‘Mysterious Chopper’

My phone’s alarm blasts out loud and I reach for the phone with my eyes closed, with the intention of switching it off. I accidentally knock off the phone, and it falls from the bed…

The buzzing continues…

It is 7:30 a.m, my usual Saturday wake up time.

After a few seconds, the buzzing stops and I coil myself, to go back to sleep…

“Knock! Knock! Knock! “… There’s a knock at the door. I almost yell an insult, assuming for sure it was my cousin, Akansi…he is in the habit of destroying my Saturday mornings.

“Tony,” my father’s voice comes up rather calm, “can I see you briefly!”

Thank God it came before my insult.

“Just a sec please!” I respond, springing out of bed. I almost stumble on my way to the door, just half awake. I open the door to a bright sunlight that almost blinds me, it takes me a few seconds to adjust to the light.

My dad, hands me a phone charger, apparently I had forgotten having given it to him the previous night.

He walks away and I go back into my hut.

I pick the phone from the floor, on checking, it’s 7:35am.

I have to be at my shop by 8:30 a.m latest.

I rush to the bathroom and take a cold bath… I am now accustomed to this.

Back to the house, it’s now 7:46 a.m. I don’t waste much time on lotion, so I just reach for a blue pair of jeans and slip it in, then put on my favorite black “QUARTERBACK ACADEMY” T-shirt and a pair of black canvas rubber shoes, I then do my “NIVEA SILVER PROTECT SPRAY “… To village standards, I looked sharp…

I lock my door behind me and rush to the main house to have my breakfast, which I take hurriedly trying to beat time.

It’s now 8:06 a.m and the time is pushing hard…

Mum wasn’t home and this morning so it helped me save on some minutes…she always has lots of stories to share.

My shop is about 2km away, with the previous night’s downpour, it’s muddy and will certainly cost me some minutes.

By the time I was hitting the road, it was 8:12 a.m, I knew I wasn’t going to make it.

Luckily, a bodaboda (Motorbike Taxi), approaches from behind and I manage to wave it down. After some bargaining, he accepts Kshs 50, I sit and we ride off.

A nerve breaking and slippery ride that was, thankfully,”ulullations!” I made it.

It is 8:57 a.m, when I finally arrive at the shop.

My shop is in a block of four doors…the block is opposite a secondary school, what separates us is a murram road…my door is second from right or third from left. All doors were closed, my neighbours were members of the “Seventh Day Adventist church”, this means they ‘don’t work’ on Saturdays s . So I was all alone.

I open the door, do my usual cleaning routine then sit down with my phone, it’s ‘WhatsApp’ time, I need to catch up with my friends.

I’m having a moment of my life with friends virtually when suddenly I hear, “pa pa pa pa”, it’s a helicopter/chopper cruising above, the roaring is so close and almost low to the roof. The sound goes past but comes back after a few seconds, it cruises again across the roof but this time it doesn’t seem to fade. I try to ignore this and concentrate on ‘WhatsApping’.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, I hear people running and bodabodas passing by the road. This gets my attention.

The chopper still roaring!

“Daktari,”exclaims a woman who comes by the door, and leaves running barefooted, “Jakom osechopo!” (Doctor, chairman has arrived). Doctor is my nickname.

She leaves with explaining, perhaps she means I should follow her…

By the time I set foot outside the door, I notice is first forming and the chopper had landed on the school field…

“Agwambo!” “Baba!” “Jakom!” Is all I can hear…

I had no prior info that “Agwambo” was comming to the village. It beats me where people get wind of such classified intel.

The earlier empty field and road is now overflowing, overflowing with people…

The chopper is in the field, the propeller still rotating and now one is coming out. It’s is a white chopper with the tail painted in red.

Suddenly, a door opens and the crowd goes wild…

“Agwambo Baba!”

“Jakom tosha!”

“Karibu dala!”

A gentleman steps out in a black checkered shirt, beige khaki pants and black moccasins. Short haired, probably in his thirties…

I was now in front of the crowd…

He walks towards the crowd, keeping his head low from the propeller.

He signals me and I head towards him…

“Hi bro!” He greets me with a firm handshake when I reach where he was, a few steps from the chopper. “We are in laws, headed for a funeral just around here,” he enquires, “Nyamila to be precise, could you show us the direction?”

Nyamila is the next village from here, so I do my best to describe the physical address and how to spot it from the air.

All this time my eyes keenly scanning the chopper for a sign of ‘Agwambo’ but non of the occupants were…

He gets back into the chopper and they begin ascending as I walk towards the crowd, everyone waiting to hear from me…

“Bwana Jakom onge kanyo?” One youth enquiries (my friend, Chairman isn’t in the chopper?).

I inform them that they were only in laws asking for direction to a funeral in the next village.

I could see disappointments in their faces as they turned to walk away. But at least some were comforted by the fact they had seen a chopper in close range. They had a story to tell to their grandchildren…

I walk back to my shop smiling at all this…


7 thoughts on “‘Mysterious Chopper’

  1. eunice

    you mean a chopper came to my place but the luckiest person to talk with those people from the choppers was you.????? you are a great man. I love our take man, keep it up. love it mwaaaaah


  2. Pingback: ‘Mysterious Chopper’ | jagweng

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