Have you ever gone back to your geshagi (home) and found the guy whom you left back there is just too advanced in matters life? You went to school together in primary and parted ways when you went to different secondary schools. When you cleared fourth form you and you B+ was rushed to University of Nairobi or any other University that was very far from your shaggz (home).
On the other hand your friend with his forko jembe, – E (didn’t your school deputy at least call the E grade a forko jembe?) stayed behind at home.
Crass jokes and examples were passed around your table as you ate supper and your father and uncles joked how nani.. got a hoe-ma(E) for a grade. That he would stick around the village forever digging the land like all the geshagi guys. Those stories made you feel privileged, they made you feel that you would escape eternal poverty and embrace the city life.
You packed your bags and left for U-ni and as you partied away your four years there dotted with serious retakes and semester breaks, nani tilled and dug his family farm in and out day by day. He broke sweat. As your eyes became red with booze and bhang‘, his arms and palms became thick and rough with the jembe.
One day you come home and the narrative has changed. Nani..has bought a pick-up truck and built himself a nice brick house. He has a two-year child. He is married and settled. You have red eyes and a stinging hangover to show your uncles along with partying stories from campus. Nani shows up and by his clothes and general look; he is doing well. He looks more mature and sounds more focused than you the campus guy.
The story of forty year old Geoffrey Walumbe Musunge doesn’t sound any different from the short story above. He dropped out of school in form one when his father died. By then, he was just a teenager and the year was 1992. He rolled up his sleeves and worked as casual labourer and saved a tidy sum of Sh120,000. In 2003 he went back to his father’s farm with his savings and started growing bananas and sweet potatoes.
His new trade earned him a nickname, nasipwondi wa matore loosely translating to jamaa wa mandizi in Bukusu (the banana peddler).
As I bang this story on my laptop, Nasipwondi wa matore has three acres of bananas and two acres of sweet potatoes. over a hundred kienyeji chicken are clucking in his farm and over sixty turkeys are gobbling in there too.
Hotels in Bungoma town, Malaba and Amagoro are ordering for his produce; bananas sweet potatoes chicken and all. He never breaks a sweat trying to fend for his six children. He is a mdosi,- farming has made him a mdosi (richman).