray 25 years on, you live to tell the story. If you don’t live to tell the story, because that is a possibility too, I pray that your story becomes a colorful one to be told. In the history, ensure you become the hero. Pray you play the legend. Most importantly, pray you live to tell the story yourself.



Geoffrey Ndege

Geoffrey Ndege

Geoffrey Ndege is the Editor and topical contributor for the Daily Focus. He writes in the areas of Science, Politics, Policy, Technology, Current Affairs, Opinion, Agriculture, Energy, Education, Entrepreneurship, Governance, International Emerging Issues, Society, and culture. For featuring, promotions or support write to us at
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